We know that chronic stress stimulates and increases inflammation in the body while inflammation aggravates and creates a physical stress on the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked with a range of health conditions such as heart disease, depression and even cancer. When under stress, the immune system is unable to respond to hormonal control, and therefore produces a high level of inflammation.
When you have a healthy and well-balanced plant-based diet you are likely to be far less stressed both mentally and physically than someone with a poor diet. Studies have demonstrated that a nutritious diet high in fruits and vegetables supports a good mood with improved energy due to its many anti-inflammatory compounds.
Eating emotionally when stressed is something many people engage in. Emotional eating often includes highly processed foods, unhealthy fats, and sugar. These inflammatory foods can actually stimulate and cause an increased risk for anxiety and depression. It can also lead to Irregular blood sugar levels causing fatigue, depression and lethargy.
10 Anti-inflammatory Foods to Eat that are anti-inflammatory and promote good health
Dark Chocolate: One study revealed that people who drank an antioxidant-rich chocolate drink equal to about 1.5oz of dark chocolate daily felt calmer compared to those that did not. This effect was attributed to the antioxidant rich polyphenols that also exhibit a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Having the best of the best can help to increase endorphins and promote a happier mood. Skip the sugar and added extras in the regular chocolate and make your own or enjoy adding cacao in your smoothies, juices or snacks.
Dark Green Vegetables: These favorite veggies contain high levels of magnesium and B vitamins which are vital to help modulate stress, support relaxation and are anti-inflammatory. These vegetables are excellent for stress and inflammation and can be easily included in salads, smoothies, juices and more.
Oily Fish: Wild salmon, sardines and mackerel along with other foods such as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids. These not only reduce systemic inflammation but they also help to fight depression and other mood disorders that may be associated with stress.
Berries: Berries are high in many anti-inflammatory compounds including anthocyanins and other phenolic compounds such as quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin and chlorogenic acid that mop up inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. Blueberries are also helpful for reducing the risk of many chronic diseases including cognition and memory.
Turmeric: Turmeric gets a lot of press about its anti-inflammatory properties, but just as importantly it is beneficial and helpful for stress and depression.
Oats: Beta-glucan found in oats has been found to help reduce inflammation and chronic stress responses in the body. Studies have found women taking beta-glucan had better moods, higher energy and fewer infections.
Avocado: Avocados are rich in vitamin E and healthy fats. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant which is also has strong anti-inflammatory properties and helps to support mood and well-being.
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of tryptophan as are turkey, eggs, pineapple, kiwi fruit, plums, plantain and nuts. Tryptophan is an amino acid that your body converts into serotonin which supports a happy mood and helps to reduce and combat stress. These foods also contain many anti-inflammatory compounds to support healthy brain and mood function.
Bananas: Bananas are also high in tryptophan, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6 which are all supportive of a good mood, restful sleep and stress adaptation.
Fermented Foods: Studies are now connecting poor gut flora with poor mood. Consuming fermented foods helps to modulate a happy mood along with supporting other health problems that have been linked to poor bacteria in the intestines such as allergies, eczema, IBS, constipation, lactose intolerance, asthma and a range of other chronic health ailments.
Benefits of Massage Therapy for Stress
Taking care of your body should be at the top of your priorities. By adding therapeutic massage to your routine now, you’ll feel, look and simply be healthier far into the future. In fact, stress relief alone can improve your vitality and state of mind. So what better way to prep for a long, happy life than a relaxing, therapeutic massage?
Body & Soul Massage in Salem Ma offers Therapeutic Massage for Stress and Pain relief. Monthly Massage membership and Pain Relief packages are available. To learn more visit www.bodysoulsalem.com or call for an appointment 978-825-0040.
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