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Eliminate Stress Through Proper Nutrition

Just like a vehicle needs proper fuel and maintenance to perform properly, so does the human body. Over time, abuse and neglect can lead to a wide array of problems and eventual breakdown. Stress has the same effect on the body, over time it causes a variety of symptoms, which left untreated can lead to life-threatening illnesses like heart disease and cancer. A well-balanced, nutrient rich diet is essential for health and stress reduction. Simple adjustments to your diet now can immediately reduce the effects of stress, which in turn will give you more energy, make you stronger, and more resistant to disease.

Stress Busting Foods

* High fiber foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, increase serotonin (a mood enhancing hormone) in the brain, naturally reducing the effects of stress.

* Eat raw fruits and vegetables often. They are not only higher in vitamins and minerals than cooked foods; they also contain natural stress reducing compounds called flavonoids.

* Low fat dairy and yogurt are recommended because they are high in calcium and magnesium. Foods high in calcium and magnesium have been shown to reduce stress because these two nutrients relax muscle fibers.

Things to Avoid

* Avoid foods and drinks that are filled with stimulants like caffeine which tax the nervous and immune system. Chocolate, coffee, and most teas should only be used in moderation. In addition, there are toxic levels of acid in most soft drinks which rob the body of calcium (one of the natural stress busters).

* Sugar is another food that can trigger stress because it causes rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Sugars are hidden in many foods under names like dextrose and sucrose.

* As much as possible avoid packaged meals and snacks that contain artificial colors, flavors, additives, and preservatives. These chemicals are hard on the body because they are not recognized as natural, therefore the body responds defensively to them, straining the immune system.

Unfortunately, many foods are loaded with refined sugars, bleached flours, additives, preservatives, and other toxins that can compromise health. Many foods today lack vital nutrients and as a result you may not be getting the nutrition you need to counteract the effects of stress. In most instances, diet alone is not sufficient in meeting individual nutritional needs. A good multi-vitamin and/or herbal supplements can help ensure proper nutrition, and as a result help you reduce stress. In particular there are a few vitamins that are essential for stress management.

Stress Vitamins

There are a couple of vitamins that have been shown in studies to greatly prevent and/or reduce the signs of stress. According to Psychology today, people with high levels of vitamin C do not display the expected signs of mental and physical stress when subjected to intense psychological stresses.

In addition, the family of B-vitamins strengthens the nervous and immune systems, which allows them to better combat fatigue brought on by stress. The B vitamin Niacin also helps the body effectively release energy from carbohydrates, balancing and leveling blood sugar levels which also reduce stress.

Oktay Ozadam has an avid interest in health and well-being. Find out more about health and nutritional health supplements.