Did you know that some foods can actually help you keep calm and reduce your stress? Given the extra craziness we have in our lives as divorced women, we thought knowing what these were and adding them to your diet might be a helpful resource to have in your life toolkit (and potentially pass on to your kids for the stressful times in their lives as well!).
In a nutshell, for a diet to ease stress, you should eat low-fat, high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich foods with plenty of fruits and veggies that ideally include some of the treats listed below. If at all possible, try to get these nutrients from eating whole foods as opposed to supplements.
B vitamins, especially B5, are crucial for production of stress hormones and to keep the body energized. B9 (folate) is in the forefront of your mood management and B6 (Pyridoxine) helps produce serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine which all play a role in your mood and sleep patterns.
As an extra bonus, B vitamins also help promote a healthy metabolism! Different B vitamins help with different aspects of your health in your body so make sure you are getting a good mix in your diet.
Some great foods to eat to get your B’s are: sunflower seeds, avocado, salmon & mushrooms. Sounds like a delicious salad to us!
Protein rich foods can help you stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling energized without the addition of sugar or caffeine.
Healthy proteins include chicken (skinless), beans and nuts (in moderation). Fish with Omega-3’s is an excellent source of protein as well as it helps lower high cortisol levels (that creates that stubborn, unhealthy belly fat) and boosts your mood.
You adrenal glands are the biggest store of vitamin C and produce a variety of hormones so if you are low on vitamin C, your body finds it harder to produce the hormones that help you cope with stress.
Good sources of vitamin C include colorful fruits and veggies especially citrus fruits, red pepper, kiwi and berries.
Green tea can be a stress boosting beverage. It is rich in L-theanine amino acid that helps promote relaxation, boost concentration and neurotransmitters like dopamine.
If you are able, try to get a higher quality green tea as some of the lower quality brands contain excessive fluoride. Even if you can’t afford a higher quality, the benefits of green tea still outweigh any of the risks.
Some early evidence shows that there is a link between gut bacteria and mood disorders. Studies also show that probiotics have been shown to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Good sources of probiotics include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut.
Herbs & Minerals:
Herbs like hops, passionflower, lemon balm, valerian, rhodiola, ginseng, ashwagandha and cordyceps have also been shown to help boost your mood. Minerals like magnesium help relax the body and nervous system. As with any supplements, make sure that you check to make sure there are no adverse reactions with any medication you are taking.
Sources of magnesium include green veggies, brown rice, quinoa, beans, peanuts and almonds. Herbs you generally need to buy as a supplement.
These foods won’t be miracle workers but they are proven (or have shown early evidence) to help out a bit with the areas we have noted. As always, don’t overdo any of these as too much of a good thing can often turn into a bad thing!