Stress is produced when life events, whether physical or psychological, are more significant than the ability to cope. Thankfully, there is a direct link between nutrition and stress reduction. Therefore, it is within your best interest to consume as many foods that reduce stress hormones as you can.
Psychological stress may be for positive reasons (a new job) or negative (the loss of a job). In all stress cases, the repercussions on the body are very similar. While stress can affect all of the organs and functions of the body, its effects tend to be concentrated on:
- The heart and the cardiovascular system, which are obliged to work harder.
- The immune system, which is weakened in favor of other bodily functions. This reduces resistance to infections, and probably to cancer as well, and other diseases.
There are plenty of stress-relieving foods that can help the body adapt to stress, while others weaken it.
Top Foods That Reduce Stress
- PROTEINS: Physical stress (intense physical activity, very hot climates, wounds, etc.) increases the need for proteins.
- CARBOHYDRATES: Carbs are necessary to replace the greater need for energy that stress causes, whether from physical or psychological causes.
- WALNUT: Walnuts provide energy to the heart and precious nutrients to the nervous system, making them one of the best foods that calm nerves. Walnuts are also rich in the essential fatty acids directly involved in the metabolism of neurons, vitamin B6, lecithin, and phosphorous. Walnuts are an excellent addition to any diet for anxiety and depression because a handful a day with breakfast is highly beneficial.
- ALMOND: Almonds strengthen the nerves and invigorate the muscles. Its balanced calcium, magnesium, and potassium content promote balance in the nervous system. Additionally, almonds are rich in proteins and fats of great nutritional value, making them one of the best foods to beat stress, depression, and mental or physical fatigue.
- PINE NUT: Pine nuts are rich in vitamin B1 and essential fatty acids necessary for the nervous system’s proper function.
- CHICKPEA: Chickpeas is an excellent food for stress management because it provides proteins, carbohydrates, and B group vitamins in exceptionally well-balanced proportions. These are all nutrients that the body demands in dealing with stress. Those suffering from vitamin B deficiency, which causes irritability, nervousness, and lack of concentration, can benefit immensely from chickpeas. Also, they’re among the highest recommended foods to reduce stress and depression.
- WHEAT GERM: This is an excellent tonic for the nervous system because of its rich content of proteins, unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals. Wheat germ is highly recommended amongst the foods that fight stress because of its high vitamin B content.
- B VITAMINS: In addition to their contribution to the nervous system’s proper function, these are necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production.
- VITAMIN C: The need for this vitamin increases with any stress. Additionally, this vitamin stimulates the immune system, which is very helpful for stress relief.
Foods That Cause Stress
- STIMULANT BEVERAGES: These beverages excite the nervous system but are non-nutritive. Although they may provide some temporary relief, their regular use weakens the nerves, produces exhaustion, and reduces the ability to adapt to stress.
- ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: Alcohol diminishes and, in some cases, destroys the body’s capacity to deal with stress.
- WHITE SUGAR: Sugar and refined products made from it (sweets, pastries, ice cream, etc.) are lacking in essential nutrients needed in cases of stress, such as vitamins B and E. Additionally, they reduce the immune system’s capacity, precisely the opposite of that which is needed in cases of stress. White sugar is on the top of the list of foods that cause stress.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005. 35, 68, 50, 92, 310. Print.[foods that reduce stress]