Reduce Stress With 3 Simple Dietary Changes

    Does what you eat make a difference in the stress you feel? I’ll bet you know the answer from personal experience. Researchers have found that your diet plays a major role in how your body and brain handle the pressures of life. Today, we’ll explore three simple dietary substitutions to help your body and brain be more stress resistant and able to repair and recover.

    The first substitution is water for coffee. Water is your most essential nutrient. It plays a role in most every physiological function, including your ability to de-toxify from the effects of stress. In fact, dehydration is one of the major stressful factors that leads to compromised energy, digestion, health, brain function, and immune response.

    In contrast, excess caffeine stimulates your adrenal system into overdrive. This produces excess cortisol (a stress hormone) which locks you into “fight or flight” mode. This eventually exhausts you, hampers your ability to think clearly, keeps you from fully digesting your food, and slows your body’s natural repair and recovery systems.

    Rather than thinking all or nothing, it may be easier to maximize your water intake and minimize your caffeine intake. You could do this by substituting one glass of water for one cup of coffee each day. You can also substitute green tea, a lower caffeine alternative with other health benefits, for one of your cups of coffee.

    The second substitution is fresh fruit for refined sugar. Refined sugar tends to put you on an energy rollercoaster and initiates cycles of craving that lead you to consume more and more sugar. Refined sugar also compromises brain function, increases body-fat, and hampers your immune response.

    Fruit contains natural sugars, but also supplies fiber, minerals, and “biologically organized” water that your body needs to function well. Instead of reaching for that afternoon candy, cookie, or soda try a piece of your favorite fresh fruit instead.

    Finally, here’s one thing that you might consider completely eradicating from your diet—fried foods. Fried foods can compromise your cardio-vascular system within minutes and have a cumulative negative impact. Fried foods may also increase inflammation in your body, impede your digestion, and disrupt your brain function.

    Instead, consider substituting coldwater fish, such as salmon or cod, and supplements containing essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA—200-300 mgs/day.

    For more information on all these suggestions, I highly recommend the books, “Power Up Your Brain” by Perlmutter and Villordo and “Rewire Your Brain” by John Arden, Ph.D.

    Make these 3 simple substitutions and your body and brain will thank you!


    Kevin Schoeninger

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      2 Responses to “Reduce Stress With 3 Simple Dietary Changes”

      1. Matt Clarkson says:

        But I LUUUUVVVV coffee 🙂


        1. That’s where the minimize/maximize idea comes in. . . 🙂

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