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How Nutrition Affects Your Stress Level

a mix of healthy protein, fats, and carbs
Whole Foods are you best source of nutrition


In this article, I’d like to focus on specific vitamins, minerals, and foods that can help alleviate stress and grant mental and physical resilience.


According to a systematic review of twelve studies by the NIH, “We found evidence of a significant, cross-sectional relationship between unhealthy dietary patterns and poorer mental health in children and adolescents. We observed a consistent trend for the relationship between good-quality diet and better mental health and some evidence for the reverse.” In other words, the trite saying, “You are what you eat,” has scientific evidence to back it up.


This chart from the FDA is an excellent source of nutritional information. The nutritional values are daily minimums. They don’t account for age, weight, sexual orientation, or absorption rates. All these factors should be considered when determining your proper intake levels. Research, and consult your general practitioner (GP) or a dietician.



Berries are a strong source of B6
B6 is critical to immune and psychological maintenance

Research suggests that B6 may be appropriate for controlling and, to some extent, preventing depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), autism, and addiction. It is directly involved with immune and nervous system function, red blood cell formation, conversion of food into energy, and protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism.


Foods rich in B6 are chickpeas, non-citrus fruit, potatoes, salmon, dark chocolate, and tuna.



Avocados are an excellent source of magnesium
Magnesium can directly regulate your stress levels

A 2017 review by that looked at 18 different studies found that magnesium did reduce anxiety. These studies examined mild anxiety, anxiety during premenstrual syndrome, postpartum anxiety, and generalized anxiety. The studies were based on self-reports, so the results are subjective. The review stated that further controlled trials are needed to confirm this finding.


According to this review, magnesium is essential in regulating neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout the brain and body, a key role in neurological health. In addition, magnesium plays an integral part in brain function with the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. These glands are responsible for your stress response. If you have an anxiety disorder, you might consider using magnesium to help reduce your symptoms.


Avocados, beans, peas, dairy products, bananas, raisins, spinach, nuts, potatoes, dark chocolate, and whole grains are among the foods rich in magnesium.



Cheese is a strong source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays an important role in brain function

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in brain development and is a key ingredient in dopamine production. Dopamine, like norepinephrine, is a neurotransmitter in the brain that initiates adrenalin, a hormone, during the activation of the stress response. The stress response is generally self-regulating, ready to respond to a potential threat and then back down once the threat is lifted. When someone is constantly experiencing environmental stress, this is considered the threat that keeps the stress response system constantly turned on. Leaving the stress response on continuously creates a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition for the body. This process floods the body with excess hormones, raises blood pressure, and elevates blood sugar levels, creating various physical and psychological problems.


Vitamin D-rich foods include eggs, tuna, dairy, orange juice, soy, rice, almonds, mushrooms, and pork. However, it is easily argued that the sun is our best source.



Eggs are an important source of selenium
Selenium helps regulate the thyroid gland

Selenium’s primary function regarding stress is thyroid gland regulation and anti-oxidative cellular degradation. 


When the body is under stress for long periods, it undergoes oxidative stress. Selenium is a powerful anti-oxidant and bolsters the immune system.


Also, the thyroid gland is a master gland critical in maintaining optimum hormonal balance. When the thyroid works improperly, it can lead to moodiness, anxiety, depression, and other adverse physical manifestations.


Eggs, pasta, rice, meat, nuts, seeds, poultry, seafood, and whole grains are among the foods rich in selenium.



Whole grains contain a healthy portion of zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral

Zinc is an essential mineral involved in the immune system, nervous systems, protein formation, and wound healing.


Lack of intercellular zinc levels can cause neuropsychological changes such as emotional instability, irritability, and depression.


Eating beans, peas, beef, dairy, nuts, poultry, whole grains, and shellfish helps maintain healthy zinc levels.



Sliced Tuna Steak
Omega-3 is essential to bodily function

The human body can manufacture most of the fats it needs, including cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, and unsaturated fatty acids. However, two families of fatty acids, the omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids, are considered essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential because the parent omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA), and the parent omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), absolutely cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from the diet or supplementation.


Omega-3 fatty acids are essential from conception through pregnancy and continue to support the normal growth and development of infants. Throughout life, omega-3 fats aid in preventing and treating heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory diseases, and cancer.1 Omega-3 fatty acids also play an essential role in protecting the health of the brain, eyes, and nervous system.


Foods rich in omega-3 are mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, herring, oysters, sardines, anchovies, caviar, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.


Two other components you should consider are water and iodine. Water comprises over 70% of the body, and people are often dehydrated, impairing cellular function. Iodine is an essential element for brain development. Insufficient amounts of water and iodine can cause catastrophic health issues or death.


Just as there are vitamins, minerals, and foods you should consume to promote physical and mental health, there are foods you should consider moderating.

Alcohol consumption can disrupt hormone production, decreasing testosterone and increasing estrogen. It can also reduce your metabolic rate, diminishing carbohydrate and fat synthesis.


Caffeine increases epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol levels. Continued use maintains unhealthy levels of these hormones, increasing stress and blood pressure. Decreased consumption of caffeine-rich products like coffee, some teas, soda, and caffeinated beverages (i.e., Monster Energy) is something to consider.


Refined Sugar has been shown to increase nitric oxide production and anxiety-related behavior. This finding is in addition to all the other serious health consequences of consuming too many simple sugars.


So, stop overeating donuts, milk chocolate, and candy. If you want to eat something sweet, think about a piece of fruit.


Fatty Foods, like refined Sugar, when over-consumed, produce an anxiety-like behavior in animals and humans. The exact mechanism is unknown, but it appears that the increased calorie consumption and the body’s inability to break down this kind of food efficiently produce an imbalance in the body.


Although this article presents a great deal of information, and even more, considering the links to studies, we are just scratching the surface. Everyone’s goal should be a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life. That can’t be reached without optimizing physical, emotional, and psychological health. The research clearly shows that all these factors are interrelated.


Somulis is simple to use, effective, and safe, useable by anyone, anywhere, and anytime. It’s a change agent gently stimulating the vagus nerve behind the earlobes, giving your mind and body the tap on the shoulder it needs to do its job. That tap creates a parasympathetic reaction, releasing oxytocin and acetylcholine, decreasing stress, increasing focus, and enhancing sleep. Be proactive, incorporate a healthier living style, and use Somulis as an essential ally in your journey to be at your best.

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