Last few months have been very stressful, lots of work with lots of changes all at once, family disagreements, friends far away….
All these have made me feel unmotivated, sad and weak. My energy levels drop under minimum, my immune system weakens and my digestive health is a disaster making me feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
When I feel these way, I start craving sugary or starchy foods that are no good for my health. Although I know my body, I many times tend to choose cake over fruit, so an important way to avoid these and not getting out of control is to read the symptoms in advance so you can make a plan to go though those stressful times successfully.
That plan for me is getting a good supply of the right wholefoods, which will nourish me to support my adrenals and to stabilise my mood and energy levels. I have been taking lots of the following foods in the last couple of weeks and I already feel the difference, more calm and relax!!
- Cashews, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, help us producing serotonin, the responsable to make us feel great. Serotonin is crucial for the proper development of the enteric nervous system. You can enjoy them in their own or add them to smoothies, salads or as a topping for your favourite soup.
- Cocoa, yeeees please!! Surprisingly some studies have referred to as the new anti-anxiety solution. They proved who drinks a rich chocolate drink left calmer than those who didn’t. But don’t misinterpret, by cocoa they don’t mean those chocolate bars you find in the supermarkets, go for raw cocoa powder or nibs instead.
- Protein rich foods, it helps us to build and restore muscle, but it also cope with high stress levels reducing mood swings and improving sleep. Always go for clean proteins as grass feed meat, free range eggs, quinoa, cultured yogurt o a good quality tempeh. Salmon is particularly good, it’s high in omega-3 which help to fight the inflammation caused by stress, also another brain-booster in salmon is vitamin B12, which supports the nervous system.
- Fermented foods, last couple of weeks I have been taking kefir every morning which has helped me balance my gut flora. When our gut flora is unbalance, our brain health can be affected in a detrimental way, it could lead to depression, anxiety and skin disorders. Kefir is not the only probiotic that can help you, you could also go for sauerkraut, fermented vegetables or home-made yogurts.
- Green foods, broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach, brussels sprouts, green tea …incorporating a variety of these green foods into our diet, practising some exercise and having a good quality sleep, will prevent you from feeling stressed out, exhausted and overwhelmed. Avocado is also another great green food we can eat, it helps manage cortisol, our major stress hormone.
- Bananas help to make serotonin, a good hormone responsable for making us feel good. It also helps to a proper gut function. Well known for everyone is that bananas are high in potassium which can help to lower blood pressure and support cardiovascular health.
- Sunshine, many of us suffer from low levels of vitamin D, yes, even me living in the sunshine city of Barcelona. This low-level is associated with panic disorders, also vitamin D is essential for calcium and bone mineralization. So when you feel burn out and stress take a few minutes outside in the sun, you will feel instantly calm and relaxed.