Chronic stress is one of the biggest killers and precursors to disease in this world, but regardless of how stressful your daily situation is, there are ways to work around it and support your body’s recovery.
On top of the stress we’re currently facing, we also face a mineral deficiency epidemic brought on by vanishing levels of nutrients due to topsoil and mineral loss from toxic modern-day farming systems.
We’re eating more, yet taking in less and less minerals with each passing year.
According to statistics from a study by the University of Texas-Davis published in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2004, 43 different popular fruits and vegetables experienced “reliable declines” in nutrients from 1950-1999: protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C.
What our grandparents ate growing up is a far cry from what we’re eating today, and it’s especially true for people getting a large portion of their food from conventional sources, restaurants and grocery stores.
That’s the bad news. But the good news is that eating more nutrient dense foods will help you better cope with stress, to feel better throughout your day regardless of the situation.
With that in mind, here are six powerful anti-stress, mineral-dense foods to work into your diet (many happen to be low in calories too):
They might not be the most exciting thing to snack on, but pumpkin seeds are worth their weight in nutritional gold and can make a huge difference in managing stress.
If you’re not a big fan of the taste, try them in a homemade trail mix with organic cacao nibs and dried fruit.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent natural source of magnesium (the first mineral we dump when we experience stress), zinc and other key minerals.
A teaspoon of molasses first thing after you wake up is an excellent complement to your morning coffee due to its mineral content.
Blackstrap molasses also has a relatively low glycemic load (55), making it a potentially good choice for diabetics looking for sustained energy throughout the course of the day (consult a doctor first).
It also will help your body load up on important minerals including hard ones to get like magnesium (for stress, 61% daily value), potassium (for healthy heart function, 42% DV), and vitamin B6 (metabolism, brain and liver function, 34% DV).
It may not seem practical to get much seaweed into your diet, but it makes up as much as 10% of what Japanese eaters consume and is a key ingredient to sushi.
Because of our iodine-starved diets and the value of the mineral for thyroid and brain function, working seaweed into your diet can work wonders.
4. Leafy Greens-
Simply put, people who eat more leafy greens generally feel better and more composed than those who don’t. And high levels of anti-stress minerals like magnesium are a big reason why.
The best leafy greens to eat for magnesium and mineral content include kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip and mustard greens, along with watercress, which was recently given the prestigious title of the world’s top nutrient-dense superfood.
Extremely low in calories and high in minerals, mushrooms are the missing link to good health for millions. Top mushrooms in terms of mineral content include shiitake, crimini, portabella, and white button.
Just be sure to always cook them and eat organic whenever possible.
Chocolate has long been respected as a “sacred” heath food, but candy companies have taken it and twisted it into a sugar-heavy confection that has lost much of its nutritional value.
The darker the chocolate, the better: that way you’ll get more of the essential minerals your body needs to fight stress and rebuild itself over the course of the day including magnesium (of which dark chocolate and cacao are extremely high, which is why we crave it so much), iron, zinc and more.
To get the most nutritional benefits, you should always be on the lookout for cacao brands that are completely devoid of sugar. A quality organic cacao powder in your morning smoothie will boost your body’s magnesium levels allowing you to fight stress more effectively.
Just make sure you take a few moments to relax, breathe or say a prayer, and enjoy it in solitude for a few minutes, because at the end of the day the only nutrients that matter are the ones our body actually absorbs.
You can’t absorb nutrients in a high-stress state, which is unfortunately the state most of us have been living in for the majority of our lives. It’s time to break the cycle, and these six foods can be a big help.
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