The benefits of eating healthily to reduce stress
For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/
I advocate a healthy balanced diet to all my clients, including those going through stressful situations such as the start of the summer holidays and keeping the kids entertained .
Stress can have an impact on your diet and in turn food can impact on your stress
If you are under a lot of stress you are more susceptible to feeling unwell both emotionally and physically, one part of the solution is to eat plenty of stress busting foods and drink to boost your immune system. Try some of these simple steps
- Don’t skip breakfast; it can help with mood, memory and attention. Try eating porridge or muesli or wholegrain cereal like bran flakes, Weetabix or shredded wheat; they help to steady blood sugar levels and stop you having an energy crash. Brazil nuts are also great as they contain selenium – a great mineral for lifting your mood.
- Eat a variety fruit and veg – so you get a ‘rainbow’ of colour and a boost of vitamin A, C & E and Zinc. All of which play a positive role in your immune system. Add more veggies like spinach and kale to your pasta sauce, or homemade pizza; the magnesium they contain also helps fight fatigue. Put seasonal fruit in blender with milk (or non-dairy) with some oats for a fibre and calcium rich smoothie. Eating an Orange can boost your levels of vitamin C; strengthening the immune system and at the same time reduce levels of stress hormones. Potassium is another mineral that can help in the battle to fight stress by reducing your blood pressure. So make sure you regularly eat bananas and avocado
- During the day drink black or green tea – full of antioxidants which are great at moping up free radicals. Black tea can lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations
- Stay hydrated with water – often you can mistake thirst for hunger, so always have a drink first; wait about 10 minutes and then have something to eat if you are still hungry
- Have a warm milky drink at night or some full fat yoghurt – the calcium soothes tension as well as eases anxiety and the protein has a calming effect on the body, which could lower blood pressure.
- Rest and relaxation – take time for your self; read a book, have a warm bath, listen to your favourite music, get out in the garden or watch your favourite box set
- Limit your alcohol intake. It is a depressant not a stimulant so drink within safe limits, which is now 14 units a week for both men and women
- De-stress with some exercise or activity – brisk walking is great way to burn calories, get some fresh air and absorb some much needed vitamin D
And ending on a positive and happy note, eating a few squares of 70% dark chocolate can also make you feel happy by prompting the release of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin, a calming brain feel good chemical