13/10/2014 09:15 BST | Updated 10/12/2014 05:59 GMT

Eating for a Stress Free Solution


When stress levels are heightened it can be easy to reach for convenient foods, as cooking could be seen as a time consuming exercise, but it's during these times that you should increase the focus on your diet ensuring that balance can be obtained.

Consuming foods high in minerals and vitamins is essential in the overall management and control of the stress releasing hormones

Think for a moment about stress in general - stress is a naturally occurring state that increases alertness. This state is only meant to be temporary; unfortunately many people live within it constantly through synthetic highs - such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, energy drinks and many more stimulants. The problem in doing so is that the body doesn't have time to recover and is overloaded to the point where it damages the ability to manage it naturally - thus producing a permanent stress state.

Modern pressures force the masses to constantly be alert, if you are one of those who isn't utilizing their diet to balance and manage their stress then here's how you can start regaining control over your stress via nutrition.

Remove all the food from your house and start again - increase the consumption of the following:

• Herbs & Spices

• Fresh Vegetables

• Fresh Fruits

• Fish / Omegas

• Yoghurts / Probiotics

• Water / Herbal Tea

All of these can be prepared and made using the most basic of recipes and with the addition of herbs and spices can create some of the most interesting tastes. The fruits and the vegetables should be organic and fresh, limit these to at least 10 portions per day and choose those low in fructose and complex carbohydrates. If you become bored of the mass consumption then replace one of your meals with a Juice (fresh and made at home).

Consume oily fish at least four times per week, and then reduce to two once stress reduces. Oily fish contain high levels of the 3 essential omegas, which are fantastic for the mind, heart and joints. Remember keep it fresh and unprocessed - The following fish are all oily fish, and are good sources of long-chain omega-3: anchovies, herring, mackerel, pilchards, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna (fresh), and whitebait.

Yogurts contain fantastic microorganisms that help digest food and build and promote overall health. Introduce fresh plain yogurt slowly and keep just one small serving per day. It's essential that you introduce a quality probiotic into your diet, stress can increase the number of bad bacteria's in your gut, the introduction of probiotics will help to balance and filter out harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products.

Herbal teas including Dandelion, Chamomile, and Passion flower are really complimentary to assist calming the nerves...replace your natural stimulants with these drinking either hot or cold to quench your thirst.

In summary - Top tip is to avoid all refined sugars and processed foods including takeaways or foods high in saturated fats, use your diet to its full potential and take back control of your life.

If you're looking to use stress to your advantage and regain control then check out my new book "How To Stress Less" where you will find many useful tips and strategies.

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