Stress Relieving Super foods
Diet is – surprisingly – one of a handful of effect ways to help deal with stress and limit the effect of stress on your body. We take a look at the effects of stress on your body, and the top Superfoods that can help you minimise the negative effects of stress.
Just thinking about stress is enough to get your heart racing. Stress is something we deal with in our everyday lives. Stress can have a positive effect in times of need – fight or flight response, but chronic ongoing stress on the other hand, can have detrimental effects to our health.
These days our body is exposed to stressful situations on a different level. Stress can be physical, environmental or emotional and our busy lives seem to be full of it, without the chance of recovery. When our body is under stress our nutritional requirements are significantly increased. A nourishing diet can be the first line of support for our body to help counteract the detrimental effects of stress.
How does stress affect our body?
Skin – dry skin, eczema, hives, acne
Heart – increased blood pressure, increased heart attack risk
Digestion – indigestion, reflux, ulcers, diarrhoea
Muscles and Joints- headaches, pains, inflammation
Mind – insomnia, depression, anxiety, anger and fatigue
This is just a brief overview. Sounds scary huh? Enough reasons to try to manage stress and nurture our body with the right foods to combat its negative effects? I think so!
Superfoods to the rescue
Superfoods contain concentrated levels of nutrients and help the body function at its optimal level to fight the effects of stress.
These tiny fruits may look small but are packed full of antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight damaged caused by environmental stressors. Acai, Blueberries, Goji berries and even pomegranate are a good source of vitamins A, B-Complex vitamins, E and C that help repair and protect cells, making them great during times of stress. These berries are a great additional to your smoothie or breakfast everyday.
This blue green algae is classed as a superfood due to its high nutrient content – it’s natures multivitamin. The antioxidants, iron, magnesium and B vitamins in this superfood help with energy production and help protect the body against stress.
My favourite way to have this superfood is in a juice. You can also use it in salad dressings, shakes or sprinkled on your cereal.
Reaching for chocolate in times of stress can be substituted with Cacao, a great alternative without the sugar and fat of normal chocolate and full of nutrients that have stress relieving qualities. Cacao is packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals that benefit physical and mental health. Stress can deplete magnesium in the body and Cacao is a good source of magnesium, in fact it has about 3 times more magnesium than a cup of spinach. It also contains nutrients that have a stimulating effect on the nervous system and contains mood elevators. Cacao has been shown to regulate blood pressure, very handy in times of stress.
Cacao can be used in a hot chocolate, smoothies, in baking and in your breakfast cereal.
4. Bioglan Maca
Maca is a medicinal root from South America that has traditionally been used for strength and endurance. Our adrenal glands are responsible for regulating our response to stress. This medicinal root has adaptogenic qualities, in other words, it supports the adrenal glands in times of stress and helps with energy production. Maca helps to lower cortisol levels which will help you get a good night’s sleep. To top this off, Maca is full of vitamins and minerals that help to nourish our body for general health and well being.
Maca powder can be added to your juices, smoothies or baking.