According to the US HHS Office of Minority Health, Black adults are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult Whites. Stress can lead to many health issues, including depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart problems and more. While many people suggest breathing and exercise to combat stress, did you know that food is correlated with not only fighting stress, but causing it, too?
Dr. Pete Sulack, America’s Leading Stress Expert and Founder of StressRx.com, spoke with Hello Beautiful about which foods can reduce stress levels as well as foods that are contributing to stress.
“When the body is stressed, it is both toxic and deficient. Foods provide the perfect antidote to stress.” ~ Dr. Pete Sulack
Dr. Sulack suggests “superfoods” that not only are high in nutrition, but also leave an alkaline footprint. What exactly is an alkaline footprint? Your body needs to be balanced and meats, dairy, eggs are highly acidic. Balancing your body with neutral foods is suggested because “cancer and other disease processes prefer an acid environment.” Dr. Sulack continues, “these foods can also protect you against those diseases.” So what are the super foods that we need to be getting into? Find out below!
Kale and broccoli need to be on your grocery list. Dr. Sulack reveals, “These veggies help with detoxification of the body by building your level of bluthathione – an amino acid responsible for detoxification of the body.” Don’t forget your dark and leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, or collard greens. These greens are high in Vitamin D, which boosts the bodies’ immunity to disease. Some anxiety and feelings of stress can be the result of the body’s horomones being out of balance.
GET IN THOSE OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews are all good for you. So are seeds, like, chia seeds (great in smoothies!), sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds. These foods contain DHA, which regulates your level of emotionality. Dr. Sulack tells Hello Beautiful, “The over-emotionality caused by horomonal disruption then contributes to hyperactivity of the of the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal axis. This is a neuroendocrine system that regulates mood, aggression, and the stress response associated with anxiety.”
Berries and other low-sugar fruits are rich in antioxidants, phenols and Vitamin C. This is all helpful for reducing stress. Dr. Sulack reveals, “Vitamin C helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress. When your body has high levels of vitamin C, you have more resilience to acute psychological challenges.”
It might sound gross, but bone broth made from grass-fed chicken or beef helps to heal and seal the gut. It’s packed with collagen, gelatin and amino acids. Dr. Sulack tells us, “there is compelling research that demonstrates the benefits of a healthy guy in treating anxiety and stress.”
HERBS AND SPICES
Spices like cinnamon, ginger, and tumeric are all great at battling systemic inflammation in the body, which is a result of chronic stress. Add some ginger to your next smoothie or get into some delicious curries!
Dr. Pete Sulack also released StressRX, which is a product that contains four potent herbs that give you energy while simultaneously producing a sense of calm and well-being.
There are definitely foods that may do the opposite and raise stress levels. Dr. Pete Sulack provided us with a list of foods to avoid:
One of the biggest causes of stress is your blood sugar. Dr. Sulack explains, “When blood sugar is between the glucose levels of 75-95 (ng/dl) the body functions well. The more time you spend outside that range, the more your body feels stress.” Unstable blood sugar can make you feel angry, frustrated, anxious or frightened.
Dr. Sulack tells Hello Beautiful, “Excessive caffeine consumption can induce heart palpitations, shaking and difficulty sleeping – all a recipe for triggering the stress response.” One cup a day is okay, but watch out for hidden caffeine in sodas, teas, and chocolate.
This is a common allergy for many people and can set off inflammatory responses throught the body. Dr. Sulack also teaches us that “peanuts are prone to molds and fungus, which can also result in inflammatory reactions.” Opt for raw organic almonds or other tree nuts and butters.
You might want that extra burst of flavor, but do you really know what’s in those seasoning mixes? Many use artificial coloring, which can disrupt horomone function and lead to inflammation. Many also contain sugar, which we already know is not good for you. Make your own sauces and salad dressings so you know just what’s in your food!
Beauties, do you feel a difference depending on the food you eat? Leave us a comment!