Two Top Stress Reducing Nutrients You Need to Eat
Even if you’re a person who actively works against stress in your personal and professional life, there can be cycles that run you ragged.
A crashed server, a new boss, relationship problems, illness, financial distress, or any host of issues can derail you (temporarily or long-term) and leave you feeling off-balance, even helpless.
There are several natural options to limit the upheaval in your mental and emotional states. The main one I want to focus on is your diet.
Start with Foods to Reduce Stress
Over the past decade, many in the scientific community have finally moved toward nutritional options to improve mood. A diet out of balance could make you more susceptible to temporary or chronic stressors in your life while a diet in balance can help you cope.
Reducing stress with food is possible.
Too much sugar, unhealthy fats, refined carbs, excessive alcohol (more than one serving per day), and over-processed foods not only provide nothing to your body nutritionally, they can strip your critical internal systems of what they need to function at peak. Considered “comfort” foods, these pro-inflammatory choices make things much worse.
When you don’t provide adequate “fuel” to keep your engines running, it can affect everything from digestion to brain cognition to hormone balance. Inflammation rages out of control, which compromises your overall immunity.
If you starve your body of what it requires…you’re going to feel it (and it won’t be ignored forever). Adding stressful circumstances or periods of time to an already lopsided equation and you’re going to feel those nutritional imbalances even faster.A diet out of balance could make you more susceptible to temporary or chronic stressors in life.Click To Tweet
Under Stress – Two Critical Nutrients to Ramp Up
There are two nutrients that stand above the rest when it comes to dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and boosting overall mood. The majority of foods to reduce stress usually have one or both of these important compounds.
As one of the B vitamins, folate is a water-soluble vitamin that pretty much exploded into public recognition with several groundbreaking studies. The synthetic version is known as folic acid while that occurring naturally in foods is referred to as folate.
Your body doesn’t make folate so you must get it through your diet.
Bioavailability of folate from food (how effectively your body absorbs it) can be as high as 98% while folic acid from supplements and fortified foods is estimated to have an 80% bioavailability.
Deficiency in this essential vitamin has been linked with a much higher risk of poor immune function, infection, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal dysfunction, anemia, mood swings, heart conditions, cancer, and serious developmental problems during gestation and early childhood.
If you have liver or kidney problems, diabetes, are a heavy drinker, or are pregnant or nursing, making sure you get enough folate is critical to your health (or that of your child).
- Since 1998, a higher emphasis by the scientific and medical communities regarding folate during pregnancy has resulted in a 30% decrease in birth defects.
- The biggest purpose of folate is in the production of DNA, red blood cells, and other genetic material. Without it, your cells are unable to divide properly.
- Your central nervous system relies on folate for neurotransmitter function as well as production of serotonin and dopamine.
- It is also proven to keep dangerous homocysteine levels in balance. Too much homocysteine increases your risk of death by stroke. Folate is also helpful in controlling blood pressure and improving overall circulation.
- Research in the fields of mental disorders, depression, and anxiety in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are seeing incredible progress using folate.
Top 10 Stress-Reducing Food Sources of Folate
- Turnip greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Beans (pinto, chick, black, navy, kidney)
Other good sources are peas, peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes but the foods listed in the top ten list provide more of the folate you require per serving.
Known throughout the alternative and holistic health worlds as the “mother of all antioxidants,” glutathione gets very little fanfare. Very strange since there are currently 100,000 scientific medical studies devoted to (or utilizing) this substance.
Your body manufactures glutathione and it’s the key to your ultimate health and happiness.
Unfortunately, the modern diet, environment, and lifestyle habits deplete your supplies of this critical molecule faster than you can make it – and that’s leaving a lot of us deficient.
When you don’t have enough in your body, you’re susceptible to higher risks of cellular deterioration, infection, toxic build up, and faster aging.
Glutathione contains several sulfuric compounds that act as sticky cleaners inside you, mopping up toxins you breathe, eat, drink, and touch. It works with several enzymatic functions to keep you strong.
- The most crucial antioxidant does what antioxidants do best – neutralizes free radicals caused by oxidation.
- Keeps inflammation in check.
- Natural detoxification molecule that helps fight the aging process, disease, and neurodegenerative decline.
Top 10 Stress-Reducing Food Sources to Raise Glutathione
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Bioactive whey protein
- Kale and cabbage
- Organic beef liver
- Mustard and collard greens
Eating foods rich in vitamins C, E, B complex (includes folate), and selenium are also excellent ways to get more of this critical antioxidant in your diet.
Reducing stress with food, exercise, meditation, sleep, and socialization are all natural ways to fight what is the unspoken epidemic of our modern world.
Dealing with the ups and downs of a stressful day, week, month, or year is going to take its toll in your mind, body, and spirit. Do everything to guard your physical and emotional health until you find your calm again.