Why eating more fruit and veg reduces stress

stress May 15, 2021
Why eating more fruit and veg reduces stress

Many people in Western society are feeling increasing levels of stress today and many have found it difficult to cope. Research has shown that certain key nutrients within fruit and vegetables can help reduce the effects of stress. This article will list some of the most famous antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help reduce the symptoms of stress by replenishing energy or calming the nervous system.

This article also highlights why choosing a varied diet is important to ensure all nutrients your body requires are provided in adequate levels. Especially when they can be found through natural sources such as fruit and veg rather than from supplements or medicines.

It is important to consider that other factors such as individual lifestyle, diet and genetics also play a role in the functioning of the body and as well as the production of certain compounds within it. It is recommended that people take steps to avoid excess stress, to eat more fruit and veg and to get some exercise.

Benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables:

1. Antioxidants: Antioxidants provide protection against cell damage in the body – including free radical damage (a component of inflammation) which occurs when oxygen in cells becomes unstable due to external sources such as pollution, microwaves or pesticides.

2. Vitamin C: The body uses ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to produce an antioxidant called glutathione. This recycles glutathione around the body and is therefore crucial for the functioning of many different bodies systems including the immune system, hormone production and brain function.

3. Selenium: Selenium is a mineral that supports the immune system and reduces inflammation in the body, particularly of the skin and nerves. It also helps to balance fluctuations in hormones by supporting thyroid hormone metabolism (the conversion of thyroid hormones into more active hormones).

4. Vitamin E: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and helps to support the immune system, act as a detoxifier in the liver, and protect muscles and tissues from damage. It also aids the body’s way of using oxygen to provide energy [Oxygenation] meaning muscles don’t break down so easily.

5. Vitamin A: The body needs a certain amount of vitamin A to maintain good vision, immunity and healthy skin (a healthy skin is less likely to get rashes or infections).

6. Vitamin B3: Also known as niacin, vitamin B3 supports energy production in all cells and is important for skin health, functioning of the nervous system and energy production within muscles – supporting the release of sugar from our food into cells.

7. Vitamin B6: An essential nutrient that is required for many functions within the body including converting tryptophan (a substance that converts to serotonin, an important mood boosting neurotransmitter) into niacin (which supports energy production). It also helps with tension relief within muscles.

8. Magnesium: Part of stress management is the ability to relax and control your emotions. Magnesium improves the ability to manage stress, provides a calm energy and supports nervous system function.

9. Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in many body systems including the immune, reproductive and nervous systems and helps with wound healing as well as thought process such as memory or decision making.

10. Omega 3 fatty acids: There are three types of omega 3 fats – alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found in plants and seeds (and walnuts and flax seed oil are the best sources) whereas EPA and DHA are found in fish. These are important for many functions within the body such as reducing muscle soreness, managing inflammation, supporting memory function, reducing blood pressure and helping to make hormones.

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By Sarah-Jane Lewis
Holistic Energy Practitioner
www.sj-lewis.com

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Helpful resources:

Science Daily: Eating more fruit and vegetables linked to less stress, study finds

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