With increasing pressures at work and at home, it is easy to find yourself feeling stressed out and feeling frazzled; with the weight of the world on your shoulders.
In actual fact, that feeling of stress is your body preparing yourself to run away from or fight a threat – a response that served our distant ancestors very well.
These days however, the stress response can be activated for less immediate dangers, and more long term worries. The trouble with this though, is that the stress response is designed to be short term. Your body is diverting all its energies away from non-essential functions, such as digestion, and fertility; and bolstering bodily functions required for ‘fight or flight’, such as the respiratory system. Hormones are released, such as adrenalin and cortisol (the so called ‘stress hormone’), and your heart will start pounding, as your body prepares you for action, enabling you to hit harder and run faster, temporarily. When you are out of danger, your body should return to normal, restoring all of the processes that were effectively shut down.
If you don’t take any action though, your body will continue in this dangerous state for longer, ultimately doing you harm. It is therefore essential to combat bouts of stress and rebalance your body so that it can begin to function as normal again.
Exercise has been shown to be good for stress, as it will help to use up the additional energy, removing that agitated feeling that you can get when you are stressed.
In addition, you need to be aware of and possibly change the way you look at things. If you are putting too much pressure on yourself to do a perfect job, or to meet a deadline, then this can result in stress, and ultimately be counter-productive for you.
Finally, eating the right food types can help restore the nutrients that are depleted during severe bouts of stress. Here are the top 5 food types to reach for when you are beginning to feel frazzled.
1. Oily fish
Oily fish such as salmon and sardines contain omega 3, an essential fatty acid that is vital for healthy cells. A few doses of oily fish can restore normal nervous system function and reduce anxiety and depression; mood disorders associated with stress.
2. Beef and Lamb
Beef and lamb contain significant amounts of zinc, which is known to be a calming mineral. As the digestion of other minerals are aided by the presence of zinc, a zinc deficiency caused by stress can result in us not getting many essential minerals from our food, compounding the effects of stress on the body.
Beef and lamb also provide the body with plenty of vitamin B12, one of the essential B vitamins that help to produce energy. If you are left feeling fatigued and frazzled after a bout of stress, these are great foods to include in your diet to restore your energy and nervous system.
3. Chicken and Turkey
Chicken and turkey are good providers of the tryptophan that you need to produce seratonin, a neurotransmitter that is found in your brain and in your gut. In addition to normal digestive functioning, this chemical is also associated with feelings of happiness when produced in the brain. This can be very effective at counteracting the effects of stress.
In order to ensure the tryptophan reaches your brain, complex carbohydrates such as brown bread, brown rice and potatoes should be consumed at the same time, or shortly after.
4. Tofu and Soybeans
Tofu and soybeans are also good tryptophan providers, but will also provide you with a good range of other nutrients required to combat stress, such as calcium, zinc and omega 3.
Broccoli is a superfood for a reason. It contains a wide range of nutrients, and is particularly useful during bouts of stress for its vitamin C content.
Vitamin C has been shown to reduce both the physical and the mental syptoms of stress. It appears to regulate the hormones produced during bouts of stress, restoring balance to the body. It is also a good anti-oxidant, combating damage to cells produced by the additional intake of oxygen during stressful times.
Other great sources of vitamin C include strawberries and peppers.
Take a look at the chart below to discover the top stress busting foods, and their nutrient content.
For more information, visit our LoveMyGlow article at https://www.lovemyvouchers.co.uk/lovemyglow/articles/foods-to-eat-when-stressed.php