Horseman’s Health: Eating For Less Stress

Madalyn on horseThese days stress to one degree or another is just part of daily living. It can take a toll on you physically and mentally however so finding ways of coping with stress is an important part of staying healthy. A good place to start is with your diet as there are foods that can help you in dealing with stress and other foods that can make stress worse that you’ll want to avoid. A good rule of thumb to follow if you are under a lot of stress is to stay away from foods with lots of refined sugars or fried and alcohol. Instead, add foods to your diet that reduce cortisol being released into your system and that stimulate calming brain chemicals. Look for foods with magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, and antioxidants to help the body in dealing with stress.

Stress Busting Foods

Whole Grains – These help increase energy and give you tryptophan necessary for producing serotonin (the brain chemical that makes you feel calm and happy). Also gives you magnesium.

Spinach – A good source for potassium that helps muscles relax. This leafy green also has magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamins A, B and C for extra help against stress.

Maca Root – Adding maca root powder to foods and drinks will give you the iron and zinc needed to help in coping with stress and to help balance your mood. You will also get an extra energy boost and increased stamina.

Foods with B Vitamins – According to nutritional experts like Tara Geise, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Heart Association, B vitamins can help reduce the hormones the body releases when faced with stress, stabilize your mood, and help in producing serotonin. Foods such as asparagus, tuna, brown rice, beans, whole grains, fish, nuts, peanut butter and poultry are all good sources of B vitamins. B vitamins are produced in our bodies by the good bacteria found in our intestines. Boosting the colonies of these good bacteria by eating fermented foods with live active cultures or taking high quality probiotic supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus can help your body naturally support the body’s production of the B vitamins it needs to fight stress.

Almonds – Not only are a good source of zinc, but also have iron, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B2, vitamin E and unsaturated fats that are all helpful in lowering stress hormones.

Omega – 3 Foods – Omega -3 fatty acids can help increase your levels of serotonin to fight stress and lower levels of cortisol and adrenaline that increase stress. Good food sources for omega-3’s include fatty fish like salmon, herring, and tuna. Fish are high in omega-3 because they eat algae. You too can get your omega-3 and lots of other good nutrition from AFA bluegreen algae supplements.

Antioxidant Foods – When looking for foods with lots of antioxidants head for the produce aisle and grab lots of brightly colored fruits and veggies. Blueberries are particularly high in antioxidants and also give you the added stress relieving benefits from fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese. If you are on the run, throw in a tea bag of green tea to take with you as it is also high in antioxidants that help calm mind and body and has the amino acid theanine to help your concentration and help you relax. And if you feel you need a comforting treat, take along some dark chocolate as it not only has antioxidants, but also magnesium and theobromine which helps boost mood naturally. Dark chocolate has also been found to lower cortisol levels to help in reducing stress. Be sure to get chocolate that is 70% or more cocoa though without added sugar or milk. If you just can’t get enough antioxidants through your diet to help with stress reduction, you can get not only extra antioxidant protection from green tea, carnosine (an antioxidant amino acid we have in our bodies), and blueberry in this antioxidant algae supplement [RENEW], but also the extra nutritional boost AFA bluegreen algae provides.
We can’t completely get rid of stress in our lives, but we can help our bodies fight off the damage stress can do. Take a look at your stress level and your diet and see what changes you can make in adding and subtracting foods to support your body in dealing with stress.

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