Eating to relieve stress may have more positives than we realise but there is also a downside if you pick the wrong foods. Nutrition science looks closely at the key nutrients that can suffer in times of high stress as well as the nutrients that help to calm the farm.
B-Complex supplements is a group of all 8 essential B’s that work very well together. Despite this they have their own specific jobs with the number one role of helping convert protein, fat and carbohydrates to useable energy. Two essential B vitamins are folic acid and B12 which need to be methylated to become active. They are a critical step in making brain hormones that affect mood, stress, brain health and memory. Foods that contain B vitamins include:
- Beef/ Poultry/ Fish
- Nuts/ Beans/ Fortified cereals
- Dairy products/ Eggs
Methylating foods are beetroot, spinach, mushrooms, eggs and shellfish. Nutritionists tend to use methylated B complex to cover a greater need for methylation and make up for any gaps.
Ashwagandha is an Indian herb classified as an adaptogen — a class of herbs that support the adrenal system and help you deal with stress. It has long been studied for its wide range of health benefits and earned the title “King of Ayurvedic medicine.” Our research and that of others suggests that Ashwagandha can help lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and thus reduce chronic stress. A systematic review of 5 randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Complementary Medicine suggests that Ashwagandha substantially reduces stress and anxiety scores.
5HTP is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. It is particularly helpful taken before bed to help with sleep and staying asleep. Often just breaking the poor sleep cycle with 5HTP can be enough to get your natural circadium rhythms back in line with day and night. We consider 5HTP as having a short life in the body and therefore it is safe and works quickly but doesn’t get stored.
Magnesium has long been associated with supporting the central nervous system and neuromuscular conduction. It has a protective role in protecting against excessive excitation. When magnesium is low, more adrenalin is produced and cortisol. Foods high in Magnesium include:
Magnesium supplementation can help with relaxation, which also helps relieve migraines, restless leg, improves bowel movement and eases pain. It is used to reduce inflammation in cells and help improve insulin sensitivity.
L-Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid found in protein foods such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, and beans. It is the precursor to making dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. The dopamine pathway is quite complex and requires a number of key nutrients starting with L-tyrosine, B-complex, methylation, magnesium and vitamin D When any of these are insufficient or the body requires more to deal with stress, common symptoms are felt in your cognitive ability including memory and focus, all suffer. Supplementing with the raw material is the starting point.
Gut bacteria communicate with the brain through a complex network of chemical signals which are often referred to as ‘The Gut Brain Connection”. Research links good gut bacteria with digestive health, immunity, autoimmune and overall health.
Phosphatidylcholine is a phospholipid and often called Lecithin. They are a major component of the cell membrane and protect against the movement of molecules going in and out of cells as well as the signaling between cells which can cause overstimulation. Much research has been carried out in the area of brain health – autism spectrum and Alzheimer’s.