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Stress: Ten top tips for diet and lifestyle that will help

It is common to link stress and diet. Your diet can help you to manage stress and to reduce the effects of stress on your body.

It is important to look at the larger picture of stress and how it relates to diets and what we eat.

Would you drink another cup of coffee if I said that coffee drinkers live longer?

Large observational studies have shown a link between coffee and longevity. This link has yet to be proven. This could be due to the protection of our cells against damage and disease by the coffee bean’s polyphenolic compounds. Or it could be because coffee drinkers are more social which can also lead to longer lives.

It’s not surprising that this month’s stress awareness month is focused on community. Loneliness is a common cause of mental illness in the UK.

It is possible to feel alone when surrounded by people. With competing priorities, new relationships, and challenging relationships, it is easy to feel isolated.

In my role as a dietitian, it is important to think about all factors that can impact one’s ability to manage stress and mental health. This goes beyond what we eat. Instead of focusing on the foods we eat, it focuses instead on the factors that drive our behavior, such as our environment and our thoughts.

With an understanding of the holistic needs and desires of our bodies to manage stress, these are my top ten tips with some foodie suggestions.

1) Stress is a normal biological response to protect us. The problem is that we don’t engage in activities that can quickly neutralize these responses. Even if we are on the platforms suffering from the effects of a delayed train, we are always ready for attacks by tigers.

Start by assessing how much of your day is spent in ready-to-run mode.

2) Now, consider the following.

Different people have different stress bucket sizes. For some, it is a positive biological response that can lead to feelings of happiness, while for others, it can cause anxiety, shaking, and exhaustion.

The severity of hormonal changes can be affected by how you talk to yourself in stressful situations.

Negative thoughts and judgments will only make the situation worse. Take a deep breath, and try to see the situation with more compassion and nuance.

3) Cortisol levels high will increase our desire for high-fat and sugary foods. This is not an indication of weakness in willpower. It’s just biology at its primal best.

Stop judging yourself and make better choices in the face of it all.

4) When we have experienced a stressful event, our desire to participate in enjoyable activities is stronger. Please pass the doughnuts.

While food can be a part of your stress management plan, it is less important if there are other things you do.

What else can you do to ‘celebrate’ being alive and restore calm?

How diet can help us reduce stress

5) The amino acid Tryptophan raises brain levels of serotonin, which is the mood-boosting hormone that neutralizes the effects of cortisol.

Dairy, lean meats and soya are good sources of protein so make sure to include them in your daily diet.

6) Potassium Helps to regulate blood pressure. Blood pressure tends to rise in stressful situations. Good sources of potassium include tomatoes, avocados, and bananas.

7) Magnesium is essential for a good night of sleep. It is involved in the relaxation of muscles and nervous system function.

It’s more likely that stress will make it easier to use up magnesium faster.

Increase your intake of dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and seafood

8) Vitamin C boosts immunity that is weakened by stress. It may also help lower blood cortisol levels.

You should ensure you are getting enough vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, and kiwi fruit.

While we are thinking about vitamins, let’s also include B vitamins. They are vital for the functioning of our nervous system and help us to maintain our moods and energy levels, and balance our emotions.

People with low levels of vitamin B12 or folate are at greater risk for mood disorders. Depression is often associated with vitamin B deficiencies.

Make sure you have plenty of vitamin Bs from whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and other foods.

9) The Omega-3 Fats found in oily fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel lower our noradrenaline levels, and allow for better communication between our brain cells.

They can also help prevent depression. If you don’t like fish, it’s time to clean up the kitchen.

10) L-theanine An amino acid found in black and green teas is an amino acid. Although more research is required to confirm its effectiveness in relieving stress, there are some indications that it can help with relaxation and good sleep.

Different teas have different amounts of this amino acid, but the act of making a cup of tea and allowing yourself to take a break while you sip it will all help in reconnection with your body and reducing stress.

Stress is inevitable, but if we can tune in to our bodies’ responses to stress, it will be easier to manage it.

We underestimate our ability to breathe and rate productivity too high. Netflix is preferred over nature. We need to understand that our physiological need for doing seemingly nothing is crucial to managing stress and living longer.

I can help you if stress is a major factor in your food choices. Let’s talk

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