Stress is a natural part of life. It is our body's response to challenges and demands. However, when stress becomes chronic, it can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. But don't worry! There are ways to counterbalance the impact of stress on our body, and one of them is through diet.
When we experience stress, our body triggers its fight-or-flight response. This causes a surge of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare our body to respond to a perceived threat. However, when stress becomes chronic, these hormones can cause negative health effects on our mood, immune system, digestive system, and cardiovascular health.
But here's the good news: a healthy diet can help shore up our immune system and lower blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet that can help reduce stress. This diet includes foods such as fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Imagine sitting down to a delicious meal of grilled salmon with a side of roasted vegetables and quinoa. Not only will you be nourishing your body with healthy foods, but you'll also be helping to reduce your stress levels.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important nutrient for reducing stress. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation in our body. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include anchovies, avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, mackerel, olive oil, oysters, salmon, sardines, and walnuts to name a few. So why not try adding some avocado to your salad or snacking on some walnuts? Not only will you be enjoying some tasty foods but you'll also be helping to reduce your stress levels.
Magnesium is another important nutrient for reducing stress. This mineral is hugely beneficial when it comes to reducing inflammation in our body. It also helps with the metabolism of cortisol and relaxing the body and mind. So go ahead and enjoy that square of dark chocolate (75% dark or more) - not only will it satisfy your sweet tooth but it will also be helping to reduce your stress levels.
Chronic stress can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. However, by making healthy dietary choices we can help counterbalance the impact of stress on our body. Healthy eating won’t only help with helping your body manage stress but also help you live a long healthy life and assist in the prevention of chronic disease.