Stress management through nutrition

Article submission, Saturday 1st December 2007

Everybody tells me that they are stressed. Stress rears its ugly head everywhere in the workplace, at home in our personal relationships, and even in the kitchen through poor food that some may eat even after reading so much about health! Stress is the manifestation of how we handle our life episodes. Some people are innately and genetically better at dealing with stress. Others can train and teach themselves to handle stress more efficiently. The right food choices can dramatically assist the body in better handling stress.

Stress causes a pumping out of toxic substances in the bloodstream which makes you tired, irritable and angry. Also depletes the body of vitamins, minerals, further degrades digestive function and slows metabolism, which leads to weight gain, however don’t loose heart good news is here. We can reduce our reaction to stress.We can enhance our life style to improve biochemistry and physiology to better deal with stress by eating De-Stress Foods, however that is if you want to do something?

Your body responds to stress by increasing the production of adrenal stress hormones. These hormones are responsible for many symptoms associated with stress : elevation of blood pressure, muscle tension, digestive upsets etc. Too much stress exhausts the adrenal gland leads to chronic exhaustion and anxiety and further health complications.

De-Stress foods

Celery: An old folk remedy to lower blood pressure. It lowers the concentration of stress hormones that causes blood vessel constriction and it's calming effect improves your sleep too.

Sunflower seeds: Are a rich source or potassium, they are also rich in B vitamins and zinc which play a critical role in the health of the adrenal glands.

Brown Rice: Brown rice is a slowly absorbed carbohydrate that helps trigger the release of the body’s feel good chemicals serotonin and more epinephrine which helps to lift your mood and give a sustained burst of energy.

Algae: The precursors of serotonin hormones, protein L-phenyl alanin, and tryptophan are present in it. They have an energetic effect on the liver and can help facilitate the elimination of toxins. Lowering stress levels in the body Algae contains almost every nutrient known to man Including the ones that have positive effect on the nervous system.

Cabbage: Good stress bursting source of antioxidants, vitamin C and E beta-carotene as well as the mineral selenium. Anti oxidants fight the damaging effect of free radicals in your body, released in response to stress and they also help the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.

Almonds: Are rich in magnesium which is especially important for supporting adrenal function as well as the metabolism of essential fatty acids. Low levels of magnesium is associated with the nervous tension, anxiety and irritability.

Berries: Black berries are rich in manganese and vit C, insufficient vit C can weaken your immune system and make you feel generally stressed. Other berries which are good sources of Vitamin C are strawberries and raspberries.

Sesame seeds: The need for Zinc increases during the time of stress and it is important for metabolism of fatty acids and production of serotonin.

Cucumber: The old saying “keeping cool as cucumber” is literally true because of its cooling effect on the blood and the liver when liver is properly nourished and not over heated it balances all the organs and their hormones.

Garlic: This has been used throughout history to treat colds and flu and for feeling generally run down. Garlic contains a detoxifying chemical called allicin which lowers blood pressure associated with stress.

Avocados: They contain 14 minerals, all of which regulates body function and stimulate growth, its high iron and copper content aids in red blood regeneration and the prevention of nutritional anemia-one a very common cause of fatigue and inability to cope effectively with stress.


Siberian ginseng: Increases the tone and function of adrenal glands helping to balance the hormonal excretion and gives mental and physical alertness.

Licorice root: Is most beneficial for correcting low cortisol output and will give adrenal glands a chance to rest and recover.

Rhodiola: Increases the body’s natural resistance to stressors.

Astragalus: Supports the immune system and helps the body to adapt to stress.

During the time of stress the requirement for vital minerals and vitamins increases:

1000-2000mg vitamin c (choose the one with bioflavonoid)
300mg magnesium
200mg calcium
500mg vit B5
Mega Complex vitamins
Antioxidants (brand with Beta-carotene, Vit E, Zinc AND Selenium)
100-500mg tyrosine twice a day when under prolonged stress


Herbal teas can be very effective at relieving stress symptoms:
Lemon balm
Passion flower are all good stress busters!

Above information is given in good faith however for any diseased condition please consult a physician or dietitian before starting it. Your questions and suggestions are welcome at:

For additional resourceful guidance on coping with stressful episodes check out the mindfulness meditation technique.

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