Our lives are overrun with stress. Job security, workload, relationships, responsibilities – the causes of stress are numerous and most of them are unavoidable. We will always encounter stress, but how our bodies react to it is different for each person. A short temper, muscle tension, and fatigue are just a few of the possible physical manifestations of stress. Stress also causes an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone) in our bodies. Too much cortisol can cause a number of gut related issues such as acid reflux, blood sugar issues, high blood pressure, and inflammation – all of which can lead to serious autoimmune disease and chronic conditions.
Symptoms like these are your body’s way of telling you that your stress level is out of control.
There’s no magic pill or single food that will take your stress away. However, the healthy balance of combining the practice of mindfulness stress reduction with regular exercise and good nutrition can make a drastic impact on your health and your life.
Superfoods are a key part of that nutrition piece. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live a better quality life. Superfoods are foods dense in nutrients and enzymes which provide a host of health benefits that you definitely want, including support for stress management in your body.
Foods such as blueberries, barley grass, wheatgrass, broccoli, kale, spinach, dark chocolate, avocados, tomatoes and lentils are packed with essential vitamins, dietary fiber, and antioxidants which can provide huge benefits for your body. We have the tools we need inside of our bodies to support our overall health, but we cannot use them all appropriately if we aren’t fueling ourselves with quality nutrition.
One thing all superfoods have in common is that they are all “real” (unprocessed) food. Fortified potato chips are definitely not part of the superfood category.
It should be mentioned that adding a few superfoods on top of a bad diet will not “solve” your health issues or “protect” you from chronic disease and other problems. Superfoods will not save you, but adding lots of high quality fruits and vegetables to your diet can have a huge impact on your health.
Stay tuned for upcoming superfood rich recipes to try out at home!