Stress is sickening, literally. We all know that ongoing stress can lead to anxiety and depression, but did you know that there are foods that beat stress?
The truth is that stress affects our entire body. And science now tells us it can even weaken our immune system and shorten our life. We all deal with some levels of stress, right? It’s normal. But a recent survey done in 2022 by the American Psychological Association reported that three-quarters of adults say their stress levels are up. So what can we do about it? Certainly, taking steps to manage stress holistically should be a priority. But let’s talk about the foods that can beat stress.
The first thing we need to understand is the role of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone released by our adrenal glands when we’re experiencing stress. A small amount of stress is good- it has a protective mechanism for our bodies. Over the long run, high cortisol levels in the body create stress. Lowering inflammation helps to lower cortisol levels. To reduce cortisol levels and beat stress, we’ve got to eat foods that lower inflammation.
What NOT to eat
Job number one is to avoid or remove foods that create inflammation. That means limiting (or eliminating) alcohol and foods with high amounts of added sugars. This includes cookies, sweets, pastries, and fast foods.
Curious about how much protein to eat? Check out these tips on protein intake.