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Foods for Dealing with Stress

Keeping meals simple and balanced is best.

Plan simple meals for a day or a week at a time (e.g. easy dinner leftovers re-worked for lunch the next day or making larger amount and freezing extra for future meals).

Make sure to drink enough water or fluids throughout the day.  Camomile tea is calming and ideal for the evening.  Avoid caffeinated drinks, but if you need a boost, try yerba mate or green tea (they contain less caffeine than coffee or pop like Coke).  Green tea also contains L-threanine which helps release chemicals in the brain that promote a feeling of alertness with calmness.

Avoid sugar and sugary foods as they cause sugar highs and lows and put stress on your body.

Try eating more fish like wild salmon, sardines, and herring as these supply the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, important omega 3 fatty acids that feed the brain and thus help to regulate emotions.

Green veggies are rich in magnesium which restrains the “anxiety peptide”, a complex of amino acids in the brain which seems to play a role in anxiety.  Magnesium also helps calcium work properly in the heart and nerves.
Unrefined complex carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, etc.) maximize the presence of L-tryptophan in the brain which aids in the formation of the neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is required for calming the mind and promoting sound sleep.  L-tryptophan is found in most foods, but other amino acids in high-protein foods compete with its use in the formation of serotonin, so carbohydrates are your best source. Eat in moderation.

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