Overwork at work, hectic family life, anxiety-provoking climate… Stress is everywhere in our daily lives. However, relaxation begins on the plate. By choosing certain anti-stress foods, you fight against the nervous tensions that ruin your life.
By carefully choosing the foods you put on your plate, you can protect your body against the deleterious effects of stress. And this for many reasons. First, your body needs an increased supply of nutrients to mobilize your natural defenses against excess nervous tension. Then, stress eats away at your reserves by causing your tissues to draw where they can (including organs) what they need to resist.
Admittedly, a healthy, fresh and varied diet is a first essential anti-stress step. But in addition, try to give your body, every day, the nutrients it uses in priority to resist stress. You will win on two counts: you will better resist its attacks and you will keep your nutritional reserves intact.
Proteins, anti-stress foods?
Protein foods are the meatof course, but also poultry, fish, shellfish, shellfisheggs… As well as cereals and the legumes which also contain these valuable nutrients.
Proteins are not only used to regenerate muscle mass. They are made of small bricks, the amino acidssome of which are essential to our brain function.
The phenylalanine, for example, is involved in the production of brain neuro-hormones involved in our resistance to stress. Tryptophan is an essential link in the production of serotonin, the calming and sleep hormone. Tyrosine acts as a natural anxiolytic.
When you eat a protein food, your body starts by breaking down the proteins to isolate the different amino acids, which it then uses in multiple ways. The solution : eat every day food, vegetable or animal, containing proteins.
In practiceand : try to include in your menus, once a day, a protein food. If you fear the harmful effects of red meat, turn to organic poultry or seafood. And if animal products put you off, eat a cereal and a legume at the same meal: rice and lentils, couscous and chickpeas…
This association is necessary so that your meal provides you with all the essential amino acids (those that the body cannot manufacture from other ingredients). You will thus be sure to benefit from all the amino acids your brain needs.
All our cells consume Fatty acidsin particular Omega 3. These components of fats are an integral part of their walls.
Brain cells consume particularly large amounts of it, because our brain is made of more than 50% fat (calculated on its dry weight). Exchanges between cells, and even more so between neurons, depend on their content of essential fatty acids. And it’s Omega 3s that we miss the most.
In practice : Omega 3 are fragile. They are poorly resistant to light, and especially to heat. So prefer them raw vegetable oils, which you add to your dishes after cooking. You will simply vary the flavor of your preparations (each has a unique taste) and the fatty acids will be intact (each oil has a particular composition.
You have the choice: safflower oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, pistachio oil, argan oil… Vary them regularly, play with taste tones, and you will cover all your needs.
For cooking, prefer stable vegetable oils, such as olive oil or rapeseed oil whose fatty acids are more resistant to heat.
Also think about oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines…), considered real anti-stress foods, which contain a lot of Omega 3, as well as avocados.
Magnesium and Anti-Stress Foods
Magnesium is THE anti-stress mineral. Not only do your nerve cells need it in times of stress, but they also consume tenfold amounts of it.
Magnesium allows the passage of nerve impulses between cells of the brain. It is a major agent of our psycho-emotional balance. When we lack magnesium, we are more vulnerable to annoyances, more anxious, more distressed.
In practice : All studies show that almost all of us lack magnesium. Why ? Because we have eliminated from our daily diet the foods that contain the most: dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa); wholemeal bread (preferably sourdough because it is more digestible); legumes (lentils, peas, beans, etc.) which are wrongly criticized for having too high a caloric content; oleaginous dried fruits (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.). It’s time to reintegrate all these anti-stress foods!
The magnesium you get from food is readily available to the body. When it is extracted from it, this is no longer always the case. This is why good quality food supplements use marine magnesium with higher bioavailability.
Group B vitamins
Certainly, we need all the vitamins. But for us protect against stressit is especially those of group B that are important:
- Vitamin B1 is sometimes called the “good mood vitamin”. It also facilitates the passage of nerve impulses in the brain.
- Vitamin B2 prevents fatigue due to excess stress.
- Vitamin B3 participates in the production of many neuro-hormones.
- Vitamin B5 reduces the impact of stress when present in sufficient quantity.
- Vitamin B6 contributes to the balance of emotions.
- Vitamin B12 prevents mood swings…
In practice : B group vitamins are present mainly in sea products, wholemeal bread, brewer’s yeast and wheat germ (in flakes, to sprinkle on dishes), legumes, nuts. Some are also present in fresh dairy products (yogurts, fresh cheeses)
To help your organization, you can offer it from time to time food supplements specially designed to protect you against stress. They generally combine marine magnesium, calcium (the two work hand in hand), group B vitamins, Omega 3…
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