Doesn’t every mother want to know the secret for having more energy and less stress? The good news is that you don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive supplements or an entire day at the spa to achieve these results. Making simple adjustments to your diet you can work wonders for energy and stress.
- Practice proper food combining: When you eat the right combinations of foods, your blood sugar remains stable, you have sustained energy and your ability to stay sharp and focused increases tremendously! Eat small balanced meals to prevent blood sugar highs and lows.
- Eat whole foods: Eating foods in their most natural state (i.e., an apple as opposed to apple juice) insures you are getting their full nutritional benefits. When foods are processed, refined or heated they lose vital nutrients and enzymes. Make sure to choose produce that is local and in season for the highest nutritional value.
- Eat a variety of colors: Every fruit and veggie has a unique combination of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can’t be replicated through supplementation. Avoid eating the same foods everyday to insure you are getting a variety of nutrients to support your energy.
- Avoid anything that will give you extreme highs and lows: Caffeine, sugar, refined carbs, alcohol and processed foods should all be used in moderation. Overuse of stimulants can rob your adrenals of their ability to regulate cortisol (stress hormone) leaving you lethargic. Caffeine gives you “false energy” which often leaves you more tired than you where before.
- Eat foods rich in B vitamins: B vitamins have a calming effect on the nervous system, they enhance your mood and are also known as the energy vitamins (b12 in particular). B6 helps produce serotonin while B9 (folate) helps stabilize moods and reduce anxiety, depression and panic. Good sources of the B vitamin’s include leafy greens, beans, asparagus, whole grains, sunflower seeds and mushrooms.
- Eat food rich in Vitamin C: This immune booster is shown to lower cortisol and protect/repair cells from the damage of stress. Vitamin C has also been shown to return blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation.Red bell pepper, berries, Brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli are all great sources of vitamin C.
- Eat foods rich in magnesium and potassium: Magnesium regulates cortisol and promotes a sense of wellbeing and is a natural muscle relaxant, while potassium helps lower blood pressure. A lack of magnesium can lead to feeling fatigued. Seaweed, sunflower seeds and spinach are excellent sources of magnesium while sweet potatoes, white beans and Greek yogurt provide a healthy dose of potassium.
- Make sure to include healthy fats: Omega 3’s are known for their brain and heart health, but they are also responsible for keeping cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you are feeling tense. Wild caught Alaskan salmon is a great source of Omega 3’s.
- Choose the right carbohydrates: Carbs are essential for energy and booting your levels of serotonin, but not all carbs are created equal. Choose sweet potatoes and oatmeal over pasta and bread to keep blood sugar and energy levels stable.