MENTAL WELLNESS: ANTI-STRESS NUTRITION
Anti-Stress Quick Fixes For On the Run
When you get caught out without stress relieving nutrients
on hand; these simple everyday food alternatives do
a great job.
One of “Those” Days!
If you can see its going to be one of those days from
hell; get some protein. Protein helps the brain's production
of dopamine and norepinephrine, which keep you focused
and alert. It takes about 2 hours for your body to break
down protein, so start with a high-protein breakfast
and follow it up with a protein lunch, then mid afternoon
protein snack. I make protein balls and keep some at
the office – the chocolate and protein mix with
dried fruits works brilliantly for me. They are also
a great breakfast on the run.
Recipe for Chocolate Protein Balls
This recipe is adapted from Leslie Kentons "The
- 50g [2oz] unsweetened dried coconut
- 25g [1oz] additional unsweetened dried coconut [for
- 50g [2oz] finely chopped nuts
- 25g [1oz] finely chopped driet fruit
- 100g [4oz] chocolate whey or soy protein powder
- Small quantity of iced water
Mix everything other than the water and additional
coconut in a large bowel or food processor. Very gradually
add the water; just sufficient to form a malleable dough.
Roll into balls; and toss or roll in the extra coconut.
Note: You can add anything you like to this mix
before you add the water; such as fresh berries.
Refigerate until form [preferrably overnight]. Keep
refrigerated - for up to 1 week [depending upon any
Protein - About 5.5g per ball.
Limit coffee to 2 cups a day - too much caffeine can
increase your heart rate, making your body feel more
stress than the boss is actually causing. Have one in
the morning to kick start then one mid afternoon to
carry you through those late afternoon meetings.
Dark 70% cocoa chocolate stimulates the production
of endorphins to relieve stress. The darker and richer
the chocolate, the more endorphins your brain will produce.
Duration of Effect: One Hour. For longer
meetings include a bit of fat and protein such as a
punnet of low-fat yogurt, a couple of glasses of whole
milk, or a small piece of cheese.
Afternoon Brain Drain
Carbohydrates to the rescue! Carbs enhance your brain's
uptake of the amino acid Tryptophan". Tryptophan
is converted into serotonin in the brain, making you
feel more at ease."
Aim for 3 1/2 ounces of carbohydrates. More will cause
a serotonin overload, leading to tiredness. Mix carbs
with fruits and vegetables; the additional vitamins
and nutrients help continue production of serotonin.
Duration of Effect: Around 3 hours, so plan
to eat a late lunch [2pm] to keep the brain focused
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