If you find yourself stressed, you're not alone. For many, when we're feeling stressed, we reach for our favorite comfort foods. Oftentimes those comfort foods are high in sugar, fried, and high in fat. Unfortunately, those comfort foods can lead to inflammation in our bodies. While short-term inflammation can actually be good, long-term inflammation - which can be a result of long-term stress - can cause a host of problems including a higher risk for chronic disease and causes an increase in psychological distress. More and more, we're seeing causation between what we eat and our health. Interested in reducing stress and improving your energy, mood, and sleep? While there is not a magic fix for stress reduction, one thing that can help is eating anti-inflammatory foods, and reducing or eliminating inflammation-causing foods.
Focusing on anti-inflammatory foods, a general rule of thumb is to eat more whole foods and reduce or eliminate processed foods. Some goals to consider and anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce stress and improve health could include:
Increase Good Gut Bacteria by eating: Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha
Lower Cortisol Levels by eating: avocados, broccoli, bananas, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate
Regulate Stress Hormones by eating: garlic, cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger
Fight Free Radicals by eating: strawberries, carrots, leafy greens, blueberries, blackberries, sweet potatoes, and beets