We’ve all been there; reaching for the sweets or chips cabinet when we are feeling particularly stressed out. While it’s no secret that our bodies need food to survive, fueling our bodies with the right foods can have a direct impact on reducing stress.
The best part? Not only are these foods good for your physical and mental health, but they also taste delicious!
How Stress Hormones & Food are Related
As soon as your body is aware of a potential stressor, your brain’s hypothalamus sends an alarm throughout your body. This alarm results in increased adrenaline, an increased heart rate, and higher blood pressure.
Another noteworthy hormone that helps to balance out your stress is cortisol. This is your “flight or fight” response hormone that kicks in during stressful situations. If your body is flooded with cortisol and/or adrenaline, it can be tiring for your body, requiring some extra rest to recover.
Added vitamins and minerals can help your body recover from these stressful situations even faster; vitamins B and C in addition to selenium and magnesium can help you feel like yourself again.
Here are some ingredients to incorporate into your eating habits to help your body recover from stressful situations faster.
Fueling your gut with healthy probiotics can directly impact your brain. There is a pathway that connects your gut to your brain, as these two areas communicate with one another regularly.
Good gut bacteria can help enhance this connection and work to reduce stress. Examples of probiotic-rich foods include:
You can also take a probiotic supplement to keep your gut health in check.
Did you know that a folate deficiency is linked to depression? There have been studies that reveal the relationship between folate and depression. Those with depression were linked to having a lower dietary intake of folate than those in the study who were not depressed.
Folate is also important to include in your diet if you are currently pregnant or planning to get pregnant soon. Sources of folate include broccoli, leafy greens, and organ meats.
We know your mind may automatically think of your post-Thanksgiving meal slump, however, tryptophan also acts as a precursor to producing serotonin in your brain. You can find this ingredient not only in turkey, but also in 2 percent milk, whole milk, or tuna. Bring on the happy vibes!
We encourage you to begin incorporating the above ingredients into your diet to see if they will positively impact your mental health. As always, if you need more guidance or hands-on assistance, our team at River Ridge is happy to help! Give us a call today at 952-894-7722.