Healthy Eating To Lower Stress
We all know how busy and demanding daily life can be. While you may not be able to change your schedule, there are ways to take care of yourself in the midst of it all.
The Effect of Stress on the Body
The human body was actually designed to handle some stress. That fight-or-flight response alerts us to perceived threats and helps us stay safe. The trouble comes when our bodies don't get any downtime between alerts. We can actually get into a cycle of continuous stress throughout the day. That wears the body down.
Headaches, stomach and digestive troubles, chest pain, and elevated blood pressure can result. Diabetes, heart problems and even skin conditions can be brought on or actually made worse by prolonged anxiety. Depression and stress are often linked as well.
Time to do a little self-assessment. Are you having any of these symptoms? Are there other things, like sleep problems or irritability, that plague you? You're not alone. According to WebMd, 75 to 90% of all doctor's visits are for stress-related illnesses or symptoms.
The good news is that you have the power to give yourself some relief just by more healthy eating habits. Sound too good to be true? It's actually food science. Serotonin and dopamine are two chemicals in the brain that counteract stress and improve mood. Certain foods increase your body's production of them.
Other foods help lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar and help your body use energy more efficiently.
Vitamins and minerals that help ease stress:
Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system, which stress can weaken. (Daily allowance adults: 60 mg recommended)
Vitamin B6 assists in nerve cell growth and with brain activity. (Daily allowance adults: 2 mg recommended)
Vitamin B12 decreases fatigue and regulates the nervous system.(Daily allowance adults: 6 mcg recommended)
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 aids in producing energy.(Daily allowance adults: 1.7 mg recommended)
Niacin controls blood sugar by assisting in the release of energy from carbohydrates and increases blood flow.(Daily allowance adults: 15 mg recommended)
Folate helps with new cell growth and care.(Daily allowance adults: 400 mcg recommended)