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.
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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