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Posted on 05-10-2016

Ann Arbor Chiropractor Mike Tannenbaum D.C. presents another blog post: Food and Stress.

At my Ann Arbor chiropractic office we don't just talk about back pain, neck pain and headaches often talk about other health and wellness issues. One topic often discussed is stress and one question that occasionally comes up is “can the food one consumes be stress-inducing?” The answer is yes! Certain foods are known to cause symptoms that result in or have characteristics of stress such as, high blood pressure, weight gain, moodiness, depression, and anxiety. You're likely to find these stress-inducing foods in the category of “comfort foods.” For example, sugar can give you a sugar high, but then can have the opposite affect giving you the “sugar blues.” Caffeine may give you short term boost in energy, but like sugar, eventually causes a crash that can be anxiety and stress inducing. Simple carbohydrates like processed wheat and sugar found in many baked goods can give you a temporary satiated feeling, but then cause you to feel down, anxious and stressed. Trans fats found in many foods cause a variety of stress inducing health problems . For example, studies have found that trans fats can cause increased stress levels in the body as well as cause brain inflammation.

So, the next question often asked at my Ann Arbor chiropractic office is “what foods can help reduce stress?” Listed below are some of these foods.

Leafy Green Vegetables: Minerals such as folate are found in dark leafy vegetables. These minerals are linked to increased dopamine levels which are known to boost mood. Also, cortisol a stress reducing chemical, is found in some dark leafy vegetables.

Fresh fruit: Certain fruits like banana and avocado are high in potassium, which can lower blood pressure. Other fruits are shown to increase your immune system, resulting in fewer colds, among other health benefits.

Fresh vegetables have some of the same health stress reducing benefits as fresh fruits.

Complex Carbohydrates: These are found in whole wheat bread, oatmeal and whole grain pasta. Complex carbohydrates increase the bodies production of seritonin which acts as a calming agent.

Fatty Fish: Such as salmon and tuna have been found to protect against heart disease and depression.

We all know it's hard to avoid some stress inducing foods. Ironically, they are especially hard to avoid during or after a stressful day. In the long run, however, avoiding these foods can lead to a less stressful life.

Questions about headaches, back pain or neck pain can be addressed to me at mgtannenbaum@hotmail.com. If you would like to learn more about our office, Tannenbaum Chiropractic, LLC, we can be reached at 734-929-0444.

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