Stephanie Ridley, Nutritional therapist and founder of Nourish to Flourish relieves how addressing your food can help with stress.
► Eat plenty of vegetables and wholegrains as these are good sources of fibre and minerals that help to regulate blood sugar levels – aim for 3+ vegetables each day, eaten raw and/or steamed to preserve their nutritional content.
► Choose low-sugar fruits that are high in vitamin C such as kiwis and berries – vitamin C is critical for adrenal health.
► Eat some form of protein with every meal to help balance blood sugar levels.
► Exercise regularly but not to the extreme – regular exercise, 3 x week at 20-45 mins each time, helps to dissipate stress hormones whilst too much exercise is a stress on the body.
► Eat an anti-inflammatory diet as foods that promote inflammation trigger the release of cortisol – therefore cut back on saturated fats (e.g. butter, red meat, cream etc.) and increase your intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as organic salmon, eggs, trout and raw nuts, seeds and cold pressed oils (e.g. flaxseed oil).
► Avoid stimulants such as tea, coffee, cigarettes and alcohol (a short-term stimulant) as these stimulate the adrenals, exacerbating the problem.
► Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugars as these trigger blood sugar imbalances – the adrenals are activated to increase blood sugar when it falls below normal.
► Try to sleep for at least 7 hours each night.
► Make sure you take time to relax each day, even if it is for 15 minutes – try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, reading a good book, and so forth.
Stephanie specialises in Nutritional Therapy for stress and adrenal fatigue.