When one faces stress, changes naturally happen in the body. It’s the body’s method of reacting to a challenge. Dealing with changes in our life such as caring for a sick spouse, child, parent, or sibling, death of a loved one, or a divorce are stressful moments which will cause our body to react. When my husband became ill, I really didn’t think to fuel my body with good food to help counter the stress. I dealt with major changes in my body and I still face them to this day. This blog has moved me to want different for myself. I’m ready to heal spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It’s a lifestyle I’m ready to commit to and ask that you would join me. I’m assuming you already said yes so let me share what I found for us! Superfoods that are good for stress relief:
Green Leafy Vegetables:
Did you know one green leafy vegetable like spinach contains folate which have the chemical dopamine! Dopamine is a pleasure inducing brain chemical that helps keep individuals calm. Let’s say I’m about to be ‘Popeye The Sailor!”
So how many of us go into food coma after Thanksgiving from all the turkey we’ve eaten? That’s because turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid, found in protein containing food, which helps produce serotonin. Other foods high in tryptophan includes nuts, seeds, tofu, fish, lentil, oats, beans, and eggs.
For those who are scared of carbs like me, give this one a try. Oatmeal is considered complex carbs, so it’s a good carb. Carbohydrates can help the brain make serotonin naturally. Serotonin is the same substance regulated by antidepressants and for those who prefer natural ways of healing, here’s an alternative. There are many baked oatmeal recipes there are pretty tasty. Stay tuned for recipes I will list regarding using oatmeal.
I have to say, I would have never thought yogurt could be a superfood for stress relief. Based on what I know, the probiotic in yogurt helps with the gastrointestinal symptoms one may express when faced with stress. If you want to get creative with yogurt, try adding it to oatmeal with blueberry which is another superfood I will discuss. Now you’ve added 3 superfoods that will help with stress relief!
After losing a loved one, there are many changes in the body we experience. The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in berries fight in your defense, helping improve your body’s response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals.
Who doesn’t love Salmon! Salmon has so many positive effects for the body but one major effect is its ability to create inflammatory properties. Salmon is full of Omega 3s, which has inflammatory properties to help fight the negative effects of stress hormones. See my Link to my Pinterest Food Board for Salmon recipes. It’s a great fish full of benefits.
Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts such as pistachios and cashews contains lots of good nutrients to help support cardiovascular health, anxiety, depression and stress. Pistachios contain key phytonutrients that provides antioxidant support for the heart while cashews help directly with irritability, lack of ability to concentrate and anxiety. Seeds such as flaxseed, pumpkin, and sunflowers are great sources of magnesium as they are in leafy greens, yogurt, nuts and fish. Magnesium has been shown to help alleviate depression, fatigue, and irritability.
I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST!!!!!! Calling all chocoholics: a regular healthy indulgence of dark chocolate might have the power to regulate your stress levels. The antioxidants in cocoa trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. So when you grab a small bite of dark chocolate, think stress reliever rather than calories. The euphoric feeling experienced when taking a bite is worth every moment!!!
There are a variety of ways you can take these superfoods and combine them in recipes. Stay tuned for ideas on how we can get more of these foods in our body as we heal in this journey while getting healthy! Eat well!