Stress is a part of everyday life, especially for us busy mums and while a little stress can actually be good for you, helping you perform under pressure and motivating you to do your best, prolonged bouts of stress can take its toll and have serious implications on your wellness. Check out our article here on meditation and for those who need a bit of extra help, we’ve turned to our good friend food to see what it can do.
Your diet plays an important roll in stress management. When you’re stressed and tempted to reach for that comfort food… otherwise known as junk food, it’s important to understand that it’s not an even playing field. A calorie of a certain type of bad food to a stressed person can have a far more adverse effect to the same calorie consumed by someone who is not stressed (Kirstin Aschbacher, PhD, an assistant professor in the University of California at San Francisco Department of Psychiatry). On the other hand, by choosing nutrient-dense foods you can actually impact your mood in a positive way, helping relieve tension, stabilise blood sugar, and alleviate stress (helpguide.org).
Here are five superfoods that can help
- Turkey – A source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin.
- Salmon – Good source of Omega 3. One study in Brain Behavior and Immunity showed a dramatic 20 percent reduction in anxiety among medical students taking omega-3,11 while past research has shown omega-3 fats work just as well as antidepressants in preventing the signs of depression, but without any of the side effects.
- Blueberries – Anthocyanins are the pigments that give berries like blueberries and blackberries their deep color. These antioxidants aid your brain in the production of dopamine, a chemical that is critical to coordination, memory function, and your mood.
- Dark Chocolate – Anandamide; a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. It’s a derivative of the Sanskrit word “bliss,” and one of the great things about chocolate is that it not only produces this compound, it also contains other chemicals that prolong the “feel-good” aspects of anandamide.
- Avocado – Avocados provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folate. Studies have found that avocados help keep you full for longer and appear helpful for regulating blood sugar levels. This combination of satiety and blood-sugar regulation can help keep your mood steady, even in times of stress.
Read full superfood article by Dr Mercola @ helpguide.org