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What to eat for stress

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Want to fight stress? As the saying goes, you are what you eat. If you find yourself constantly stressed out, our Nutritionist Rick Hay explains exactly what to eat for stress 

Let’s face it, we all go through bouts of stress, whether it is work related, relationship issues, friend and family trouble or something personal. At these times the natural and easiest thing to do is reach for  comfort food. However, this is short term and could actually be causing you further stress.

In the video below Nutritionist Rick Hay, explains what types of foods can help prevent stress and what should be avoided. Some supplements are also recommended.


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There are lots of foods that you want to be nutrient dense that can help you combat stress and one of the first groups that I want to talk about are that are high in Magnesium:

  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
    They are really going to help to nourish the nervous system, help with sleep and also help with energy.
    The other group that you are going to want to look at are the oily fish because what they’ll do is give you essential fatty acids, improving cognition (that’s important when you are stressed out, that you get good brain function)

MORE: Is magnesium the key to better sleep?

WIN: £120 worth of magnesium sleep therapy


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The other group of foods to look at are spices:

  • Turmeric
  • Chilli
  • Cayenne
    These will help with your circulation and this helps the brain as you really want your circulation flowing.

MORE: The fat-burning foods already in your kitchen

Herbal teas

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In addition, you may want to look at some herbal teas (even though they may have gone a little bit out of fashion) they are really very good for you, try:

  • Camomile
  • Lemon balm
  • Vervain
  • Liquorice (But I don’t mean the sweet or the lolly)

What to avoid?

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If you are suffering from stress, you really want to avoid:

  • Heavily caffeinated products (As you don’t want to get revved up unnecessarily. When you have too much caffeine it puts too much pressure on the adrenal glands which can make you tired and irritable)
  • High sugar
  • Highly processed (they don’t give you the nutrients that your body needs – things like magnesium, potassium, B vitamins – remember you don’t want empty calories)

Best supplements

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If you want to look at reducing stress and you’re considering supplements –you need these:

  • Vitamin B (they nourish the nervous system and provide energy)
  • Magnesium (surprisingly a lot of the time people are deficient in it)
  • Vitamin C (it strengthens the immune system and the adrenal glands)

Read more

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What to eat to prevent heart disease

What to eat for better sleep


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