7 Best Foods for Times of Stress
Stress? It’s a bad thing. No, but it can be a good thing. Okay, okay. It’s not bad, it’s not good. It’s just necessary. Sometimes it’s the only way I can get things done.
And sometimes it has taken over my life, through no one’s fault but my own. And when that happens, when I have gotten off course like I have been lately. I know I have to start doing the things that help me. My go-to lifestyle tools: yoga, meditation, creativity and FOOD.
I don’t mean chips and chocolate (though the right kind of chocolate can push just the right button). No I mean the foods that have the nutrients that are needed during stressful times, the foods that give me energy, the foods that rebuild my nutrient supply when stress has left me high and dry. The foods that bring me back and lift me up. The foods that help me to go to sleep and help me concentrate when my brain is as scattered as my kids’ toys all over the house (I find Hot Wheels in every single nook and cranny).
I know about the essential nutrients needed during times of chronic stress: Vitamin C, B vitamins, and Magnesium. Along with some other beautiful supplements that do wonders for my body when I’m feeling the heat of life.
I've made a 5-day meal guide which has really helped me in times of stress:
I know about those top 3 nutrients I need during times of stress, it’s just a matter of getting those dang nutrients into my overworked, tense and mean little body.
So if we can just remember these 7 foods that have the essential nutrients (C, Bs, and Mag) then we have a fighting chance of supporting the body during times of challenge.
And so we'll get these foods into our diets today or have them on hand when we know we’re going to get a big ole heaping spoonful of tension and stress. When anxiety and stress are lurking around the corner, let’s remember to reach for these foods instead sweets and salties, which hinder sleep and make us feel worse (this lesson I have to learn over and over again):
7 Best Foods to Relieve Stress
(Trumpets sound, drums roll)
1. Nutritional Yeast or Brewer's Yeast:
Nutritional yeast and Brewer's yeast are both loaded with beautiful B vitamins. Even B12 which is needed to prevent depression. Let's not forget how important B12 is for energy, and God knows we need even more energy support during stressful times. Nutritional yeast in particular is a great seasoning that is very tasty and can go on a lot of stuff. It's a requirement in the pantry of a busy, stressed out person. Vitamin B5 is especially important for adrenal support (adrenals are the glands that produce cortisol, the stress hormone). So we're preventing adrenal fatigue, which can be a painful thing.
Eating oatmeal with some kind of nut or nut butter at breakfast every morning is so wonderful for so many reasons. But let's just say for now that you will be nourished in the way of Magnesium at the beginning of your day. Your muscles need magnesium. Your whole body needs it. You need it for digestion, for sleep. For nerve function. Important to have your source of Mg be a whole and unprocessed food so that you can get all the benefits, and none of its goodness has been wiped away through processing.
Oatmeal also has vitamin B5, important for adrenal support.
Parsley has a magnificent amount of vitamin C, and is so easy to put on any ole lunch or dinner. Or breakfast! Put it on your eggs. Vitamin C is important for repairing damage done by excess stress. It also supports the immune system, as we all know, which might account for why it is so easy to get sick when you're stressed out. Hormone function depends a lot on vitamin C as cofactor. The next couple of foods are also vitamin C powerhouses:
4. Bell peppers:
Get your color going. You know that the more colorful your plate (don't mean cheese puffs and M&Ms), the better off your body. So slice up a red bell pepper and dip it in hummus (sprinkled with lemon juice for an extra shot of C). Bell peppers: you stuff them, you chop them up for a taco or salad, stick them in an omelet. It's a must-have.
5. Green onions:
Green onions go in so many dishes, and they so tasty and chock-full of C. Green onions, like all other onions, contain an awesome amount of sulphur which makes your hair shiny and glossy. Also quercetin is an important antioxidant for the body's health.
6. Sunflower seeds:
The perfect snack, the perfect addition to any dish. Sunflower seeds have B5, magnesium and C so stock up on these and put them on everything!
Strawberries have it all: tart sweetness, deliciousness, refreshedness (no it's not a word, but I live by my own rules), ease of eating. And they have mag and vitamin C, which makes them doubly fantastic when it comes to managing stress.
I get asked about this all the time so if you’re looking to clean things up a bit in your body, to glow a little more, and to increase vitality, I can recommend a few supplements that have helped me:
Seeking Health was founded by Dr Ben Lynch who is a world–leading expert in nutrigenomics and epigenetics, and founder of this supplement company. You can get targeted support for most anything from pregnancy to Omega-3 fish oil supplements to sleeping aid supplements. This is what I love about them. Physician-formulated (by a physician who cares about how your nutrients affect your genes and life) to specifically target exactly what you need. From a look at his inventory, it’s clear these supplements were smartly, scientifically produced. This company is a holistic nutritionist’s heaven, with supplements focusing on supporting fundamental pathways in the body. Genius.
You might have heard of Dr. Axe. I’ve been following him for some time now, and I use several supplements from his Ancient Nutrition brand. I like, in particular, their wide selection of collagen supplements. You can choose any condition or issue where you might need supplements or extra support. You can choose what you want to focus on like aging, gut support, or metabolism. I like his essential oils too.
Then there’s those of us who want to detox and know the power of bone broth on metabolism. Dr. Axe above has a good selection of bone broth/protein, but if you’re looking to buy in bulk with ongoing efforts toward detoxification, you should look at Au Bon Broth.
Bone broth is good for:
boosting metabolism and detoxification
supports and boosts the immune system
healthy, glowing skin
maintaining the health of the gut
*When it comes to inflammation, the best thing I’ve tried so far, in terms of supplements, is PuraTHRIVE’s Liposomal Turmeric with Fulvic Acid. I found PuraTHRIVE Liposomal Turmeric when I was walking around New Orleans and found a store selling B12 shots, alkalized water, etc. I found out two things about why my curcumin supplements weren’t working:
Isolated curcumin without all the other properties of turmeric does not work. You need turmeric, and you need it to be pure.
I learned that fulvic acid helps nutrients to be absorbed, aids in detox, supports the brain and hydration of cells. Fulvic acid, in short, makes biochemical reactions happen faster and more efficiently. This is because water passes into cells through a more permeable cell membrane. The permeability of the cell membrane means easier detox of the cells too.
Take this liposomal turmeric with a little bit of freshly ground black pepper. Be sure to shake the bottle well beforehand. Give yourself about 8 pumps under the tongue and hold there for about 30 seconds. I would sprinkle the black pepper under the tongue after or before the turmeric. Don’t try to mix it all up, just pump.
Stressed people: what helps you during times of stress? Are there any dishes that are comforting and healing at the same time? Obviously my go-to is oatmeal with some kind of nut butter and honey. What about you? Comment below!
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