by Marissa Vicario
When you think of food and stress together, you might think of stress-eating, the act of snacking or eating as a way to take your mind off of anxiety or discomfort. It may be habitual or situational, but it’s not a healthy way of using food to manage stress. But for those who are stressed and take comfort in munching, all hope isn’t lost. There are some better, healthier ways to rely on food deal with stress levels, or better yet, beat stress before it happens to you. The solution is simple: eat a varied diet focused on getting these nutrients from your food.
Why it’s great: Magnesium is a natural stress reliever that calms the mind and relaxes the muscles. Magnesium-deficient diets can actually worsen symptoms of anxiety causing tense muscles and a taxed nervous system.
Where to get it: dark chocolate, coconut water, kelp, buckwheat, Brazil nuts, tahini, and pumpkin seeds
Why it’s great: Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B5, is also known as the “anti-stress vitamin.” It helps regulate the nervous system and manufacture stress hormones in the adrenal glands.
Where to get it: rich sources like sea vegetables, organ meats and sunflower seeds and eggs, lentils, and broccoli in slightly lesser amounts
Why it’s great: Folic acid helps with the growth of new cells and keeps neural activity sharp to promote mental clarity and work as an effective anti-depressant. When brain cells don’t fire effectively, it can cause mental fog, listlessness, and fatigue.
Where to get it: spinach, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, and dried beans
Why it’s great: Potassium relies on other critical minerals like magnesium, calcium, and sodium. Together they regulate blood pressure and heartbeat and maintain a balanced nervous system to lower stress levels and reduce anxiety.
Where to get it: bananas, oranges, sardines, salmon, and cabbage.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Why it’s great: The brain is comprised of two key Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Low levels of Omega-3s in the blood mean low levels in the brain which causes a slow-down of signaling between the brain cells, a common cause of anxiety. Clinical studies show that adequate levels of Omega-3s can help reduce anxiety and promote clear and focused thinking.
Where to get it: chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, grass-fed beef, salmon, sardines and tofu.
Marissa Vicario is a NYC-based Wellness Coach, Healthy Living Expert, creator of the Total Reset Plan and Author of How To Be Holistically Hot: A 30 Day Guide to Making Men Swoon and Your Friends Want What You Have. She shares her own health secrets, get-fit tips and the cooking expertise that has inspired countless women to end their love/hate relationship with food and turbocharge their health to become holistically hot in way that’s fun and fearless. No crazy diets or all-juice cleanses required. Visit her web site at www.MWAHonline.com or connect on Facebook or Twitter.