Today’s article comes to us from the vibrant Kavisha Jega, a wellness coach living in Melbourne, Australia. Kavisha and I connected through social media (as so many healthy foodies do – I love it!). After meeting Kavisha over a delish brekky in Bondi one day, I was instantly struck by her positive nature and radiance. She glowed; and seemed so relaxed despite being one very busy lady. So who better to provide us with an insight on to some key foods to eat when feeling stressed!
Working long hours, late nights, busy schedules, caffeine, sugar and alcohol… your body can be tired and stressed without you even knowing it. When under stress, the body uses more essential nutrients than it normally would. Therefore, it is important that these vital nutrients are constantly being ‘topped up’ to ensure your body is well protected to cope with stress and other illnesses.
It’s important to include the following foods in your diet when feeling under the pump, here’s why…
We need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a B vitamin deficiency. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. They’re also high in monounsaturated fat, magnesium and potassium, which help lower blood pressure.
Berries pack a powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamin C, making them mighty stress-busters. When we’re stressed, our bodies need vitamin C and antioxidants to help repair and protect cells. As our immune system is weakened when we are under stress, vitamin C will help boost your immunity.
3. Raw Cacao
Raw cacao is an excellent source of magnesium- a mineral that gets depleted when under stress. Magnesium is key for relaxation and healing of the muscles throughout the entire body and is therefore great for lowering blood pressure. Not getting enough magnesium may trigger migraine headaches and make you feel fatigued.
Almonds and cashews are rich in magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin E- all great at helping your body cope with stress. Pistachios and walnuts are also fantastic nuts to consume. Eating a handful of pistachios a day lowers blood pressure so your heart doesn’t have to work overtime. Walnuts have also been found to lower blood pressure, both at rest and under stress.
5. Salmon (or other oily fish)
Adequate levels of Omega-3s can help reduce anxiety and promote clear and focused thinking. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids also helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling tense. Consuming oily fish at least three times a week goes a long way towards protecting your heart when those stress hormones are surging.
Kavisha, thank you so much for your contribution to Nourish Everyday! I’m putting Kav’s advice into edible form with a fabulous simple Chocolate De-stress Smoothie – click here to jump to the recipe. Okay, I couldn’t whack the salmon in, but I have added chia seeds, which are also an excellent source of omega-3s! Click here to get the recipe.
Kavisha is a food & wellness coach who is a self-confessed lover of good food and travel. She works to educate and empower health conscious people to make healthy and positive changes to their diet and lifestyle. Kavisha holds a Masters degree in Wellness and is best known for her expertise in holistic wellbeing and healthy eating.
Connect with Kavisha