Stressed? Be Smart About Food Choices

So many temptations when you aren't thinking clearly...and it's easy to grab something sweet, salty, and heavily processed!

Grabbing that bag of chips or box of Girl Scout cookies might seem like a quick fix. You're working so hard at life, and you deserve a little pick me up, right?

Many of our food choices are influenced by how we feel at that moment. It's been scientifically proven that certain foods can change your brain chemistry and physiology, which affects mood. However, reaching for the fatty, sugary snacks may put you into a vicious circle of highs and lows.

Let's tall about how to maintain even energy levels to improve stress.

Boost Those Bs

The effects of stress can deplete the body of B Vitamins and disrupt sleep. Boosting your intake through foods such as oily fish, seeds, poultry, avocado, and spinach is a good start, but you probably need to supplement. Try an Activated B Complex, which has a vareity of forms of B and your body can utilize immediately. It's like having yourself hooked up to a battery charger! I recommed Equilife supplements because they are third party tested.

Eat To Aid Sleep

You know how after Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner you feel sleepy? Turkey contains the amino acid trypophan, which is linked to inducing a soporific state that may help you relax. A few hours before bed, try eating poultry, tofu, and dairy with lower glycaemic carbohydrates, such as rice, potatoes, pasta, and bread, for maximum affect. Also include calcium rich foods, such as dairy, soy, beans and green veggies. Calcium helps the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin.

Also, aim to eat your evening meal earlier, as the effects of digestion can push your body's core temperature upwards, which may disrupt sleep.

Snacking For Energy

Having a sugary snack between meals is a no no. You'll get a boost of energy but then crash. Snacking on fiber rich foods helps keep your energy levels even. Try a snack that includes lean protein, nuts, or whole grain crackers. Or if your are on the run, take a protein shake with you.

Magnesium Is Your Friend

Magnesium is a mineral that helps calm and relax the body. Foods to include in your diet that contain magnesium are whole grains, cashews, seeds, spinach, oily fish, raw cacoa, beans, quinoa, and avocado. Often times our bodies are depleted in magnesium even after consuming foods that contain this mineral. I recommend a full spectrum magnesium for supplementation.

Skipping Meals Is Not Optional

Skipping meals can lead to low energy levels and leave you feeling "foggy", anxious, and unable to function when hunger sets in. This is when you reach for the quick-fix snacks or energy drinks that are loaded with sugar. Spiking your blood sugar levels can impact your mood and wider mental health conditions.

Have some go to foods available for times that you are in a hurry- hard boiled eggs, yogurt, instant oatmeal, pre cooked sweet potatoes, brown rice, and fruit. Plan ahead and pack food if you will be on the go. If you do happen to snack on processed sugary snacks on occasion, make sure you pair it with some protein to help prevent a blood sugar spike.

Remember that every time you eat, you have a chance to improve your health.

Want to learn more about how to optimize your health and energy levels? Functional Medicine lab testing is a great way to find out where your vitamin/mineral levels are and if they are in balance with each other. As an Integrative Health Practitioner, I help stressed out, busy people develop personalized wellness plans to address imbalances and get their vitality back. Let me know how I can help you!

Tasha Mixon, IHP2

Gut Check Integrative Health

*All information is for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

**I am proud to be an ambassador for Equilife and earn a small commission for purchase of their products. Thank you for supporting me as grow my practice!

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