Getting the right nourishment during times of stress is something we are all keen to do, but may not know which foods to choose. We reached out to Rebecca who is a Holistic Health Coach & Culinary Nutrition Expert, as well as the founder of Nourish by Rebecca, for her nourishment tips in times of stress.
NOURISHMENT TIPS IN TIMES OF STRESS
We have all experienced stress at some time in our lives and particularly right now, many of us may be under more stress than normal. Whilst a little stress can be ok for us, over long-term it can impact our overall health. There can be many causes of stress from work, world events, relationships, or the daily commute to name a few.
When we become stressed our body will switch to fight or flight mode and responds by having our adrenal glands produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Being in this fight or flight mode helps the body with any physical challenges which is super useful if we were to be chased by a big bear but not whilst we are sat in front of our laptop. However, nowadays, our body tends to stick in fight or flight mode and doesn’t switch back to rest and digest mode which doesn’t give the body a chance to recover.
Whilst food alone cannot remove the source of stress, eating a healthy balanced diet can certainly help with physiological changes. For optimal health it is best to enjoy a balanced diet of whole foods and to eat the rainbow with lots of colourful fruits and vegetables. If you struggle with getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet – check out this blog post on my website.
NUTRIENTS TO SUPPORT OUR ADRENAL GLANDS
As well as aiming to eat a balanced diet, there are certain nutrients that can help support the adrenal glands (where the stress hormones come from) as these can become overworked and fatigued due to us being in a constant stressed state.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is stored in the adrenal glands and is needed to make cortisol. When our stress response kicks in our body utilises our supply of vitamin C and as we can’t make vitamin C it is best to include foods rich in this nutrient into our diet.
Some foods that contain vitamin C are –
- Citrus fruits
Magnesium – magnesium is involved in many chemical reactions in our body, one of which is that it can help us feel relaxed. In times of stress we can often be depleted of this mineral.
Foods containing magnesium are –
- Green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale)
- Almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts
- Dark chocolate
B Vitamins – these vitamins help support a healthy nervous system as well as helping support the adrenal glands.
Examples of foods containing B vitamins –
- Brown rice
- Nuts & seeds
- Beans, legumes & peas
RASPBERRY AND OAT SMOOTHIE
This raspberry and oat smoothie recipe is great as a snack or a light breakfast and is a source of B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin C.
Time to Make: 5 minutes
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 small ripe banana
- 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
- 2 Tbsp. oats
- 1 cup (or handful) of baby spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
How To Make
- Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy.
In addition to eating a whole foods diet there are other ways that can help us alleviate stress, such as –
- Try to get some fresh air daily, ideally in a green space
- Meditate and/or deep breathing
- Talk to someone
- An activity that helps you relax – having a bath, reading a book, colouring in
Stress, unfortunately, is an unavoidable part of life, however, with eating a vibrant, balanced diet and having some strategies to help, it can make your stress more manageable.
Guest post written by Rebecca Price
Rebecca is a Holistic Health Coach & Culinary Nutrition Expert and founder of Nourish by Rebecca. In her work as a health coach, Rebecca supports tired and overwhelmed women who want to learn how to nourish themselves, have more energy and be inspired by life again.
In addition to health coaching, Rebecca is a recipe developer and loves sharing her recipes on her website.
Find out more www.nourishbyrebecca.com or follow on Instagram and Facebook @nourishbyrebecca
WHICH FOODS DO YOU REACH FOR DURING TIMES OF STRESS?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!