Our minds and bodies are connected. When we take care of our bodies, our minds also benefit. It's important to get enough sleep, eat well, focus on nutrient-dense foods, stay active, and drink enough water throughout the day.
We all experience stress from time to time. Persistent, ongoing stress can even be considered Toxic Stress— a stress that can lead to depression, anger, and physical symptoms.
Did you know that the food we eat can drastically impact our stress levels?
Inflammation in our body is often a way that our systems are trying to heal from illness and injury. Even when we may not have an obvious physical injury or illness, factors like stress, can cause inflammation and major health problems. Lowering inflammation in the body can help to address our total health—including mental health.
Here are 3 foods you can eat to protect your brain and body from the negative effects of stress.
1. GINGER - Ginger helps with digestion and brain function. You'll get the most benefits cooking with ginger root.
Add ginger to your smoothies, drink ginger tea, or use it in a delicious soup like this one. Some studies have even shown how ginger can boost memory and reaction time in middle aged women.
2. TURMERIC - Curcumin, a part of turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. It assists in memory and learning, and can help reduce symptoms of depression. Pair turmeric with black pepper to augment absorption in the body. Try some Turmeric Golden Milk (Drink it straight or it's great in oatmeal, too!)
Adrian L. Lopresti and Peter D. Drummond, “Efficacy of Curcumin, and a Saffron/Curcumin Combination for the Treatment of Major Depression: A Randomised, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study,”Journal of Affective Disorders, January 1, 2017.
3. FLAXSSEDS - an easy addition to any smoothie or oatmeal, flaxseed has loads of health benefits. It's been show to lower blood pressure and and cholesterol, as well as provide the omega-3 fatty acids that reduce risks of stroke. It's also a good source of fiber and can be used as an egg replacement in most recipes, if you want to make a receipt vegan (simply soak 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed in 2.5 tbsp of water for 5 min).