Nutritional Suggestions for Stress
Water is essential in any healing process. Dehydration is the cause of many symptoms. 6-8 eight ounces glasses per day.
Stress is also compounded by poor nutrition. Diets high in sugar that contain too many sweets, refined foods, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine are all bad for your system. Stress depletes your body ofC,D,E , Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Potassium, Sulfur and Zinc.
During our busy schedules, it’s easy to forget about a balanced diet by skipping meals or eating anything while on the run. Yet when your body doesn’t get the balance of nutrients it needs, you may end up trying to do more with less energy.
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, complexed carbs, whole grain, as well as, fruits, nuts, seeds and protein.
Set aside time to eat meals at a pace that allows you to taste and savor them. The 15 or 20 minutes it takes to put aside work and other distractions will more than compensated by a noticeable energy boost.
Enjoy quite time or peaceful music while you eat alone, or share some friendly company as you relax at mealtime.
Take a Multi-vitamin.
Stress can also increase a yearning for extra snacks and high-fat comfort foods. Snacks can be an important part of good eating, so don’t force yourself to starve if you’re hungry. But snacking when your not really hungry doesn’t give you more energy. Sweet snacks can give you a short-term energy boost, but then can also leave you feeling worse later when your blood sugar drops.
When people are worn out from the stress of trying to do too much, they often turn to sugar, caffeine, or sweets to increase energy levels and help them function. Sweets and caffeine-containing products may be enjoyed occasionally if you like, but avoid using them throughout the day, or you may experience huge dips and surges in your energy levels. Avoid alcohol, excess caffeine, drug stimulants, processed foods, excess sugar and cigarettes.
A 15-minute catnap, walk around the block or stretching session will more likely give you renewed energy. Review you priorities and set aside enough time to get adequate sleep for the most dramatic effect on you energy levels. If you suspect your diet has a lot to do with your stress, see a nutritionist for help.
Add protein and carbohydrates to your diet: Incorporate protein into your diet. Protein helps to keep sugar levels stable. You can find protein in nuts, yogurt, beans, fish, chicken, tofu and lentils.
Seek out foods that are high in Omega-3 (a fish oil): This fish oil has been shown in many studies, to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and reduce plaque buildup in your blood. By reducing your bad cholesterol, you are helping your body to fight off stress and relieve anxiety, tension and even prevent heart disease! Fish that are high in Omega-3 are excellent ways to help your blood stream.
Folic Acid: Folic Acid (required for energy production) is considered brain food. The brain needs it to work properly. It helps to prevent anxiety and fatigue. Folic acid works best when combined with vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Much research has indicated that a deficiency of folic acid may include depression, insomnia, anorexia, forgetfulness, hyper-irritability, apathy, fatigue and anxiety. You can find Folic Acid in the following foods: Whole grain breads, Fortified cereals, Dried beans, Leafy vegetables, Fruit. Most multivitamin complexes contain folic acid.
GABA: GABA ( ) is an amino acid help reduce anxiety, allows rational decision making, promotes restful sleep and enhances workout recovery. It has also been shown to have similar effects as the benzodiazepine drugs. You will also feel more relaxed and notice that you are sleeping better. The recommended dose for GABA is 700-750 mg – 3 times daily – talk to a medical professional about using GABA.
Inosistol: has been shown in studies to have a positive effect in the calming of the symptoms of panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Taking up to 4 grams daily – 3 times-a-day has shown to be beneficial.
Magnesium: The supplement magnesium has been found to aid in the management of anxiety symptoms. Taking 200-300 mg of magnesium 2 to 3 times daily has been shown to help.
Selenium: Selenium, an important antioxidant, is a trace mineral found in soil and food. It protects neurotransmitters. Deficiency in selenium has shown to have a negative impact on mood. It also helps to reduce bad cholesterol and keep the heart healthy. You can get much of your selenium from dietary sources such as: Alfalfa, fennel seed, ginseng, butter, garlic, liver, Brazil nuts, shellfish and other fishes. You can find it in sunflower seeds, yarrow, wheat germ and Brewer’s yeast.
Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1 is also known as “thiamine.” In many studies, B1 has shown to have positive effects on the nervous system and mental well being. Vitamin B1 is found in peas, soybeans, fortified breads, cereals, pasta, fish, pork, whole grains and dried beans. Prolonged intake of large amounts of alcohol depletes your body’s supply of vitamin B1. Vitamin B3: (in the form niacinamide) has been tested in lab animals and seems to work in animals in the way that benzodiazepines such as Valium have.
Vitamin B6: Lack of Vitamin B6 has been known to cause anxiety and depression. The formation of certain brain chemicals from amino acids requires this vitamin. It affects the nervous system. The recommended Dietary Allowances for adults (25+ years) is 2.0 for men and 1.6 for women. The best sources of vitamin B6 are meats (particularly organ meats such as liver), whole grains and wheat germ.
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is needed for energy, brain function and a healthy nervous system. It helps to combat depression, stabilize PMS and helps to protect against anemia and it may help fight cancer. The best food sources of Vitamin B12 are liver, kidney, oily fish, beef, pork lamb, cheese, eggs and milk.
Zinc: and essential mineral, has been found to have positive effects on the nervous system as well as helping to produce a calming effect. Most multivitamins contain zinc. Food sources for zinc are Oysters, meat, poultry, nuts, beans and dairy products.
Avoid Caffeine: Caffeine is something many people in America and Europe are used to bringing in their daily lives. Though many studies have shown that this addictive stimulant can help produce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and the like. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, many sodas and even certain medications.Always ask your doctor about a medication before using it. Also, ask the doctor if there is an alternative medication if your medicine contains caffeine.
Reduce Processed and Refined Foods:
Processed food can rob your food of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to fight off stress and promote good health. Try to buy whole foods, unprocessed foods and try and stay away from “instant” foods, preservatives, artificial flavors, saturated fat and MSG.
Reduce Sugar Intake:
Too much sugar can rob our body of essential nutrients. Yet don’t be so fast as to replace the sugar with Stevia the natural sweetener from the Stevia plant. Artificial sweetener can also cause anxiety as well as other health concerns.
Reduce Alcohol Intake:
In small amounts, alcohol can be good for your heart but too much alcohol is not a good thing for your body and too large of an intake increases your body’s need for extra vitamins. The body has a harder time using oxygen. As a result, you can become more sensitive to stress – which in turn can cause anxiety reactions. It can also cause depression.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
Therapies for healing mind, body, spirit
Posted on October 8, 2011, in Health and wellness and tagged Folic acid, Gamma Aminobutyric Acid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Reference Daily Intake, Thiamine, Vitamin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.