Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Good mood food

Everyone I meet at the moment seems to be going through a stressful time, whether it's moving house, getting married, changing jobs or just general work stress, so I thought a blog on some stress support was called for.

Firstly what should you eat?

- number one on the list is wholegrains such as oats, brown rice, wholegrain bread and pasta - these are rich in B vitamins which you use up double time when you're stressed leaving you feeling tired and emotional.

- fish, eggs and pulses are also good sources of B vits and both good sources of protein which you'll need to help balance out your blood sugar, helping your meals sustain you through your rushing around

- seeds contain B vitamins, essential fats and minerals - a triple wammy of anti-stress nutrients. Sprinkle them on every meal you can.

- green vegetables are a must, especially leafy ones such as spinach and watercress, these are rich in magnesium which you need to be able to relax physically, plus plenty of chlorophyll a great source of energy.

- salt - really? Isn't sodium a food baddie? Well yes it is in excess but your adrenal glands use it in your stress response so if you're usually on a very low salt diet have a palmful of salted nuts or some miso soup to give them some support.

- bananas and turkey .. Probably not together! But both are rich in tryptophan and amino acid precursor to serotonin which is the 'happy and relaxed' hormone, definitely something you need more of if you're stressed

What else can you do?
You need ten minutes a day where you don't do anything or think about anything to help calm your nervous system ... well at least not work or anything stressful. Sit or lie down somewhere comfy, no tv, no radio, no interruptions and day dream in a positive way - maybe think of a holiday or visualize yourself somewhere very relaxing.

Also take 30 deep breaths in a row - when you're stressed your breathing is more shallow so you'll end up taking in less oxygen. Slow breathing is also a great way to calm the nervous system.

Make sure you have some me time - do something indulgent just for yourself - take a long bubble bath, read a trashy novel, watch an episode of friends whilst enjoying a cup of tea and some dark chocolate. It's so important to show yourself a bit of love and you'll feel a lot more centred for it.

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