180 Nutrition: There is no getting away from the fact that stress is all around us. It’s in the workplace in the form of a demanding boss; it’s at home as financial pressures mount, and it’s in the family as worries about the kids take their toll.
In today’s modern world, it’s very unlikely that you can escape stress altogether, but because of the phenomenal damage that a stressful life can do your body, it’s in your best interests to learn how to manage it.
Stress promotes the release of the hormone, Cortisol. Over time, this causes lack of sleep, inflammation in the body and can potentially lead to chronic illness and fatigue. In times of stress, it’s tempting to reach for the high-fat, carb laden, salty snacks and alcohol to make you feel better and to deal with the short-term symptoms of stress such as lack of sleep, but these foods are detrimental to your health and prolonged consumption will only make a bad situation, worse.
Good nutrition has a huge impact on reducing the impact that stress has on your body so it’s vital that if you are under pressure, that you eat a well-balanced diet particularly making a concerted effort to get the following foods into your diet to stay healthy even when things seem to be against you.
Asparagus: Stress-busting factor – Folate
Asparagus is high in folate which supports heart health and is vital to your wellbeing if you’re suffering from stress and anxiety. Asparagus makes a great snack with ham or smoked salmon or is a great accompaniment to any main meal.
Avocado: Stress-busting factor - B-Vitamins
Avocadoes are an any day, any time, any place food for us (in moderation if you’re watching the scales as they’re high in good fat). They contain an abundance of goodness but are particularly high in folate, calming B-vitamins and lutein which is an anti-oxidant that protects healthy cells. Avocado can be added to salads, smoothies or eaten as a snack.
Berries: Stress-busting factor - Vitamin C
While high in vitamin C, berries also have high levels of antioxidants which protect your cells and keep you healthy during times of stress. Vitamin C has also been known to combat stress making blueberries, raspberries and strawberries a calming mix for when life is hard. Eat on their own, with a small serve of coconut yoghurt, or add them to a smoothie for an antioxidant releasing drink that is easy to digest.
Chamomile tea: Stress-busting factor - Chamomile
Chamomile is known for its calming properties, particularly when trying to get to sleep. One cup and no distractions ten minutes before bed will calm your body and brain and contribute to a good night’s sleep. If you sleep well, the impact that stress has on your body is minimised as this is when your cells rejuvenate and the brain fog clears.
Oysters: Stress-busting factor – Zinc
Low levels of zinc are associated with stress and anxiety and because the human body doesn’t store zinc, it’s important that you consume some every day, especially during times of stress. A dozen oysters contain your RDA of zinc but if this is too much for you, mix it up with a serve of cashew nuts which are also high in the stress busting nutrient.
Gluten-Free Oats: Stress-busting factor - Serotonin
A big bowl of oats not only soothes your mind but it also stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain. It is the serotonin which makes you feel good and works to combat feelings of stress. Oats contain complex carbohydrates which means that they release energy as your body needs it rather than in one big hit (which can cause insulin levels to spike). Start your day with a bowl of oats to help your mood lift.
180 Nutrition Superfood: Stress-busting factor – All of it
180 Nutrition superfood powder is made from all natural ingredients and is loaded with fibre, protein and good fats. It can be made into a smoothie with almond milk and fruit or veg, sprinkled on your oats in the morning or add ¼ of an avocado to make it a complete meal replacement. For those times when your stomach is churning and you’re too stressed to eat, a 180 Nutrition Superfood smoothie will keep you full and give your body all the nutrients it needs to keep powering through those tough times.
Good nutrition won’t cure the stress, but it will reduce the impact that stress has on the body leaving you stronger and better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you.