Stress Reduction Diet - Eating for Less Stress
In the world of health and wellness, there is a radical and relatively new idea - optimizing nutrition is an effective way to avoid, treat, and lessen mental illness.
There has been plenty of backlash against this idea, but an increasing number of studies demonstrate the power of the mind-gut connection. It seems that poor nutrition is a key risk factor for ongoing stress and mental illness. In contrast, a well-nourished brain is better able to handle stress.
Not all neurons start in the brain. In fact, 100 million neurons start in the gut, which is increasingly being viewed as the second brain. What's more, 95% of serotonin, the happiness hormone, starts in the gut.
Have you ever had a "gut-wrenching" experience? Have you ever felt "butterflies" in your stomach? We use these expressions for a reason, the gut is sensitive to emotion, and you can drastically reduce stress through diet.
SRS is an all-natural and gut-friendly supplement that has been designed to increase happiness hormones and decrease stress hormones, which wreak havoc on your gut health. SRS has also been designed to increase mental focus, energy, and clarity, which will make changing your eating habits easier.
Stress and Diet
When you feel stressed, the body releases cortisol, ghrelin, and insulin. These can create inflammation in the gut and can cause you to feel hungry and crave unhealthy foods. If these hormones remain high, your body releases more leptin, which is usually released to tell your body it's full. If this goes on for too long, you can become resistant to leptin which will cause you to continually overeat.
That is why we have designed SRS to help get your hormones back in control, especially after a period of stress. However, in order to stay well, then you may need to address your diet.
Your gut contains a gut microbiota, gut bacteria that digest food and turns it into essential nutrients and hormones. Feeding good bacteria with healthy food can make you more resilient to stress and keeps your immune system healthy. However, highly processed foods and foods high in sugar feed bad bacteria which can, in turn, damage your immune system and make you more prone to stress.
Benefits of Taking SRS
SRS has been designed to improve the way your body reacts to stress. It can help give you the motivation you need to make important lifestyle changes while supporting your body's hormones and calming the mind.
Tyrosine is a precursor to several important neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. These are essential to mood, motivation, focus, and drive.
When you under mental or physical stress, neurotransmitters can run low. With supplementation, you can ensure you have what you need to recover and stay focused. By keeping your brain performing at its best, you will feel better able to stick to a healthy diet.
Dopamine is also associated with addiction. Dopamine is released, for example, when you eat chocolate or cheese, which is what makes them addictive. Taking Tyrosine may help to curb some of these food cravings by boosting your dopamine and energy levels without the need for sugar.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps our bodies handle stress and lowers levels of cortisol. High cortisol levels increase hunger hormones. Therefore, by lowering levels of stress hormones like cortisol, you will be better able to manage your diet.
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, Ashwagandha was shown to reduce body weight in adults suffering from stress. It was also shown to improve participants' happiness and well-being and reduce their cortisol levels, food cravings, and emotional eating habits.
Magnesium deficiency has a big impact on your mood, and when you feel good, it is easier to stick to healthy habits.
But more than that - magnesium deficiency may even be causing your food cravings. Magnesium plays a crucial role in insulin and glucose metabolism, as well as the neurotransmitter dopamine. A deficiency can cause intense sugar cravings that are hard to ignore, especially for chocolate!
Chamomile is a natural appetite suppressant. It increases the levels of serotonin, which regulates your appetite, mood, and sleep patterns. Chamomile also contains antispasmodic and carminative properties that are good for soothing the stomach. It can reduce bloat, indigestion, and abdominal gas.
Foods to Eat to Reduce Stress
The key to eating a diet to reduce stress is to eat a diet full of whole, unprocessed foods rich in vegetables, nuts, beans, fruits, grains, meat, and cheese. Whole foods remain close to their state in nature without added sugars, flavorings, or manufactured ingredients. Potatoes instead of chips, chicken breast instead of chicken nuggets, and so on. There are some particular foods that have also been shown to reduce stress.
Dark Chocolate - A Powerful Antioxidant
Usually, deserts are not a good option in a diet focused on stress reduction. However, dark chocolate could be an exception. Chocolate has an emotional impact and feels like a treat, which in itself can reduce stress. It is also filled with antioxidants which studies have shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. SRS also contains antioxidants, ingredients like Tyrosine, Ashwagandha, Magnesium, and Taurine.
In one study, those who ate around 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day for two weeks saw a reduction in stress. But keep serving size in mind and stick to a 1-oz serving of at least 60% dark chocolate. Another option could be to buy 100% dark chocolate powder and make a hot chocolate drink with honey for sweetness.
The right types of carbs can help to reduce stress. According to MIT, carbohydrates can increase levels of serotonin, which will improve your mood and give you more focus.
While refined carbs such as cookies and crisps are tied to inflammation and depression, and anxiety, complex carbs can do wonders for your stress levels because they digest slowly and keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels balanced. Complex carbs include sweet potatoes and whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain bread, and quinoa.
