(Natural News) Reducing or managing stress is essential for maintaining your overall health. It promotes longevity, allows you to be more productive and boosts general mood. If you let your stress get the better of you, your mental health will suffer. You will also increase your risk of adverse health conditions, ranging from unwanted weight gain to Type 2 diabetes. Now, experts suggest that the key to managing stress and keeping your mood in check lies in the food that you eat.
Healthy food for a healthy mind
In a global nutraceutical event in Geneve, David Foreman, founder of the supplements education service Herbal Pharmacist, spoke about stress and how supplement firms should start looking toward nourishing the neurons to reduce stress levels rather than put all their focus on “selling another bottle.” This allows these companies to tap into a massive market that hasn’t been explored as much.
“Everyone has some sort of stress. If you don’t have stress, then I say you don’t have a pulse…And mental health is probably the biggest area you can go into in terms of health food,” said Foreman. “Food plays an important role in our health and how we adapt, and I’m a huge advocate of getting what we can out of our daily diet.”
Foreman pointed out that stress originated in the brain and that the best way to reduce the signs of stress is to consume foods and supplements that nourish the adrenal system, which is responsible for producing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
When a person is stressed, the brain goes through physical and chemical changes that affect its overall function. High-stress situations can cause certain chemicals in the body to surge, triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response to deal with the cause of stress. If left unchecked, this can lead to several health issues involving the different systems in the body, including the nervous system, immune system and even the respiratory system. Elevated levels of cortisol, a primary stress hormone, for extended periods can lead to adverse physiological effects like increased blood pressure, altered immune responses and decreased sex drive. This, according to Foreman, means that stress turns people into “ticking time bombs” for other diseases.
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The retired pharmacist believes that magnesium and Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate (PLP) or P5P are two of the best supplements to take to decrease stress. He also recommends certain ingredients that have brain-boosting benefits like chamomile and omega-3. (Related: Why you need magnesium if you’re constantly stressed or anxious.)
In conclusion, Foreman emphasized his point on focusing on the nourishment of the brain rather than making a sale.
“If we nourish the adrenal system and allow our bodies to create the right amount of neuro-transmitters for our own bodies, these ingredients might not work short term, but they will in the long term,” he added.
Foreman also recommended adding more stress-free foods to your diet that contain the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed to manage your stress. Here are a few foods you should consider adding to your diet:
- Dark chocolate. According to a study published in the Journal of Proteome Research, these dark delights are rich in antioxidants, which can help manage stress by lowering the number of stress hormones in the body. However, you need to confirm that the chocolate bar doesn’t contain an unnecessary amount of sugar.
- Avocados. As Foreman suggested, healthy fats like omega-3 are helpful for managing stress. Avocados are one of the fattiest fruits around, containing plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fatty fish. Another forerunner in the world of omega-3-rich foods, fatty fish like salmon and tuna are not only heart-healthy, but also brain-healthy. The Harvard Health Blog states that omega-3s can help ease depression as well because the nutrients interact easily with mood-related molecules.
Eat your way to a healthy mind by filling your diet with stress-relieving foods and taking the necessary supplements. Read more about managing stress the natural way at MindBodyScience.news.