In a world, where lifestyle and metabolic disorders are prevailing at an alarming rate, we have still overlooked the significance of right eating habits in our daily lifestyle. Anxiety, Depression and Stress are among the most trending mental disorders which are spreading extravagantly in the entire world. Stress might stem from the excessive workload, overthinking, hormonal imbalance or poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. Peculiar levels of stress promote excessive production of cortisol, testosterone and adrenaline hormone which can have long term health effects and also results in various medical conditions such as diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, obesity and most importantly hypertension. A hectic lifestyle and poor eating habits contribute majorly to the effect of stress.
Following are some of the eating habits which may prove productive in combating stress and anxiety:
Incorporate more cortisol controlling foods in your diet: Cortisol, when released in adequate amount, is beneficial for optimising blood pressure, strengthening immunity and coping with stressful conditions. While, overproduction of cortisol have detrimental effects on our body especially on mood problems which can be managed by adding foods rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin-C rich fruits and vegetables. Protein reduces cortisol formation as it does not elevate blood sugar levels and stimulate insulin spike. Omega-3 fatty acids limit the production of eicosanoids, which causes excessive production of cortisol. Vitamin-C has the ability to control the secretion of cortisol, decreasing both the physiological and psychological effects of stress.
- Eat more dopamine promoting foods: Popularly known as “feel good hormone”, it has the tendency to reduce cortisol level and elevate testosterone in the body, creating a feeling of pleasure. Tyrosine and phenylalanine are the amino acids which play a pivotal role in the formation of dopamine. So, foods rich in protein should be taken in order to boost dopamine levels. Certain studies also revealed the presence of some species of bacteria in your gut which are responsible for producing dopamine. Hence, the intake of probiotics is linked to improved mood and behaviour.
- Try to have high-fibre food daily: Since they are known to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates which helps controlling insulin level. High fibre foods such as whole grains produce short chain fatty acids which lead to reduced episodes of anxiety and stress in the body.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water in a day: As it naturally flushes out the toxins and other impurities from our body. Apart from that, all our vital organs such as brain, liver, kidney, etc. require water for their optimum function. People who are well hydrated have shown lower levels of stress.
- Refrain yourself from sugary beverages, refined foods and alcohol: Sugar and alcohol are known to increase cortisol level in the body, abnormal level of cortisol lead to disturbed sleeping patterns and craving for unhealthy food items adding to the effect of stress.
- Choose “Good Fats” i.e. unsaturated fats over “Bad Fats” i.e. saturated fats: Unsaturated fats include fats which are not just healthy for our heart and body but also for our mental well being as they are overloaded with omega-3 fatty acids. In a recent study, it was found that people with depressive disorders such as anxiety have shown a decreased levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet as compared to their healthy peers as omega-3 fatty acid decreased the production of eicosanoids, which rises up the cortisol levels in the body.
Along with the right eating habits, certain herbs also help in reducing the stress levels. The Stress Less is the complete kit of natural organic herbs that help in combating stress.