There are many ways to manage stress, but you may have overlooked your diet. Following healthy strategies such as eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water, and limiting your caffeine is an excellent place to start. But researchers suggest dietary changes can reduce stress hormones. Here are ten dietary changes you can make to reduce your stress hormones.
What Are the Main Stress Hormones?
Your primary stress hormone is cortisol. It gets released when you’re experiencing pressure causing a fight-or-flight response. Even though cortisol is essential, there are other significant hormones. Hormones like insulin affect weight gain, blood sugar levels, and your body’s stress levels. Other hormones that affect your stress include:
- Growth hormones
- Thyroid hormones
- Corticotropin-releasing hormone
What Foods Affect Your Hormones the Greatest?
Sugar is at the top of the list of foods that activate your stress hormones. Sugar causes memory problems and brain fog. Furthermore, there’s even an increased risk of dementia when your diet is high in sugar. This is because it creates insulin resistance, making it harder for your body to process glucose.
Snacking throughout your day also disrupts your hormones and puts stress on your body. When you snack, it increases your insulin, which causes insulin resistance. These up-and-down hormone fluctuations affect your health, mood, and your stress.
10 Dietary Changes That Can Reduce Stress Hormones
If you want to manage health more efficiently, try these ten things.
1 – Eat more magnesium
According to studies, a diet low in magnesium increases anxiety-related behaviors. Foods rich in magnesium have the opposite effect. They make you feel calm and relaxed. Rood high in magnesium include:
- Swiss chard
- Whole grains
Magnesium provides support for your nerve function, muscles, and energy levels. When you are low in magnesium, it increases your blood pressure and puts you at risk for type2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Having enough magnesium in your body makes a difference in how you feel and function. It improves your PMS, reduces migraines, and promotes lower inflammation.
2 – Eat fatty acids
This is an excellent dietary change to reduce stress if you aren’t eating enough fatty acids. Fatty acids, such as omega 3s, are linked to improving depression. These foods improve your mood and reduce your anxiety levels. Omega 3s create fluidity in your brain cells and play roles in your brain function. Your body can’t produce these essential fats, so you must include them in your diet.
Omega-3-rich foods to include in your diet:
- Dark chocolate
- Fermented foods
- Nuts and seeds
3 – Avoid skipping meals for lifetime dietary changes you can live with
Skipping meals can lead to metabolic syndrome. According to researchers, metabolic syndrome creates conditions in your body that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions. Metabolic syndrome is also called insulin resistance syndrome. Constant exposure to stress increases your risk of developing metabolic syndrome. How do you know if you have metabolic syndrome?
Know the red flags that reveal metabolic syndrome:
Good chance you have it if you have three or more of these conditions.
- Large waistline: This is sometimes called an “apple shape.” It’s where you carry extra weight in your stomach area. This shape puts you at risk for heart disease more than if you carry your fat in other parts of your body.
- High blood pressure: If you have high blood pressure that stays high, it can damage your blood vessels and heart. High blood pressure also builds up plaque, the waxy-like substance that clogs your arteries. Plaque causes blood vessels and heart disease, stroke, or heart attack.
- High blood sugar: High blood sugar increases your chances of blood clots, damaging your blood vessels and heart. High blood pressure also raises triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood. If you have high triglycerides, it increases your cholesterol, which leads to heart disease.
Metabolic syndrome is preventable with dietary changes and stress reduction.
4 – Try natural probiotics
Eating foods that are natural probiotics can reduce your anxiety and stress. These foods protect the lining of your gut, where many serotonin receptors live.
Natural probiotics are in these foods:
- Some cheeses-mozzarella, cottage cheese, cheddar, gouda
5 – Enjoy foods rich in zinc
Another dietary change to consider is eating more foods rich in zinc. Zinc can improve your mental function and boost your brain health. Prolonged stress decreases zinc in your blood. Having enough zinc in your body stabilizes your cortisol levels, which can lead to hormonal changes. Food high in zinc include:
- Egg yolks
Eating a Mediterranean diet will boost your zinc levels. This diet improves your mood and reduces your stress.
7 – Eat foods rich in B vitamins
Foods rich in vitamin B are the “feel good” foods. They help release and regulate hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin. This vitamin’s other roles include:
- Supports your overall sense of well-being
- Improves your energy levels
- Brain function
- Cell metabolism
- Prevent infections
- Cell development and health
- Stress control and improved mood
The Vitamin B foods include these items:
Make dietary changes by adding vitamin B-rich foods to your daily menu. Vitamin B foods include:
- Organ meats
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
What are the symptoms of low vitamin B?
Watch for these primary symptoms of low vitamin B:
- You feel dizzy
- Pale or yellowish skin tone.
- Loss of appetite
- Losing weight without trying
- Fast heartbeat or chest pain
- Your feet and hands feel numb or tingling
- Weak muscles
- Mood changes
- Feeling forgetful or confused.
8 – Try adding antioxidant-rich foods
Antioxidants are natural substances that help delay cell damage and reduce anxiety disorders. There’s a considerable debate about how many antioxidants you need for maximum health benefits. It’s best to eat foods that are naturally high in antioxidants rather than taking supplements. Going overboard with supplements is never healthy. Eating these foods is the safest way to get enough antioxidants.
- Red beets
9 – Eat eggs
Eggs are full of a wide variety of minerals and vitamins. They also contain amino acids and antioxidants, which help boost stress reactions. Eggs are also rich in choline, a mineral that improves brain health, especially in protecting against stress. This fantastic food contains healthy amounts of protein. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin D, which strengthens your bones.
10 – Try sweet potatoes
These aren’t just sweet little orange vegetables. Sweet potatoes lower your cortisol levels, a stress hormone. Hormonal changes occur because of chronic stress. This situation leads to cortisol dysfunctions, resulting in inflammation, pain, and sometimes autoimmune problems. Sweet potatoes are a good carbohydrate choice to add to your dietary changes. They’re full of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamins B, E, and A.
Other benefits of eating sweet potatoes:
- High fiber: Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, which helps your gut function well. They help lower diabetes and some cancers. Next time you grab potatoes for fries or mashed potatoes, pick up sweet potatoes. You’ll boost your fiber and improve your digestion.
- Helps your vision: Orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene. It’s a pigment that changes into vitamin A in your body. It helps your vision in the dark and prevents certain eye diseases. Beta-carotene is fat-soluble, so it’s best to eat them with olive oil or butter for the best absorption.
- Brain help: Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and beneficial to help prevent brain function decline diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Orange fruits and veggies slow cognitive decline. Eating these sweet little potatoes can aid your memory and brain function.
- Helps your skin: Rich in vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, a protein found in your skin and hair. Eating sweet potatoes improves your skin and hair. Making them look strong and healthy. As you age, your body produces less collagen, such dietary changes as eating more sweet potatoes prevent your skin from drying out.
- Supports your immune system: Another benefit of sweet potatoes is boosting your immune system. Because they’re high in vitamin C, which stimulate the production of your white blood cells that fight infection. Eating one sweet potato will give you 25% of your daily vitamin C. Your body cannot store this vitamin, so be sure to get it daily by including sweet potatoes in your daily menu.
Final Thoughts on Making Dietary Changes to Reduce Your Stress Hormones
You probably know many ways to manage your stress. But maybe you didn’t realize what you eat had such a significant impact on stress. Simple dietary changes will make a big difference. These ten dietary changes are simple to incorporate into your daily diet. It’s important to consider eating more of these foods since stress impacts your body. If you don’t regulate stress, it can cause hormonal changes in your body, lower your resistance to infection and disease and make you susceptible to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Try these foods to reduce your stress. Your health is worth it.