Top 5 Plant-Based Superfoods to Beat Stress

Top 5 Plant-Based Superfoods to Beat Stress
berries
Jennifer Weinberg

There is no shortage of stress in daily life. Your kids won’t stop fighting. Your flight is delayed. Your boss gives you a tight deadline. You try to juggle all your responsibilities and still find time for yourself.

These types of demands can contribute to emotional unrest and tension. No matter the source, stress often leads to physiological changes within the body that can have long-lasting effects. Ongoing stress sets off a series of hormonal reactions that can contribute to inflammation, irritability, anxiety, and chronic disease.

Although you can’t avoid all stress in your life—and you wouldn’t want to, as some stress is helpful—you can start to reduce its detrimental effects by building resilience and learning how to cultivate your body’s natural state of balance. One important way you can support your body is through your diet.

The Importance of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

In addition to herbs known as adaptogens, like ashwagandha, there are a variety of foods that can help nourish your body and help you cope with stress. When you choose foods that provide your body with the proper nutrients, you’re better prepared to handle demands and challenges.

Although each person is unique and has personalized nutritional needs, eating a variety of healthy foods in their whole-food forms helps provide your body with essential stress-busting nutrients that protect, relax, and nourish your body.

Following an anti-inflammatory diet high in antioxidants, fiber, and essential phytonutrients, and low in processed foods, trans fats, and refined sugars, helps your body to maintain stress hormones like cortisol within a healthy range, reduce cravings, and stay balanced. This way of eating also helps stabilize blood sugar levels and squelch inflammation.

In particular, certain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients can help your body cope with and recover from stress.

Some of the top stress-fighting nutrients include:

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Glutathione
  • Zinc  
  • B vitamins

Incorporating whole, fresh foods that provide these nutrients in your diet can help you cope with stress and remain calm, focused, and balanced throughout your day.

Top 5 Stress-Relieving Real Foods

 

1. Berries

When the body is under stress too frequently, it can lead to a disrupted balance of different hormones and inflammatory molecules that may contribute to the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are waste products that can be produced due to chronic stress, exposure to toxins, and normal metabolic processes. They are highly reactive and can therefore bind to and damage cells if they become too numerous, contributing to a process known as oxidative stress. Out-of-control oxidative stress can damage proteins, DNA, and other parts of cells, and therefore may contribute to many diseases, including cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma.

Antioxidants are compounds found in foods like fruits and vegetables that help to remove or neutralize these free radicals before they initiate oxidative stress and harm our cells. For example, berries, such as …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra

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