How are you today?
‘Bit stressed out at the moment’
‘Not too bad, really tired though’
‘Feeling a bit spaced out today’
‘Not with it today’
‘Can’t seem to concentrate’
Sound familiar? So often when I ask how someone is, I get these sort of responses. Often the main reason for this is the high level of stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) in our bodies. It’s a big problem because it’s stopping us from fully enjoying our lives.
What’s frustrating is your modern diet and eating patterns are probably one of the root causes for these high levels of stress hormones. It’s frustrating because it could be easily avoided.
Before you think I’m having a go at you, I’m not at all, it’s not your fault. There’s a lot of confusing information out there and misleading marketing…
‘Carbohydrates are bad for you’ ‘But I have always been told they are our main energy source?’
‘Fats are good for you, eat more fat.’ ‘But wait, I was always told fats were bad?’
‘You’re eating too much protein and dairy.’
I’m going to let you into a secret. Come a little closer so you can hear me clearly…
It’s all a load of rubbish.
This is all misinformation that shouldn’t be taken at face value, and doesn’t take into account the individual. This is all created by money-hungry companies that don’t care about your health. They are just trying to confuse and scare you into buying a product! Let’s shed some light on the situation…
We all have what I call the ‘Power 3’ – hormones, neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) and the nervous system. The feelings and symptoms of stress and anxiety are created when one of these or all three are not functioning correctly.
But, the reason I call them the Power 3 is because when they are functioning correctly/optimally they also have the power to empty the body of these stress hormones to the correct level and create that feeling of serenity.
So, why I’m I talking about the Power 3?
Because your modern day diet has two major problems that is causing the Power 3 to not function correctly. Therefore creating those symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Have you ever wondered why you feel stressed out and anxious for no rational reason? It’s because something has triggered a negative response to your Power 3.
These two major problems are what I’m going to call ‘Negative Nutritional Triggers’ because they are triggering a negative response to your Power 3.
The more these negative nutritional triggers creep into your diet, the more your body fills up with stress hormones, therefore inhibiting your Power 3. This can happen quickly or can be a slow build up over time. Either way, the outcome is the same. You get stressed out. You also leave yourself open to other mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
This is mainly caused by ups and downs in sugar levels throughout the day. For example, breakfast is too imbalanced. Most people eat a breakfast that is imbalanced and overloaded with refined carbohydrates. This creates an up and down effect on your sugar levels. This increases stress hormones as the body tries to balance out its sugar levels, therefore putting stress on the Power 3. I’m not for one moment saying carbs are bad, just that imbalanced meals are.
Eat a balance of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and fibre in every meal. I call these meals ‘Complete Meals’, the more of these you fit in your diet, the lower your stress hormones will be.
Often our diet is filled with foods that trigger a negative response to our gut. This is because so many of the foods we eat these days are too high in processed ingredients that are completely unnatural to the body. This imbalances bacteria in the gut and disrupts how well the Power 3 function through something called the gut-brain axis.
Avoid something I call ‘Negative Trigger Foods’. To start with, just check the label on foods. The more processed the food is, the more it will increase stress by creating a negative gut-brain axis. The problem is sometimes these negative trigger foods are hidden by clever marketing, check out my free guide to ‘Hidden Negative Trigger Foods’ to shed some light on the biggest culprits.
If you are someone who suffers with stress and anxiety, I hope you found this article useful and have some “Motivational Energy”. Motivational Energy is how I describe that small burst of mental clarity you get when you realise what you have to do to get something you want – the light bulb is suddenly switched on. The problem is, Motivational Energy doesn’t last long before the light bulb goes out. So what’s important is what you do right now to put this motivation to good use.
Things like stress, anxiety and depression are on the rise and the problem is getting worse. I believe these ‘Negative Nutritional Triggers’ are a big reason why. They should not be ignored. If you’re feeling a bit stressed, anxious or depressed, put your motivational energy to good use, try out the solutions I listed to get yourself started. Check out my free guide to ‘Hidden Negative Trigger Foods’ here. This guide puts together my years of studying and researching I have built up working as the fitness coordinator at one of the UK’s leading mental health hospitals, where I have helped hundreds of people relieve depression and anxiety.
Remember, if you are experiencing symptoms of stress or anxiety, always seek medical advice and talk to a doctor. These things are nothing to ashamed of. If you found this useful please like and share, as it might help someone else going through the same thing. We can beat things like stress and anxiety together.