Seven Foods To Help You Combat Stress

Deadlines and long hours adding to your stress? Forgetting to eat, eating in a rush or eating the wrong foods can all add to stress in your body also. Here are 7 foods that can help support your body’s resilience to stress.

  1. Green leafy vegetables

Vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, and broccoli are rich in folate, which is used by the body to produce neurotransmitters that help with mood and concentration.

  1. Oily fish

Fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel are high in the useable form of omega-3 fats, that support the brain’s messaging function, and can help to temper the response of the stress hormone, cortisol. These fats must be included in the diet as they cannot be made in the body.

  1. Nuts

Nuts contain many nutrients, including B vitamins, which help maintain the nervous system. For example, vitamin B6 is depleted during times of high or chronic stress. Further, two servings of pistachios a day were shown to reduce blood vessel constriction during stress, and hence may help to reduce blood pressure levels.

  1. Vitamin C-rich foods

Fruits and vegetables like oranges, kiwifruit and peppers, are rich in vitamin C, which can help to ease stress levels, as the adrenal glands which produce stress hormones need vitamin C to function effectively.

  1. Seeds

Seeds contain magnesium, which can help to increase a neurotransmitter, called GABA, that helps relaxation. Magnesium also supports the body’s stress response, and low levels have been associated with heightened stress and anxiety.

  1. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate, with 70% or more cocoa solids, contain plant chemicals, which may help to lower stress hormones. Eating this in moderation (up to 40g per day) can also feel like an indulgence that boosts emotional well-being, further helping to reduce stress.

  1. Gut supporting foods

The gut and brain are connected by a two-way communication channel via the nervous system. Hence, poor gut health and imbalanced gut bacteria can contribute to feelings of anxiety or heightened stress. Foods rich in fibre such as flaxseeds, beans, lentils, berries and green vegetables, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi, can support both gut health and the gut bacteria and therefore play a role in lowering stress.

Why not book a consultation for a general review of your nutrition with Veronica Lim who is partnered with PTF as our nutritionist.

Email LimeSt.FitnessCentre@willistowerswatson.com to book.