When we look at nutrition as a whole, there are foods that create a stress response and foods that create an anti-stress response. Some of you have probably heard of the ‘flight or fight’ response, which is the physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival (being chased by a lion or tiger). When this happens our bodies release stress hormones (cortisol, serotonin, prolactin, estrogen, & adrenaline). These stress hormones are all elevated and found in many chronic diseases, inflammation, fatigue, & aging.
However, in our modern society, we are bombarded with this stress response constantly, never giving our bodies the chance to return to homeostasis (aka – repair, heal, regenerate, rest). The human organism is always trying to find optimal health and this stress response not only suppresses the metabolism (not good!) but weakens the immune and nervous system. Some foods we recommend avoiding that create the stress response include nuts, seeds, vegetable oils (canola, safflower, rapeseed, sunflower, peanut), soy, legumes, raw green veggies, granola, cereals, and processed foods.
We have both experimented with diets ranging from vegan, vegetarian, paleo, carnivore, fruitarian, AIP, keto, pescetarian, blood-type, solar eating, gluten-free, raw, & oil-free. None of these fad diets are sustainable in our opinion, especially when you are constantly trying to chase symptoms. Instead, we began to focus on the foundation of human health & biology by implementing more foods that do not create a fight or flight state (elevated stress hormones). Implementing more of the foods listed below can begin to bring the body minerals & vitamins that it needs to function at its peak!
We always recommend sourcing these foods locally from farmers’ markets, small family farms, & as fresh as possible.
- RIPE FRUIT: Melons, Berries, Tree Fruits, are loaded with good sugar your body can absorb & utilize efficiently. Always pair a carbohydrate w/ a protein to avoid elevation or drops in blood sugar (which causes stress hormones to be elevated).
- MAPLE SYRUP & HONEY: One of the easiest digestible carbs! It contains fructose & glucose which is needed for your liver & brain to function optimally.
- FRESH SQUEEZED JUICE (OJ, apple, guava, etc): Another easily digestible carbohydrate that not only gives you hydration but nutrients like vitamin c & potassium.
- ORGAN MEATS: One of the most nutrient-dense foods that contain vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K2, Bioavailable Copper, Zinc & Selenium. Liver, heart, kidney, & thyroid are great choices and can be consumed in pates, wurst, mixed with other ground meat, stews, or even dehydrate them into jerky.
- PASTURE-RAISED EGGS: Contain Vitamins A, D, B12, Choline, and leucine that help your body metabolize fat. Again, always make sure to eat this protein with a carbohydrate source.
- COCONUT OIL: Rich in short & medium-chain fatty acids which allows our body to metabolize fat easier.
- GRASS-FED DAIRY: Yogurt, milk, cream, cheese, are all great sources of calcium. Having high calcium to phosphate ratio reduces stress in the body while most people are opposite in their calcium to phosphate ratio is found to cause chronic inflammation & diseases.
- WILD CAUGHT SHELLFISH: this includes oysters, mussels, clams, lobster, crab, & scallops which all contain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, & E, as well as selenium, zinc & copper B12, is in abundance too, which is needed for every metabolic process in the body.
- BONE BROTH & GELATIN: A rich source of high-quality protein. Provides the body with anti-stressful full amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline & beta-alanine.
- SEA SALT: Increases the metabolic rate, helps recovery, decreases edema, & is necessary for sugar to be mobilized properly.
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Nick & Nathan