Five Ways to Manage Stress through Nutrition
This is the time of year that stress tends to creep up. Holiday expectations, year-end work deadlines, family dynamics. This is the season they all rear their ugly heads together. There isn’t always the option to escape and take time for yourself to destress in your favourite way. But you can set your body up for success by giving it the best fuel and nutrition to keep ahead of some of the effects of stress. When in doubt walk away from all the sweets and treats that elves seem to deliver every night to the office and hit up some green - either veg or head out for some exercise.
Avoid the sugar, choose green carbs
It seems everywhere you turn there are holiday treats - whether coffee shops offering intriguing ‘limited time’ liquid sugar bombs or the traditional family baking that lurks on coffee tables and dessert tables all month long. Run away - run away and look for invigorating healthy carbs from green leafy vegetables. As a vegetable category there isn’t one that is more nutrient dense. For vitamins to minerals to phytonutrients - think kale, collards, spinach, mesclun, mustard greens, etc. These vegetables contain vitamin K and other minerals, ensuring better bone development and the, formation of healthy cells at the same time, they increase physical stamina and energy greatly. Many are high in magnesium which helps regulate stress inducing cortisol. A cup of spinach a day will give you 40 percent of your daily requirements - toss it in your soup, added it to eggs or make a salad.
Focus on healthy fats
As appealing as all those tiny appetizers are, they are not going to help beat your stress. Look away from the deep fried foods and look for those with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Avocados have B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety and stress may be linked to a B vitamin deficiency. Bonus: they're also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. Almonds are rich in vitamins B2 and E. Both of these nutrients help bolster the immune system during times of stress. All you need is a quarter cup of almonds each day to do the trick.