April is Stress Awareness Month and did you know, certain foods can affect your energy, and how you feel? And food can powerfully affect stress, but it can also help us manage it too! Certified Health Coach, Megan Brown with No Rules Nourishment joined us today to share three tips to
help relieve stress and make better choices with what we put into our bodies.
- Grounding Foods (i.e. potatoes, sweet potatoes, squashes)
- foods grown in the ground have a grounding energy
- typical comfort foods – think stews with potatoes, carrots, etc.; baked potato
- go for these foods when you’re feeling overwhelmed and want to feel comforted, grounded.
- Calming Teas (chamomile, peppermint)
- chamomile – calming, relieves stress, helps with sleep
- peppermint – cooling, relaxing
- Magnesium-Rich Foods (dark leafy greens, salmon, dark chocolate)
- stress depletes nutrients, particularly Magnesium
- Magnesium is relaxing – it’s a muscle relaxer. So when depleted we can become tense, tight (i.e. opposite of relaxed).
- Magnesium is rich in leafy greens, salmon, and dark chocolate.
The way plants get minerals is through the soil. So the amount of a mineral a plant can take up is dependent on how much is in the soil. In more recent decades, mineral levels in soil have significantly dropped due to modern farming practices that lead to soil depletion. Our soil is over-farmed and not given adequate time and means to replenish. That means our food is not nutritionally the same as it was years ago. For example, if you compared the nutrient levels of collard greens today compared to the same in 1975 they’d have 85% less magnesium. Another example, a stalk of broccoli that has 50% less calcium.
So today you have people who are getting fewer nutrients from food, plus higher nutrient demand (i.e. stress, particularly for magnesium) which is equaling nutrient insufficiency for a large majority.”Certified Health Coach, Megan Brown
- Vitamin C: Consuming foods high in vitamin C, such as oranges and other citrus fruits, can reduce stress and boost the immune system. Intake of this vitamin can help lower the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and blood pressure during high-anxiety situations.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, can induce the brain to increase serotonin production and stabilizing blood pressure as a way to reduce stress.
- Magnesium: Obtaining an adequate amount of magnesium is essential for avoiding headaches and fatigue. Oral magnesium can also successfully relieve premenstrual mood changes. Additionally, increased magnesium intake has been found to improve sleep quality in older adults. Healthy sources of magnesium include spinach or other leafy greens, salmon, and soybeans.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna) and nuts and seeds (such as flaxseeds, pistachios, walnuts, and almonds) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce surges of stress hormones and also confer protection against heart disease, depression, and premenstrual syndrome.
What are some foods and things that can exacerbate stress and anxiety?
- coffee/caffeine —> drives cortisol response
- alcohol —> anxiety loop
- sleep —> required to reset cortisol (7-9 hrs)
- sugar – that “spacey” feeling
No Rules Nourishment helps people who are struggling with their health get back to feeling like themselves again. Through integrative and functional health coaching services and holistic health, nutrition, and cooking courses online, Certified Health Coach Megan Brown helps her clients get to the root of health challenges and design sustainable routines so they can start creating lasting health, without following a “diet” or a bunch of rules.
If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety, digestive issues, or other health challenges, Megan can help you get to the root of what may be going on in your unique body and find the right healthy routine that works just for you.