How A Well Rounded Diet Can Help With Managing Stress

Managing Stress Through Diet Using These Science Backed Tips

Although you may never think about it, all the systems in your body are interconnected. A deficient diet can trigger issues in all other core systems. Your immune function, detoxification system, cellular communication, brain function, energy level, and skeletal health system can all suffer as a result of a poor diet.

Our goal at Zuma Nutrition is to empower you to take control of your health, by learning and understanding nutrition. We encourage you to educate yourself so you can adapt a healthy lifestyle, healthy living environment, and healthy diet along with our supplement routine.

The nutrition field is constantly changing, with new diet trends emerging every year. It can be hard to know where to start, when you’re being bombarded with everything from Keto, to going vegan, or even putting massive amounts of butter on everything.

We at Zuma Nutrition are here to make it easy by putting trends aside, and focusing on building a diet that supports your core physiological process. By following the 5 steps outlined below, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a healthy diet.


Step 1: Things To Avoid

The first step when determining what’s best for your body is an elimination diet. For 2-4 weeks, remove the most common food allergens or sensitivities from your meals. This includes products containing gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs and shellfish. We also strongly recommend eliminating hydrogenated oils forever, and to limit vegetable oils. Both of these can cause inflammatory reactions in your body and oxidative stress to your cells. Oxidative stress is the imbalance between the production of free radicals and your body’s ability to fight their harmful effects.

One great way to remove these oils from your diet is by cooking more, as restaurants often use oils in everything. Have fun with it by taking a cooking class, and try practicing meal prep to build a healthy routine.

When it comes to products like coffee and peanuts, that have high mold counts, make sure to buy organic or avoid them completely. Other items  to avoid outside of food are antibiotics unless absolutely necessary and acetaminophen (found in Tylenol and common cold medicine).

During this 2-4 week process, pay attention to see how your body reacts when removing these foods from your diet.



Step 2: Which Foods Can I Eat?

Now that it seems we’ve taken away all the fun stuff, you’re probably wondering, great, what IS included in this diet? We’re focusing on the core food groups, and eating whole foods - nothing processed should make its way onto your plate.


Proteins & Amino Acids

If your body gets all the essential amino acids it needs, it can easily continue to produce the proteins it needs. Proteins are the building blocks of your body, and simultaneously they happen to be the most common food group people are deficient in.

We’ve put together a list of sources we recommend for proteins and amino acids:

  • Zuma Nutrition Multi Amino Acid Complex
  • Beef (grass fed, organic, pasture raised)
  • Poultry (pasture raised, organic)
  • Seafood (wild, from cleaner areas of the ocean)
  • Eggs
  • Raw Dairy (in limitation)
  • Wheat Germ
  • Seitan
  • Spirulina
  • Lentils
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts in moderation

Fats

Fats are an important part of a healthy diet, because they act as a delivery system for fat soluble vitamins. They’re also a key source of energy for your body. Some great sources of fats are:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts (be careful of mold and overly salted nuts)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Healthy Oils (see section on oils below)
  • Beef (grass fed, organic, pasture raised)
  • Poultry (pasture raised, organic)
  • Seafood (wild, from cleaner areas of the ocean)
  • Eggs
  • Raw Dairy- (in limitation)

*See follow up article on how to eat animal products safely


Vegetables

When it comes to incorporating vegetables and other plant foods, eat the rainbow. The colors you see in vegetables actually represent antioxidants. Plant foods should take up 70-90% of your plate. Your options with vegetables are limitless:

  • Cruciferous vegetables (add mustard seeds to activate cancer fighting sulforaphane)
  • Peppers
  • Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, garlic, carrots ,taro, beetroot and onions
    Zucchini, squash, avocado, eggplant, mushrooms, green beans
  • Use herbs to boost the antioxidant counts and add flavor

Carbs

Carbohydrates are another important source of energy, as they convert into glucose in your body. There are diets that can help your body switch to using fat for energy over carbs, but healthy carbs can have many benefits. Healthy carbs we recommend including in your diet are:


  • Organic Brown Rice
  • Organic Wild Rice
  • Organic Sweet Potatoes
  • Organic Yams
  • Organic Beans
  • Organic Oatmeal (can be sprayed with pesticides so buy organic)
  • Organic Quinoa

Sugar Sources

The main issue we have with the keto diet, is that it can cause elevated cortisol levels. Sugars act as a delivery system for many supplements, such as amino acids, and our antioxidant complex, ensuring these great nutrients get absorbed by your body. For sugar, we suggest:

  • Organic Fruits
  • Organic Juices
  • Organic Honey
  • Manuka Honey

Oils

When using oils, it’s important to pay attention to the smoking point. Some oils can be cooked with, and others cannot, because once they reach their smoking points, they can have negative effects on your body. For example, if you cook with extra virgin olive oil the healthy omega 3 v. omega 6 and 9 ratio can reverse and the oil oxidizes, making it inflammatory to the body.

Recommended oils include:

  • Grass fed ghee
  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Grass fed butter








Herbs

  • Turmeric/ Circumin (add black pepper to improve absorption)
  • Ashwagandha
  • Mucuna
  • Moringa
  • Holy Basil
  • Ginger
  • Saffron


Step 3: Improve Digestion and Enzyme Activity

To improve your digestion, it’s crucial to first understand how digestion works, and get familiar with the basics of food mixing. It’s almost impossible to have a healthy digestive process if you’re not mixing foods properly.

To improve enzyme activity, naturally we recommend eating a diet high in enzymes; incorporating freeze dried ginger is a great way to do this. You can also supplement with Zuma Nutrition’s Pancreatic Enzyme Formula, with any meals that require digestion (lunch or dinner, not sugars).


Step 4: Repopulate

Repopulating your gut with good bacteria is key to proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Add fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and our Zuma Nutrition Multi Strain Probiotic, to your diet.


Step 5: Repair the Gut

In order to repair the intestinal mucosal barrier, consider adding the following supplements:

  • Zinc
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • L Glutamine
  • Magnesium
  • B Coenzyme Complex

After following this 5 step system for at least 12 weeks, you may notice significant changes in your ability to manage stress, and an increase in energy levels, among multiple other benefits. Slowly shifting your diet to primarily contain anti-inflammatory foods over inflammatory foods can be literally life changing.