Warm, Soothing Foods
When it comes to stress, it's not just about a food's nutrient profile. How something makes you feel is also important. For example, a calm and walking cup of chamomile tea could help you to feel relaxed.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in fatty fish. However, if you don't eat fish, you can also find omega 3s in nuts and seeds, or you can take a supplement derived from algae. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for brain and heart health and have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
Drinking plenty of water is important for lots of reasons. Studies show that even mild dehydration can raise levels of cortisol. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average man needs about 3.7liters, and the average woman needs about 2.7 liters of water per day. About 80% of which should come from liquids, while the rest can come from food.
Nuts and Seeds
Instead of reaching for a pack of crisps, nuts and seeds are a great healthy alternative. They are satiating and can ward off unhealthy cravings. Foods like sunflower seeds and almonds are also rich in Omega-3s and b vitamins which are both great for brain health and can reduce stress. Just make sure you stick to a small handful and avoid salted varieties, as they are dense in calories.
Oranges and Other Vitamin C–Rich Fruits
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, vitamin C was shown to lower levels of cortisol. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. Eating whole fruit is best as dried fruit or fruit juices change the composition of fruit and contain excess sugar. If you are sensitive to citrus fruits, then you may want to consider supplementing with vitamin C.
Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are rich sources of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and can help regulate cortisol and blood pressure levels. They also contain folate, which plays a vital role in the production of the feel-good chemical dopamine.
For a quick, stress-busting snack, reach for a banana. It is rich in potassium and even contains dopamine. Bananas also contain magnesium, levels of which can plummet when you are stressed. Research has shown that magnesium deficiency can increase the likelihood of stress and anxiety, which is why we have included magnesium in SRS.
Foods to Limit or Avoid When Stressed
Some foods, when taken in excess, can contribute to stress and anxiety. Some of the biggest culprits include:
Your coffee habit could support or hinder your stress levels. It all comes down to timing and volume. While a couple of cups of coffee or green tea could support your energy levels early in the day, too late and can hinder your sleep and cause anxiety and stress. Try and stick to just a couple of cups and drink them before 3 pm.
Be mindful of how much alcohol you drink, as it could similarly help or hurt your stress levels. Alcohol can calm your nervous system. However, when drunk in excess, it can lead to depression and anxiety and can make stress more difficult to manage. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. If you like to unwind with a glass of wine on a Friday evening, then that's ok. However, if you lean on it too much or are feeling depressed, then you may want to consider cutting back.
Refined sugar such as cakes, cookies, and candy causes blood sugar to soar, followed by a drastic dip. This can cause your energy levels to below, and your stress levels high, and can even lead to depression.
Stress, Blood Sugar and Diet
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is an important part of stress management. Stress leads to high blood sugar because it causes your liver to release extra glucose so that energy is readily available - in case you have to fight or flight. At the same time, stress hormones such as cortisol and growth hormone make your body more sensitive to insulin.
This is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to keep high-sugar foods to a minimum. While they may feel comforting at the moment, in the long run, they increase your risk of anxiety, depression, and stress.
Healthy carbohydrates like legumes, whole grains, and fruits can help to keep your blood glucose in check.
Top Tips for Eating During Times of Stress
Eat Regular Meals
Stress seriously messes with your hunger cues. When your body experiences a fight or flight response, it can shut down hunger. Suddenly, when the response passes, you may feel extremely hungry, which may cause you to overeat and make bad choices. The ingredients in SRS will help to prevent this response.
Try to eat at consistent times each day and avoid snacking late at night. Giving your gut a chance to rest can help your body to heal and regulate hormone production. However, on the flip side, avoiding food and being hungry can also raise cortisol levels. Small, regular meals can help keep your energy levels balanced and your stress hormones at bay.
Have Healthy Snacks on Hand
Stress management is all about preparation. Don't keep junk food in your house. Instead, have lots of healthy snacks to hand. Meal-prep can also be a great way to ensure you stay away from takeaways and microwave meals.
Eating mindfulness can help ensure that you appreciate your food and stop eating when you're full. Mindfulness has lots of great benefits to stress reduction. So instead of eating in front of the TV or looking at your phone, sit and pay attention to your food.
Be Flexible When Needed
Allow flexibility when needed, and don't feel guilty about slip-ups. Maybe you go out with a friend and have a nice pudding, that's ok! Instead of trying to be perfect, try and eat right the majority of the time. Allowing yourself treats can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, and being kind to yourself is important for keeping stress at bay.
Use SRS to Support Your Normal Diet ;-)
SRS supports your body's hormonal balance, which will help give you the motivation to maintain a healthy diet. It can also reduce food cravings by balancing your blood sugar and optimizing neurochemicals such as dopamine.
SRS, when combined with a healthy diet, will improve your body's stress response. This will bring many health benefits to both your mind and body.