We create a shopping list
Constant stress seems inevitable in today’s world, but there are still some things we can control. Among them is the way of eating, and it is important because stress makes you sick. How can diet balance things out and what should we look for when shopping?
The worst foods for stress:
Anything that contains refined sugar – refined carbohydrates in cookies, waffles, sweets, candy, potato chips raise blood sugar, which makes us restless and stressed, we lose muscle mass and gain extra pounds because the metabolism slows down.
We are not to blame for the urge to reach for them – when we are stressed, the body pumps out the hormones cortisol, ghrelin and insulin, which increase the appetite for unhealthy foods. Thus, stress levels increase and energy levels decrease.
Products to limit when stressed:
Caffeine – There is nothing wrong with 1-2 cups of caffeinated drink, but not in the second half of the day, because coffee and energy drinks interfere with sleep. People think that caffeine will improve their mental tone, and it does if it’s in small amounts, but when we’re high on coffee, we feel more jittery and anxious than we actually are.
Alcohol is a bad idea if consumed in excess – contrary to the claim that it calms the nerves, it actually makes stress difficult to control in the long term and leads to depression. In addition, regular alcohol consumption contributes to the development of many chronic diseases.
Best Stress Foods - The Short List:
Salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, trout – they contain healthy Omega-3 acids, which support the work of the heart and relieve depression.
2. Milk and yogurt
With the proviso that it is low-fat or fat-free. Calcium strengthens not only bones, but also our emotional state. For example, there are studies that milk relieves the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, which, as every woman knows, definitely increases stress.
3. Whole grains: brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa
The complex carbohydrates they contain can destroy stress and this has been proven in a number of psychosomatic studies in the last 10 years. They stimulate the production of serotonin, and more serotonin means higher concentration and productivity.
4. Sweet potatoes
They contain large amounts of complex carbohydrates, which are a great anti-stress weapon.
5. Leafy vegetables
Spinach, nettles, fresh lettuce and other raw vegetables are rich in magnesium, capable of regulating levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as blood pressure. They also contain folate, which provokes the production of dopamine in the body.
6. Red peppers
Proteins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and a lot of vitamin C make red vegetables one of the most useful foods in the world, not only for chronic stress, but also for strengthening immunity.
Healthy monounsaturated acids, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 – an impressive list of nutrients that we cannot ignore when looking for an antidote to stress – avocados are one of the best choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
They definitely improve the mood because they contain dopamine, it is also valuable that they contain magnesium, which decreases under stress. Bananas are a rich source of B vitamins such as B6, which helps the nervous system deal with anxiety. There’s also an added benefit: their high levels of potassium help with hypertension.
9. Oranges and berries
The slow release of vitamin C, which is abundant in citrus fruits and berries, ensures a steady reduction in cortisol levels.
10. Olive oil
The useful fatty acids and vitamins E and K in olive oil protect against heart and oncological diseases and chronic inflammation, and the large amount of antioxidants in it neutralize the damage caused to the body by free radicals. The best olive oil is cold-pressed, extra virgin (which has not undergone any heat processing).
11. Unsalted nuts, especially almonds, walnuts, cashews and pistachios
Nuts are a boon for health, but in moderation, as they are very high in calories. They satiate well, lower blood pressure and relieve stress, as they contain B vitamins.
12. Seeds – flax, pumpkin, sunflower, chia
Both nuts and seeds have the magical quality of relieving stress, and among the beneficial substances in them, fiber helps to cleanse the gastrointestinal system and proper metabolism.
13. Dark chocolate
The nice exception to the restrictive measures we have to impose on desserts under stress! 2 bars of dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content reduce anxiety and are beneficial as they are rich in antioxidants.
14. Caffeine-free tea – black, green, thyme, rose hips, mint, chamomile
Chamomile, mint and some other herbs have a relaxing effect and redirect the body’s stress response. Along with their calming effect, they also increase the happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine.
Even mild dehydration can increase cortisol levels, so whenever you feel stressed, just fill a glass of water and drink it. 8 glasses of water per day is the average rate that we should drink to maintain a healthy water balance. According to some studies, 80% of water should come from drinks and 20% from food.