70% of illness in the United States is diet related. That is a staggering statistic. Over 100 million are chronically ill. 70 million of them don’t have to be. Improving the foods you eat is the NUMBER ONE way to prevent chronic illness and protect yourself from illness and disease.
One of the leading causes of chronic illness is chronic stress. You already know that you can eat your way to a healthier body, clear skin and increased energy, but did you know that you can also eat your way to less stress, helping stave of chronic illness and disease?
Here are the top 6 stress relieving foods:
The B vitamins found in avocados are essential for healthy nerves and brain cells. Constant anxiety and high stress is linked to vitamin B deficiency, so try adding avocado to your morning smoothie or daily salad. As an added bonus, avocados are also high in body-healthy monounsaturated fats and potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure.
When you’re feeling blue or hyper-stressed, reach for the berries! Blueberries in particular are loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants, which help repair and protect the body’s cells, leading to a calmer, healthier, more balanced you. Add blueberries to oatmeal or smoothies to add fiber-rich sweetness to your meal, or eat them alone for a tasty snack or healthy dessert.
In addition to the crunch factor, which in-and-of itself can be a great stress reliever, almonds are a great source of vitamins B2 and E, which support a strong immune system and promote energy balance in the body. Almonds are great as a snack or added to salads, and if you’d like something creamy, try 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter. Always opt for the natural version, though; you want to avoid added sugars and oils. The ingredient list should say almonds and perhaps a little salt. That is all. Nothing else is needed.
Vitamin C is kind of the superhero of nutrients. In addition to boosting the immune system and promoting healthy skin, it also lowers blood pressure AND reduces the stress hormone cortisol, leading to a leaner, stress-free you. Start the day with warm lemon water or grab a fresh orange as a snack.
One of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids is wild-caught salmon, which helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from sky rocketing when you’re feeling tense. The healthy fatty acids also protect your heart and nourish your skin, helping you stay healthy and glowing from the inside-out. Aim for a 4 ounce serving of wild-caught salmon approximately 2-3 times a week. If fish isn’t your thing, walnuts can also be a great source of omega 3’s.
Leafy greens are loaded with magnesium, which is a mineral that helps regulate cortisol, the stress hormone. Eating greens on a daily basis encourages feelings of well-being and balance, plus support overall health. It is important, however, to ROTATE YOUR GREENS. Too much of a good thing can cause imbalances in the body, so experiment with different types on a regular basis. Add greens to an omelet or smoothie, create a mixed green salad, or saute in coconut oil for a delicious dinner.
If chronic stress is part of part of your daily life, it’s time to get active and get serious about taking steps to remove it. Stress leads to all kinds of internal and external health problems, so the next time you feel the tension in your neck or the anxiety in your chest, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and reach for one of the foods listed above. For extra stress support, dietary changes and healthy living tools, please contact Jodi.