If you overindulged on chocolate over the Easter break, then maybe there is a silver lining. The following foods all have properties that support your nervous system and help you stay resilient when the inevitable stressful times arrive.
Too good to be true? Well there are a few caveats, but chocolate can be good for you. Plenty of studies have shown that eating chocolate stimulates the release of increased levels of mood enhancing endorphins, which decrease stress and pain levels.
Does that mean a big chocolate binge over Easter was a good idea? Well most chocolate is very high in sugar which is a common food we reach for under stress, however sugary foods just make your blood sugar unstable and are more likely to trigger fatigue, anxiety, depression and irritability and diminish our ability to cope. So you’re better off slowly making your way through your Easter stash and sticking to small quantities of quality dark chocolate.
Did you eat fish on Good Friday? If you chose an oily fish like salmon you gave yourself a good dose of omega 3 fatty acids which can boost brain function and build resilience to stress.
According to Homer Simpson, you don’t win friends with salad, however you do improve your gut health, boost your mood and support the wellbeing and relaxation of your nervous system.
Don’t tell your paleo pals but brown rice, quinoa, oats are good sources of complex carbohydrates that deliver sustained energy levels and corresponding mood leveling steady blood sugar levels. Additionally whole grains are a rich source of B vitamins which support nervous system health and are necessary for optimal brain chemistry.
It’s not just what you put in your mouth that’s important but what state you’re in when you’re eating. If you’re trying to scoff some breakfast whilst rushing out the door, then eating your lunch in front of the computer it’s no surprise that you body won’t be digesting optimally. If you can slow down and be really present while you are eating (not watching TV or checking Facebook) then meals can be time for relaxation and nourishment on all levels.
Wes Smith is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stress, anxiety and depression.
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes also enjoys teaching meditation and is the creator of meditatewithwes.com an online resource for learning how to meditate. es has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist. Learn more about acupuncture, herbal medicine and meditation.