Stress is a part of everyday life, more so this year as 2020 continues to shock and amaze the world. As our stress levels begin to increase, our quality of life begins to decrease. This is because stress impacts our ability to focus, lose weight and can even result in the development of chronic conditions.
There are several different ways to deal with stress, but one of the things we often overlook is the foods that we eat. As the healthiest diet available, it’s no wonder that the Mediterranean diet can help to alleviate stress.
Research has been done into the Neurobiology of Stress and one of the findings indicates that the Mediterranean diet can assist with healthy ageing as well as reducing feelings of stress. While stress can be tricky to measure, it does impact the nervous system, which is why the studied looked at the production of cortisol as well as the functioning of the nervous system. Cortisol is the hormone that is accountable for effecting the “fight or flight” reaction we have to situations. This means that when we’re stressed, higher levels of cortisol are present in the body. If these levels remain high for long periods of time, it can damage internal tissues.
The Role Of The Mediterranean Diet In Alleviating Stress
The Mediterranean diet, when consumed in the long term, has been found to decrease cortisol levels and assists with engaging the parasympathetic nervous system that’s responsible for keeping us calm.
As the diet focuses predominately on healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, it’s a recipe for good health. It also lessens the risk of heart disease and improves overall heart wealth. There have also been reports of improved brain functioning.
The diet is also great for weight loss due to its nutrient-dense, fibre-rich, and high protein content.
Foods To Include In The Mediterranean Diet
The first thing to look at is nuts. Nuts are rich in vitamin B and potassium, both of which can assist in lowering blood pressure and reducing stress. Vegetables, for example, leafy greens and bell peppers, are often packed with magnesium and vitamin C to help fight inflammation. Fish like salmon that’s rich in omega-3 can assist in reducing anxiety while teas and dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants and can protect our body from the effects of prolonged stress.
The simplest way to follow this diet is to ensure that you’re eating veggies with every meal. Add them to your smoothies or pasta, or simply serve them on the side. When it comes to snack during the day, reach for fruit and nuts.
If you think about, the Mediterranean diet encompasses everything that we were taught growing up. Always eat your fruits and vegetables to ensure that you grow up to be big and strong. Well, now that we’re big and strong, why not eat all your fruits and vegetables to prevent yourself from becoming overly stressed?
If you are interested in discovering more about the ways that nutrition can help you with your health, then you need to do our Specialised Nutrition Course. For more information, please follow this link.