There is a lot that can be done to reduce stress, and it goes far beyond relaxation techniques and mindset alterations. A good chunk of achieving a stable mood and reducing the stress load happens when we make wise choices about what we put in our mouths.
White sugar is empty of nutrients. This means that when our bodies try to process sugar it requires the use of our mineral and nutrient stores. For example, this depletes magnesium. Magnesium is used in most of the chemical processes in the body. Without sufficient magnesium we are less capable of managing stressful situation. Not to mention that simply being depleted of magnesium is in itself a stress on the body physically.
We could also make the comparison of filling a gas tank with sugar. Sugar is not the proper fuel for a vehicle, and it destroys the engine. Likewise, sugar is not what the body needs to build healthy cells, a healthy mind and a healthy body. Fortunately, unlike machines, the body is capable of rebuilding itself if we give it what it needs and our health and vitality can be restored.
Much like sugar, processed foods are not what the body needs to build health. It confuses the body, and leaves it wanting. So, take the plunge and start switching out items on your shopping list for unprocessed alternatives. Replace one recipe a week with something healthier, or take it on all at once and make the switch in a hurry. Regardless of which way you choose, a good meal planner can be very helpful. My favorite is RealPlans.
Got a stress problem? Caffeine and Alcohol are NOT your friends. Ultimately they contribute to the problem and don’t help it. Caffeine increases cortisol. Cortisol is your stress hormone. Alcohol may seem to give you temporary stress relief but in the long run it also increases stress on the body in multiple ways. It effects sleep quality, dehydrates the body and much more.
Use Helpful Supplements
Sometimes stress gets to us because we simply don’t have the building blocks to maintain sanity. So if you want to maintain a mellow disposition try some of these:
- magnesium (mag. is my all time favorite!)
- B vitamins
- lemon balm
- omega-3 fatty acid
- Cod liver oil
- adrenal cocktail
Use Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogenic herb is a fancy way of saying, a food that can help the body adapt to stress. They are especially great for chronic stress and fatigue issues. Because they help with stress so effectively they have a trickle down effect into other aspects of health as well including:
- Improved mood
- Help manage health weight
- Increase physical endurance
- Increase mental focus
- Boost immune system.
Here is a list of great Adaptogenic herbs:
- Asian ginseng
- Holy basil
- Stinging nettle
- Milk thistle (great as a tea or tincture)
- Rhodiola rosea
- Ginseng Eleuthero
- Aloe vera (easily added to smoothies or juices)
- Gotu kola
- Astragulas (add to your salad blend)
- Moringa oleifera
- Licorice root (surprisingly sweet as a tea)
Must Eat Foods
Here is a quick list of foods that should make your must eat list on a regular basis:
- Dark chocolate
- Chia seeds (here is our favorite chia recipe)
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
Want more info. on stress reduction?
Check out this post: How to Reduce Stress