The last several months have been a roller coaster, and with all the uncertainty in our world, many are experiencing stressful times. I can share that I, too, have experienced forms of stress since mid-March and am grateful that our team of “essential” workers has the ability and passion to create delicious and fresh foods that we can enjoy.
During stressful periods, food may be overlooked. My daughter, Lindsay, said that when she is having a stressful day, she may find herself in the drive-thru lane of Taco Bell, eating a bean burrito.
What foods trigger stress and anxiety? If you eat lots of fried foods, processed meat, pastries, refined cereals, candy and high-fat dairy products, you’re more likely to be anxious and depressed. A diet full of whole fiber-rich grains, fruits, vegetables and fish can help keep you on a more even path.
When experiencing a stressful day, eat small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism ticking all day and you will minimize the ups and downs of energy levels. Eat breakfast, even if you may not feel hungry or seem to be running out of time. By doing so, you will kickstart your metabolism for the day and also help to level out your blood sugar levels, which will, in turn, reduce stress.
My Favorite Go-To Foods
Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit that can be eaten in a range of different ways, whether you enjoy it raw, in dressings and dips made into sauces, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content, which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping candy and chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits, including sharper cognition, better focus and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
Being aware of how your body works and deals with stress can help you to manage stress and stressful situations. After a stressful period, the human body can go into a recovery mode where increased appetite and food cravings become more prevalent. At the same time, metabolic rates drop to conserve energy. Being aware of these patterns can help you manage your stress levels and, through nutrition and diet, you can help your body recover from stressful periods more rapidly and minimize negative effects such as weight gain.
If you are experiencing a lot of stress over a long period of time, or are at all worried about how stress is affecting you, then seek help. See your doctor or call a local mental health agency that may recommend a counselor or some alternative stress-relief techniques such as massage, acupuncture or alternative medicine. QCBN
By Debbie Maranville
“I think people should maybe just go out into the garden and watch a ladybug crawl across a flower and relax their mind. That’s about all you need to know about life, I think.” – Harland Williams
Debbie Maranville is the co-owner of Goods from the Garden and The Natural Healing Garden. She can be reached at 928-237-3214/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Goods from the Garden, Catering and Events for recipes and ideas. We are here to support your catering needs. We have great resources to assist you. We are located at the Prescott Gateway Mall. 3250 Gateway Blvd. #516 Prescott, AZ 86303 928-237-3214 email@example.com or check out our Facebook Page