Finding ways to manage stress can positively impact our overall health and well-being. There are many general ways to help you manage stress. When we think about stress management, our minds can drift to common self-care practices such as getting better sleep, exercising, and relaxation. However, there is another general way to manage stress, which is by consuming healthy foods.
When our bodies react to any stress, it releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Having controlled levels of these hormones is essential to get through our day-to-day life. However, our health and well-being can be negatively impacted when these hormone levels are consistently high. When stress is left unmanaged, we can start to have an increase in blood pressure, higher inflammation levels, and more cravings for foods that are higher in sugar and fat. These can lead to chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Eating certain healthy foods can help tame stress by reducing stress hormones and boosting some feel-good brain chemicals.
Eating healthy to reduce stress is important because it helps counter the impact of stress by boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. The best way to use food to lower stress hormones in your body is by consuming less processed foods and more whole foods. You can incorporate healthy foods like fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats into your daily nutrition. Some foods have been found to help reduce stress more than others; take a look:
- Oranges - The high vitamin C level in oranges reduces stress hormone levels.
- Spinach - The magnesium in spinach helps combat fatigue which compounds the effects of stress.
- Salmon and Tuna - The good fats in salmon and tuna help reduce stress hormones.
- Low-Fat Milk - The calcium in low-fat milk eases anxiety and mood swings.
- Fruit - The sugars found in fruits can increase the feel-good brain chemicals.
Consistently eating healthy foods and practicing other stress management techniques over time will help you start seeing a reduction in stress levels. So, grab one of the foods above and eat it today to begin your journey of optimizing your health.
By, Coach Mariah