Food For Thought
Your diet is one of the top three areas of your life that you can change to help improve your well-being. From what you eat, how you eat, to when you eat, all make a significant impact on how you feel.
We’ll concentrate on the best foods for stress and how they can improve your life but we’ll also touch on many other topics in this article which, we can explore in more detail separately at a later date. We’ve previously talked about endorphins and how to increase those levels. I think we’ll dedicate a page or two to other ‘feel goods’ such as Serotonin and Dopamine.to name just a couple, as the site grows.
Again, there is a wealth of information out there that covers absolutely everything you need to know about what you should put in your body to get the best out of it, both physically and mentally.
Stress is Acidic
Stress is acidic, in fact they fuel each other. Also, as well as giving depression a helping hand, it puts an inordinate amount of pressure on the body’s ability to function both physically and mentally. Physical and mental stress create an environment for disease and other ailments that really don’t make for a happy life.
We need to help balance the acid influx. We naturally maintain a ‘pH’ level of between 7.35 and 7.45. Remember the Litmus Tests we did in school.? You’ll know that 7 is smack, bang in the middle, neutral. Above is more alkaline and below, obviously more acidic. We exist in a slightly alkaline state. Like I said, the body regulates this level naturally but we can give it a helping hand by consciously making an effort to reduce the amount of acidic foods we eat.
We’ve talked about alcohol previously maybe this will help you understand how we are helping. You may have a drink, beer, wine or spirits and your body processes the alcohol out of your system. As well as the kidneys working hard to do this, the main responsibility falls on the liver. It works harder than normal to clean your system due to the toxic nature of alcohol. Over time this has a detrimental effect on your livers ability to function at its peak. The liver has amazing regenerative powers so drinking in moderation is,well, it’s not the end of the world. Who am I to talk. Anyway, the point is, our body is constantly keeping our pH level stable, so if we try to avoid the more acidic food stuffs we are taking some of the pressure off.
What to Avoid or Reduce…Gradually
Scare-mongering is not my thing and anyone who tells you to stop everything that is slightly bad for you, right now, well they’re not living in the real world. I am now about 95% vegan. I started out vegetarian but still ate fish and gradually took out dairy. I’m fairly sure if I had done it all at once I would never have kept it up or felt the benefits in the way that I have.
If, you want to take something away then do it gradually. You’re still heading in the right direction. So it takes a bit longer, so what. Something else you might want to consider is that a fair amount of the foods and drinks we really like tend to taste really good. Some will even make you crave them when taken out of your diet. Weigh up the pros and cons, which could you easily cut and which would you like to keep, you know, for special occasions.
Here’s a quick list of just some of the ones to avoid if you can or want to:
- Some dairy products
- fresh and processed meats, (That includes steak)
- sweetened drinks
- high-protein foods and supplements
This is by no means a comprehensive list, there are more comprehensive lists out there. I shall in time provide some links to some excellent sites that give you the lot with a good background write-up as well.
I look at the above and think I’m in the middle, which suits me just fine at the moment. I don’t eat dairy but I do eat fish. I don’t eat meat or sugar but I do have the occasional high protein shake. Balance.
Pretty Much Anything Green is Good.
At last, we can look at the best foods to reduce stress by creating an alkaline environment in our body. Green is most definitely good. Have a look at this list and tell me I’m wrong:
- Sprouts (alfalfa, bean, pea, soy, etc.)
- Green Drinks
- Real Salt
- Grasses (alfalfa, kamut, straw, shave, wheat grass, etc.)
- Himalayan Salt
- pH 9.5 Water
- Soy Nuts. . .
- (soaked soybeans, then air-dried)
- Soy lecithin, pure
My favourite in all of the above.? Water with a 9.5 pH. You may consider that we are at least made up of 50% water, it makes perfect sense. Drinking at least 2 litres of water a day is an excellent addition to your dietary routine. So when we look at the list I can feel a sense of dread amongst many of you…spinach…sprouts…hardly lasagne or steak and chips is it? This is where we refer to some relevant words, moderation, gradual and balance. At least you are aware of the benefits the above can bring and it might help you add them to your shopping list. The above is for some of the most alkaline foods, there are plenty more out there that are still great just not quite as high on the pH scale.
Time to Digest Your Findings.
Well, that is a lot to digest, as it were. We’ve only addressed one aspect and only the tip of the proverbial iceberg at that. As I said at the beginning, there is a vast amount of information out there and readily available for you to ponder over. I shall endeavour to add more in depth content over time. For now all I will say is that hopefully you can now see how you can improve your well-being with some informed choices.
You don’t have to do it all at once, in fact I recommend that you just implement a small amount of additions or subtractions at a time. We don’t want to overwhelm ourselves and end up resenting what we’re trying to achieve. You decide you want to take up running, you wouldn’t start with a 10k outing, you’d build up to it slowly.
However you decide to move forward, make sure you monitor your progress and check your mood. I’d like to think you’ll notice a difference.