Superfoods are nutrient dense foods that provide nutrients needed to combat stress and improve overall health.
Stress negatively impacts all areas of your life and is one of the leading causes of illness. Studies have shown stressed individuals are prone to cardiovascular issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol. It causes an increased level of cortisol in the body, which can cause fat to be deposited in the abdominal area. Finally, stress has been shown to increase the risk of diabetes, gastrointestinal troubles, accelerated aging, migraines, and even premature death.
As you can see, stress is dangerous, and you must find ways to lower your stress levels. Stress reduction techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and guided imagery, along with nutritional supplements and healthy eating can lower the risk of developing these diseases.
Vitamin supplementation ensures your body is receiving the nutrients it needs to function properly. There is a host of vitamin companies out there, so how do you know which vitamin and mineral supplement to choose? Gaia Herbs supplements are the perfect choice for those looking for a vitamin and mineral supplement that offers high therapeutic levels of ingredients to help combat stress.
Another way to improve health is to eat a variety of superfoods. Superfoods are nutrient dense foods that provide the body with the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Furthermore, when the body is properly nourished it guards against disease, and your overall health and well-being are improved. Let’s take a look at the top superfoods to include in your diet to decrease your stress levels and improve your health.
Many superfoods contain the amino acid called glutathione, which assists in the body’s natural ability to detoxify itself. When the body is properly detoxified, the negative effects of stress are reduced and wellness is increased.
Avocado is a delicious fruit that offers a number of health benefits. They provide the body with essential B vitamins, healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, and potassium. Avocados offer a number of health benefits. They nourish the brain cells and nerves, improve heart health, and minimize damage to the eyes. One avocado provides 50 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, which is essential for optimal bone health. Finally, avocados provide antioxidant protection, antimicrobial action, and natural detoxification.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables contain a plethora of nutrients that are good for the body, including folate. Folate is a B vitamin that the body needs in order to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasurable emotional responses. Green leafy veggies have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve mental acuity, aid in weight loss, and reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Oats are nutritious and contain a variety of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Oats are also high in fiber and contain protein to improve your digestive system and mood. The carbohydrates found in oats help the brain make serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter used to control mood, appetite, sleep, and memory. Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, have yourself a bowl of piping hot oatmeal to satiate your hunger and provide your body with some of the nutrients it needs.
Blueberries are a wonderful superfood to turn to when stress levels increase. This delicious fruit contains antioxidants, manganese, and vitamins C and E to help combat stress. Blueberries reduce oxidative damage to your DNA, lowers blood pressure, and improves brain function. Blueberries also improve cellular signaling, which reduces mental aging and improves stress levels.
Dark chocolate not only tastes great but also helps reduce stress hormone levels in the body. This magnesium-packed sweet helps combat depression, irritability and boosts the mood. Many people are surprised to learn that dark chocolate is loaded with minerals and soluble fiber; both of which improve your overall health. It also contains a plethora of antioxidants, which removes free radicals from the body, reduces inflammation, and improves cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain.
If you are suffering from stress, reach for a handful of nuts. Almonds are the perfect stress-busting superfood. They contain zinc, selenium, and vitamin E to help alleviate stress. Nuts also contain omega 3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation, nourish the brain, and regulates the production and function of brain chemicals. Omega 3 fatty acids also ensure neural synapses in the brain fire properly and reduce the effects of stress on the central nervous system.
Did you know that cruciferous vegetables help fight disease and remove oxidative stress from the body? Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family and contain phytochemicals to help banish stress. Cruciferous vegetables have been linked to improved brain health and mood regulation. Bok choy, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower should be enjoyed often to help improve your health.
Salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have been proven to reduce inflammation and stress in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHEA, help reduce the level of cytokines throughout the body. Cytokines are molecules used by the cells to communicate with one another. They help regulate the inflammatory response, which is often associated with stress.
Foods to avoid when you are stressed
In addition to incorporating superfoods into your diet, there are certain foods that should be avoided when you are under a great deal of emotional and physical stress. When you are stressed, you often reach for comfort foods like French fries, macaroni and cheese, ice cream, and other carb rich foods. Comfort foods cause the body to release endorphins which make you feel good; however, the feeling soon wears off and you are at risk of becoming even more stressed.
Foods that are high in sugar and carbs can cause your blood sugar to spike. When your blood glucose levels increase, it can put a strain on the body and cause emotional stress. When you are craving sweets, opt for a delicious and nutritious fruit like those discussed above.
Many people reach for a cup of coffee, a soda, or an energy drink to give them the energy needed to deal with a stressful situation. Unfortunately, excess caffeine can trigger your stress response, making it difficult to get to sleep and rest. Finally, the sugar and carbs found in these caffeinated beverages often cause increased inflammation throughout the body as well as oxidative stress.
Stress and negative emotions can impact your overall health. If your stress levels become too great to manage, it is time to seek out the assistance of a health professional. Your doctor will work with you and how to lower your stress levels, which foods you should eat, and the stress relief techniques you should incorporate into your day to day life.
Finally, stress can be caused by trying to do too much and not leaving any time in their schedule for self-help. Many people find it difficult to say no and soon become overbooked, overtaxed, and overwhelmed. Learning how to say no is a major step when it comes to reducing your stress levels. It can take time to learn how important self care is; however, once you realize that you and your health are important, it will become easier to say no to extra activities.
There are many ways to combat stress in your life. Begin by choosing a high quality supplement designed to reduce the effects of stress on the body. Then, eat a diet rich in superfoods that help supply the body with the nutrients it requires. Take back control of your life and protect your body from stress.