How to Reduce Stress by Consuming Whole Foods and Bone Broth
Stress is unavoidable in life. While there is no way to eliminate stress completely, the medical community emphasizes the importance of managing stress for improved mental and physical health. Beyond the obvious discomfort experienced from mental stress when anxiety levels increase or depression makes it hard to get up in the morning, the physical impact wreaks havoc throughout the entire body and is commonly believed to correlate with shorter life spans.
The good news is that there are lifestyle changes that can be made to improve stress levels. Research shows a strong correlation between food and stress levels. Specifically, whole foods and beverages that contain complex carbs, vitamin C, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin E, glycine, theanine, and calcium have proven to reduce stress. Blood pressure, serotonin, and cortisol levels are indicators used to gauge stress levels. By far, an overproduction of cortisol signals high levels of stress and can have a negative impact on health over time. Fortunately, there are ways to manage stress through a well-planned diet.
Superfoods that Manage or Decrease Stress Levels
When your parents encouraged you to eat your greens, they knew what they were talking about. In CNN’s article, For Stress, Superfoods Are Better Than Foods; kale, broccoli, spinach and other leafy greens are touted as winners. The folate in leafy greens is applauded for its calming influence.
Entrees included on this list of superfoods makes it easy to plan satisfying meals. Turkey makes the list since it has been proven to increase serotonin in the body, which improves mood. Salmon is also high on this list. This fatty fish lessens the impact of adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones most often tied to the negative impact of stress on the body.
Side dishes and other whole food ingredients worth adding to your meal are the adaptogens - reishi mushroom, celery, and avocados. Some options that will supply the complex carbs necessary to enjoy an extra dose of “feel-good” serotonin are whole-grain slices of bread and pastas. These complex carbs are a better choice than simple carbs since they take longer to digest and keep you feeling full longer.
Popular Bone Broth Diet Examined
A diet that has recently received a lot of attention in healthy-diet circles as a “fountain of youth” solution to looking younger and having more energy is the Bone Broth Diet. Bone broth is packed full of collagen and is applauded for its anti-inflammatory properties. Believers in this new diet are quick to provide their positive results that include weight loss and a more youthful appearance from the skin-tightening benefits afforded from sticking to this diet that restricts sugar, soy, dairy, grain, gluten, alcohol and processed foods in favor of bone broth and whole foods. The glycine present in the broth lowers stress by promoting a more restful sleep and improving mental clarity while also boosting mood and memory.
Snacks don’t have to be a “bad thing.” Fresh, homemade guacamole offers a healthy choice for an appetizer or afternoon snack. This zesty dish is made from avocados which are known to reduce high blood pressure because of the high amount of potassium present. Interestingly, a half of an avocado contains more potassium than the average banana, which also ranks as a high-potassium food choice for those seeking potassium-rich foods.
Stress-Busting Seeds and Nuts
There is no denying that nuts are high in calories. But the health benefits are many. Almonds are of particular interest because of the vitamin E and B vitamins vital for immune system health. Vitamin B is believed to eliminate or minimize the ill effects felt during a depression or other stressful situations.
Pistachios are another popular choice. Eating some pistachios is believed to ease inflammation and also depress cholesterol levels, possibly preventing diabetes. Considering these benefits, these little green nuts should not be ignored. They are also praised for properties believed to protect you against the negative impact stress can have on your body.
Rich in magnesium, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseed are also items to add to your grocery list. They make a perfect snack food for anyone who is interested in controlling their stress levels. Magnesium eliminates or minimizes many of the worst symptoms of stress such as depression and irritability.
Dark Chocolate and Fruit
That craving you have for chocolate is well-founded. The antioxidants alone are capable of lowering your blood pressure. Some people report feelings of euphoria after indulging in this sweet snack.
People with a sweet tooth aren’t limited to dark chocolate if they are in “comfort food mode” looking for a stress-buster. Organic blueberries are also on the menu. These rich-colored berries are full of antioxidants and make almost all superfood lists. Antioxidants are mood boosters and offer a perfect substitute for other less favorable desserts.
Conclusion about Whole Foods
There is no doubt that you can reduce stress if you make a decision to eat better. While there are medications prescribed to manage excessive stress levels, whole foods offer another way to address this challenge. By controlling cortisol levels and blood pressure, many of the worst health byproducts of stress can be managed by making smart food choices. Increasing whole food choices rich in vitamins while eliminating processed foods, caffeine and alcohol will definitely improve your stress levels without the harmful side effects that are common with prescription drugs.