Originally Published March 14th, 2016
Working long hours, late nights, busy schedules, caffeine, sugar and alcohol… your body can be tired and stressed without you even knowing it. When under stress, the body uses the essential nutrients than it normally would. Therefore, it is important that these vital nutrients are constantly being ‘topped up’ to ensure your body is well protected to cope with stress and other illnesses.
It’s important to include the following foods in your diet when feeling under the pump, here’s why…
We need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a B vitamin deficiency. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. They’re also high in monounsaturated fat, magnesium and potassium, which help lower blood pressure.
Berries pack a powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamin C, making them mighty stress-busters. When we’re stressed, our bodies need vitamin C and antioxidants to help repair and protect cells. As our immune system is weakened when we are under stress, vitamin C will help boost your immunity.
Raw cacao is an excellent source of magnesium- a mineral that gets depleted when under stress. Magnesium is key for relaxation and healing of the muscles throughout the entire body and is, therefore, great for lowering blood pressure. Not getting enough magnesium may trigger migraine headaches and make you feel fatigued.
Almonds and cashews are rich in magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin E- all great at helping your body cope with stress. Pistachios and walnuts are also fantastic nuts to consume. Eating a handful of pistachios a day lowers blood pressure so your heart doesn’t have to work overtime. Walnuts have also been found to lower blood pressure, both at rest and under stress.
Salmon (or other oily fish)
Adequate levels of Omega-3s can help reduce anxiety and promote clear and focused thinking. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids also helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling tense. Consuming oily fish at least three times a week goes a long way towards protecting your heart when those stress hormones are surging.
Article by Kavisha Jega
Holding a Masters degree in Wellness, Kavisha works to promote optimal health and well-being by teaching people how to move away from processed foods and towards a more nourishing whole foods diet. Her educational seminars and cooking workshops draw on her knowledge of whole food cooking and passion for wellness to show everyday people that healthy eating can be easy and attainable. A lover of all things food and travel, Kavisha also has a wellness travel practice, which focuses on connecting health savvy travellers with good food by showcasing local, organic and whole food experiences all over the world.