You can help to protect your mind and body through a stress diet. For those who are anxious or depressed, proper nutrition is a much needed thing. Our body needs proper nutrition so that our body receives enough of the right vitamins, minerals and amino acids that help protect our mind and body from the negative effects of stress. Chronic stress depletes the body of much needed vitamins and minerals and it's important to know that there are foods we can eat in our diet that can help us keep a healthy mind and body.
What foods help with stress and anxiety?
In a stress diet, foods rich in B vitamins are very important. They help support the function of the nervous system as well as the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. Some foods rich in B vitamins are cauliflower, eggs, peanuts, avocados, yogurt, oats, pork, salmon, asparagus, clams, trout, tuna, bananas, mangos, turkey, chicken, and sweet potatoes.
Foods rich in calcium, magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids are also very beneficial for people suffering with chronic stress and anxiety.
Calcium is not only found in dairy foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese, but also in vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and fish, such as salmon.
Foods rich in magnesium like spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, are helpful because they aid our muscles in releasing tension.
Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in fish such as salmon and tuna.
For more detailed information please visit The Anxiety Diet.
What foods help with depression?
Complex Carbohydrates (foods known as "comfort foods") boost the serotonin level in the brain. Many people associate "comfort foods" with macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes as some of their favorites. However, these foods should be consumed in moderation because they can be high in calories. It is important to note that there are healthier ways to prepare these favorite foods. Foods like broccoli, brown rice, squash, and blackberries are also examples of complex carbohydrates and contain much less calories than well known "comfort foods".
As with anxiety and chronic stress, foods rich in B vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, and folic acid are helpful for depression as well.
For more detailed information visit The Depression Diet.
Stress Diet Recipes
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What if there are foods you just don't like?
As with all of us, there are some things we just don't want to eat. Fish is a common food that is disliked by a lot of people including well needed vegetables. In a stress diet, it's important to supplement if your diet is lacking any of these necessary nutrients. Supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and fish oils can be found at your local pharmacy, grocery, and department stores. For more information on supplements please visit the natural stress relief section on this site.
Foods to Avoid
Since not all food are created equal, it is important to recognize the foods that should be avoided during periods of chronic stress, anxiety and/or depression. All foods containing high amounts of saturated fats, sugars, salt, caffeine should be limited in your diet. Coffee, soda, processed foods, chips, fast foods are some examples of a few of these types of foods. As good as these foods taste, they rob your body of essential vitamins and minerals that you could be getting from healthier foods. These foods can also contribute to stubborn belly fat as well as chronic health problems and diseases. It's best to greatly reduce (if not eliminate) your consumption of these foods while experiencing anxiety and/or depression.
What about Alcohol?
Alcohol is another item that should be removed from your diet. It is a well known fact that alcohol is already considered a depressant and a person who is depressed will only experience more depression as a result. Many people use Alcohol to help relieve stress and anxiety. Although they may experience some short term relief, the long-term use of alcohol can lead to physical and mental addiction. It is important to recognize that anxiety symptoms are increased once the effects of alcohol are gone. Visit alcohol and depression to learn more about the negative effects of alcohol for the anxious and depressed.
If you are using alcohol or any other substance to self-medicate due to stress, anxiety or depression, please contact your family physician to discuss alternatives that are not addictive.
There are natural supplements you can use for natural stress relief. They can be used as an alternative to anxiety and depression medications and can help relieve the physical symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression without the negative side effects of prescription medications.