Stress can be a big issue for many of us, but if you find yourself getting stressed all the time then you need to watch out. Stress has now been called the silent killer, as it can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and severe chest pain. A number of factors can help stress, one being food.
Containing high amounts of folate, spinach can produce dopamine which is a pleasure-inducing chemical that is taken place in the brain. Dopamine will have a calming and comforting effect on the brain. Spinach also contains the mineral magnesium, this can help regulate cortisol levels and create feelings of well-being. A great way to incorporate more spinach into your diet is by adding it to pasta dishes or sandwiches. You will only need two handfuls to get your recommended amount.
Tryptophan is an amino acid, found in turkey which can regulate hunger and feelings of happiness. Often, after a big turkey roast dinner, you tend to feel sleepy and content, well this is down to the tryptophan as it signals the brain to release serotonin, which will give you a sense of happiness.
Carbs are by far the most comforting food out there, but a lot tend to make you feel sluggish or are generally not healthy. When you get stressed your blood sugar can rise, so eating carbohydrates that are filled with sugar is only going to make things worse. Oatmeal is a great carbohydrate as it doesn’t contain much sugar. Like turkey, oatmeal can help produce serotonin. Oatmeal is also a great comfort food in the morning, try using coarse oats as these are higher in fibre, which takes longer to digest. To help them go down a bit easier try adding fruit and a dash of honey to make the morning a bit more interesting.
Your gut and your brain are closely linked, which is why stress can cause a lot of stomach issues and your gut could also be contributing to your stress. Eating probiotics can help send food through your gut by affecting nerves that control gut movement. The best way to get probiotics naturally into your gut is by eating probiotic yoghurt.
We all know salmon is filled with omega fatty acids which can help with a number of things throughout the body. When you get stressed anxiety hormones such as adrenaline can rocket up. The omega 3 in salmon has anti-inflammatory properties that help to hinder the adrenaline.
Consuming 3 pieces of a salmon three times a week will give you endless benefits including protecting your heart.
However, you consume avocado via a salad or guacamole, its filled with vitamin B. Vitamin B promotes healthy nerves and brain cells and can really help with anxiety. Avocado also contains potassium which helps reduce blood pressure. Get your avocado fix by adding to smoothies, this will give it a great creamy texture.
There are other factors that can help stress as well as food but we believe starting with a good diet is a step in the right direction.