When in a disaster situation emotions are high and bodies are in motion. There are foods that can help you focus mentally while relieving stress, but some foods can boost endurance and stamina by working with your body and repairing cells that can become strained in fast-paced and high-stress environments. Stress and stamina can be greatly affected by diet; a poor diet will have negative effects on energy and brain chemistry.
In Dr. Mercola’s article, “10 Superfoods for Stress Relief’, the detriments of eating a poor diet by quoting Dr. Kirstin Aschbacher from University of California who says, “There appears to be a stress pathway that works through diet.” Dr. Aschbacher goes on to say that junk food or empty carbohydrates and sugars may react in humans similarly as they do in animals; Increasing the amount and growth rate of fat cells.
To be fully prepared for any disaster or emergency situation, you must prepare your body and have rescue snacks on hand. This will ensure that you stay nourished with proper mental clarity to handle whatever comes hurtling towards you.
Rescue Snacks for Stress Relief
Foods like fish, blueberries, leafy greens, and pomegranates help manage stress, promote mental clarity, muscular and cellular repair as well as increased stamina. However, these foods are not prime options for long term storage. Luckily, there are other more sustainable options that provide necessary micronutrients, electrolytes, and brain chemistry support.
Turkey may seem like an odd stress-relieving snack, however, turkey jerky is a sustainable option that can be ready to go or stored for later. But why would you want turkey jerky? Tryptophan is why. Tryptophan is a chemical that signals the brain to release the happy chemical, serotonin, therefore naturally encouraging a calmer and less stressed demeanor.
Pistachios, Almonds and Peanut Butter
Pistachios have been shown that consuming two servings of pistachios a day assists with chest and vascular constriction around the heart when experiencing stress. Almonds are packed with vitamins B2 and E. A handful of almonds as a light snack or eaten intermittently throughout your day helps pump up your immune system during high-stress situations.
Peanut butter is also another great snack. It prompts the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that works as a neurotransmitter to help with alertness, motivation and stress management.
Avocados are heavily inlaid with vitamin B making them a great way to bring support to your nervous system and brain cells. According to Men’s Fitness, a vitamin B deficiency can relate directly to anxiety leading to stress and the inability to manage it in the moment. Avocados are rich in potassium and monounsaturated fats, both support your body and help promote healthy cells in your body.
Avocados, being perishable in nature, are not ideal for long-term storage; however, avocado oil is a much more sustainable option.
Dark leafy greens, don’t tend to be a favorite but they are rich in a nutrient called folate. Folate helps your body with mood regulation naturally helping with managing stress and anxiety, but as a plus, it also works to boost stamina (more on this later). Vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens and swiss chard all contain micronutrients that elevate your red blood cell count while maintaining and regulating your blood sugar levels.
Now, making these dark leafy bundles of micronutrients sustainable, storable and accessible is not a difficult as it may seem. Seaweed is sold, dried and individually packaged, it can be found in most stores while also sold in bulk at Costco and Amazon.com. Another, dark and leafy option is kale chips. Kale chips are dehydrated kale that has been flavored with organic and natural spices.
Both the kale chips and lightly salted seaweed packets will provide you good sources of folate and other micronutrients to encourage better stress management and mental precision.
Salmon and Sardines
Animal-based Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, are important and will help improve your emotional well-being and stress management. It is shown to immensely decrease anxiety when consumed on a regular basis, whether fish or by the supplement. These fatty acids can be found in salmon, sardines, and anchovies. All three of which can be purchased for long-term storage or can be kept on hand as a rescue snack.
Super Treats to Boost Stamina
Stamina essentials include vitamin c, iron, and proteins. Vitamin C supports your immune system allowing your body to input energy elsewhere. A lack of iron and protein can result in a lack of energy and stamina and could stunt the repair of muscles and growth of tissue.
Luckily, there are protein-packed grains and a natural “sports” drink that can help keep your body healthy while building stamina.
Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, as it digests slow providing energy for hours, helping to maintain and potentially increase your stamina in high-stress disaster situations. If you want to build stamina and have the energy to handle the stress you must incorporate complex carbohydrates into your daily routine. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your brain and body.
Barley and Quinoa
Barley and quinoa are importantly sustainable grains. Both Barley and Quinoa have characteristics to help combat stress but more so, to improve stamina. Both contain high levels of protein, complex carbs, and amino acids. Quinoa is a high complete protein grain, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids and containing eight grams of protein per cup.
Quinoa and Barley both have an interesting history as Incan warriors consumed quinoa to help increase their stamina, while Roman gladiators consumed barley bread for increased stamina and strength. According to A Brief History of Barely Foods, Roman gladiators believed that their chosen super grain supplied them with improved strength, plus enhanced stamina to sustain them during battle, unlike other foods.
Can pickle juice be the new Gatorade? Probably not, but the tart green juice packs a ton of electrolytes and it is a cheaper, storable and a sustainable way to replenish the body’s natural resources. The minerals from the pickle, magnesium, and potassium, along with the salt and fermenting process, create the high electrolyte content in pickle juice. It also hydrates, replenishes any salt content loss and it helps avoid muscle strains.
Other fermented vegetables are good for digestive and gut health as well as they are good for storage and longevity. Fermented veggies have good bacteria that promotes stamina by supporting your gut health which is directly related to mood and mental clarity, referring again to the work of Dr. Mercola.
In Mercola’s article, he cites Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. McBride is a neurologist stating the importance of gut health in relation to mental sharpness, “Toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of poor mood” and a lack of energy.
Beetroot is full of nitrates that, once in the body, prompt a release of nitric oxide. The nitric oxide helps regulate blood flow and reduces the amount of oxygen needed to exert energy, thus boosting stamina. The nitric oxide also supports the body on a cellular level, helping with growth and sustainability. Essentially, the nitrates in beetroot are extremely beneficial to your body and will help with performance and stamina when working in tiring and intense environments.
Beetroot is also easily storable in dry areas. It can be purchased at a reasonable price online or at most health food stores. Beetroot also can be stored as a powder for longevity and practically.
What to Avoid?
Sugar encourages mood swings as it can drastically alter blood sugar levels. Sugar, after consumption, prompts a wide array of chemical reactions that can interrupt the regularly scheduled function of your immune system as well as chronic inflammation. Due to this, sugar leads consumers down a path of depression making motivation and mental alertness difficult.
If you find yourself with a sugar craving try grabbing some dark chocolate as a substitute. Dark chocolate is more natural and has a severely lower sugar content when compared to milk chocolate. Also, dark chocolate releases anandamide into the brain which helps block feels of stress, pain, and depression.
The list of what is in processed foods that negatively impact your mind and body is too long to write down here. However, there are key ingredients to avoid if you are searching for prolonged physical stamina and stress relief. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate and artificial sweeteners are synthetic additives to food and can alter mood and make you more irritable in stressful situations. Avoiding artificial ingredients, including artificial colors, will greatly improve your mental health and stress management.
Knowledgeable and Prepared
Preparing your body and mind for emergent and disastrous situations is crucial in order to be at top performing ability, successfully managing stress while remaining energized and boosted. In order to maintain and be fully prepped and prepared it is essential to consider the food that enters your body.
Building stamina and relieving stress isn’t hard when you do it through snack food, but that is why incorporating healthier and more beneficial food into your diet is what will make you stand above the rest. Your brain chemistry and body construction will have you prepared to handle stressful and strenuous activities; all you should do is switch up your snacking.
About The Author:
John Alba is a research expert on survivalism and emergency preparedness. He has been featured in such publications as the Journal of Civil Defense. For more survival and emergency preparedness tips, go to www.aboblist.com.