Hello ladies! Today I have a guest blogger, Sharae Jenkins, sharing with you on one of the most important things that you need to know when you reclaim your power and identity so that you know you are enough: building resilience and flourishing. Building resilience and flourishing involves a holistic approach of nourishing the whole person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically . Her article will deal with the physical, or wellness aspect, i.e., being careful of what you are putting into your bodies. I pray that you will find her post encouraging, motivating, and enlightening. Be blessed!
Sharae Jenkin’s Blog Post:
When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re more likely to turn to are traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think large meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol.
While turning to these foods can make you feel better temporarily, in the long run, they can make you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.
Foods that Fight Stress
If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.
Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind in the long-run rather than providing a temporary fix.
Part 1: Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:
- Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. Avocados contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties
- Blueberries – Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
- Chamomile Tea – Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
- Chocolate – Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavanol’s and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress
- Beef – Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamin’s C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety.
Part 2: Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:
- Oatmeal – As a complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed.
- Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert.
- Pistachios – Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
- Green Leafy Vegetables – Leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical.
- Fermented foods – Last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels.
Putting Together Your Diet Plan
Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.
A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries
Mid-morning snack: Greek yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts
Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens
Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate
Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables
Before bed: Chamomile tea
Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea!
Remember to practice portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.
P.S. Just in case you missed the exciting news, I just released my Summer Shape Up Recipe Book! 40 delicious, summer-inspired recipes to help you stay Fab + Fit this summer and beyond! Get the yummy details here!
Yours in wellness,
Sharae Jenkins, MBA, FNS
Nutritionist + Health Coach + Blogger
Text FABFIT to (877) 660-2651 for practical wellness tips + exclusive recipes!
I help career women who struggle losing weight create effective and sustainable lifestyle changes while eating food they enjoy! Learn more about my 1:1 Health + Nutrition Coaching or my Personalized Meal Planning Service!
You can follow Sharae Jenkins on instagram at @fab_fitcoaching.