Best diet for relieving pandemic stress
Stressed out women should be hitting the fridge rather than the wine bottle to manage their psychological health, a Queensland neuroscience researcher has warned.
With news that women have been drinking more in this tumultuous year, Dr Delia McCabe said stress was "nutritionally expensive" and they should be focusing on diet to balance stress hormones.
Some of the best foods to stock in the fridge are salmon, lentils, berries, green leafy vegetables, onions, ginger and turmeric.
Research from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health shows women have been more impacted by stress, anxiety and depression than men during the pandemic.
Dr Delia McCabe from the Gold Coast, who is an expert in the brain, recommends a nutrient dense diet to help stabilise blood glucose which spikes and dips during stressful times.
Social disconnection, financial strain, increased obligations in the home and ongoing uncertainty have created unique levels of distress.
"When you eat enough nutrient-dense foods you get macronutrients and micronutrients, such as B vitamins, and magnesium and zinc, which are used to keep blood glucose steady. This helps support a more measured stress response and stops the stress that naturally asserts itself when we're hungry," she said.
"All other body functions take second place to the creation of stress hormones. So, if you're running low on nutrients, you won't have enough to make neurotransmitters, like serotonin and melatonin, which are required to allow you to feel calm, become stress-resilient and get to sleep," Dr McCabe said.
For a sweet treat opt for date or dried apricot stuffed with almond, cashew or coconut butter. For savoury try sun-dried tomatoes.
"I'm glad to hear berries in the morning are good stress busters," Brisbane's Razia Khalili said.
Originally published as Best diet for relieving pandemic stress