With September now well underway, many of us are getting back into our routines of work or school. With an increasingly busy schedule, we can often feel the stress set in sooner rather than later. Protect yourself from burnout now with these 10 stress-busting foods!
Before we dive in, if you want to know if your adrenals are fatigued, what recipes might help combat stress, and some tips and tools from Naturopathic Doctors and Janet Jacks, check out our guide on How to Conquer Stress & Adrenal Fatigue Naturally!
You already know you should eat your vegetables, but did you know that they can actually help battle stress? Dark leafy greens are loaded with magnesium – a mineral that helps relax tension and lower blood pressure. Plants get their magnesium from the soil, but common farming practices have depleted the earth of its minerals. Reach for organic spinach, kale and Swiss chard for greens grown in the richest soils, and without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Or, try a greens supplement like Genuine Health Greens+ for an easy way to get your greens.
Vitamin C is a powerhouse vitamin for fighting stress. It supports the adrenal glands and reduces cortisol. Oranges are a great source, but kiwis actually have twice the vitamin C! Since the body does not make its own vitamin C, these tasty, tangy little fruits can help you get the nourishment you need during stressful times.
Steel Cut Oats
When stressed, your first instinct might be to reach for a sugary snack. Surely, this will provide you with a quick boost of energy. But soon enough that sugar high will come crashing down, and you will feel worse off than before you indulged. The key to sustained energy is sustained-release carbohydrates. Like other whole grains, oatmeal is a complex carb loaded with fibre to help slowly release sugar into the bloodstream. This keeps your body and brain nourished over the long term, unlike sugar. As a bonus, carbohydrates release serotonin – your happy hormone. What better way to combat a stressful situation? For a wonderfully filling breakfast, soak steel cut oats overnight and cook in the morning. Add some chopped apple and cinnamon.
Health nuts rave about the benefits of raw almonds. A great source of B vitamins, this healthy snack replenishes the nutrients lost when under stress. A small handful a day can go a long way towards preventing burnout from work or family life. They also contain heart healthy fats, vitamin E and magnesium to keep the cardiovascular system strong. Refuel your body with natural almond butter on sprouted grain bread, crackers, or use as a dip for apple slices!
As a child, my favourite part of Hallowe’en was never carving the jack-o-lantern, but oven-roasting the yummy seeds afterwards. Maybe it was because pumpkin seeds actually do make you feel good! They provide the brain with tryptophan, an amino acid that gets converted into serotonin – your happy hormone. Add some to trail mix for a great snack at work, or sprinkle on your salad at lunch. We even have a pumpkin seed butter by Nuts to You that makes a great nut-free spread!
If there was only one food I could have on a desert island, it would be kefir! This superfood provides probiotics, the beneficial bacteria your digestive tract needs to properly break down and assimilate nutrients. We usually succumb to illness when we’re stressed, and kefir protects against any harmful incoming bacteria. This keeps the immune system strong, and keeps us healthy to carry on our busy lives.
When many of us get bogged down by work, we reach for coffee or black tea to give us a mental boost. Too much caffeine, however, stresses the body even more and may cause us to burnout. As an alternative, try an herbal tea. Holy Basil tea is wonderfully calming and balancing. Lemon balm tea is great for anxiety and mood. Hibiscus tea is packed with vitamin C, as well as flavonoids – compounds that help lower blood pressure. Take some time out of your busy day to relax and enjoy a revitalizing cup.
Avocadoes are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and potassium, which are great for lowering blood pressure. The fat and fibre content (12g fibre for one avocado!) is excellent at balancing blood sugar and keeping energy up all day long! Guacamole anyone? Or, try avocado oil—a great dressing for roasted veggies!
The latest research has found that the omega-3 fats in fish, specifically EPA, can dramatically improve mood and mental focus. Studies are showing fish oils help with depression, bipolar disorder and even ADHD. If stress is getting you down, choose wild-caught fish varieties like Raincoast, as these contain more omega-3s than farmed fish.
Many people shy away from red meat, but organic beef is loaded with nutrients! Zinc boosts immunity, magnesium and B vitamins combat stress, and protein keeps energy levels up and blood sugar balanced throughout the day. Choosing organic beef ensures no hormones or antibiotics were used, and more of these stress-busting nutrients will be present! You really are what you eat, and food can make a dramatic impact on your overall wellbeing. Begin with a good foundation in the kitchen – your body will thank you for it! For more information on How to Conquer Stress & Adrenal Fatigue naturally, check out our guide with recipes, tips and tools from Janet Jacks, 5 Ways to Relax in Minutes, a quiz for adrenal fatigue, and more!
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