Welcome to Superfied!

Superfied is a way of being. Not just being ok, but being well, really well. As well as you can possibly be – and not just sometimes but all the time. And with minimum effort and expense. While having fun!

We live in a world of quick fixes – act now, worry later and let someone else deal with the issue. But it’s not sustainable. Not for our wellbeing, not for our society and not for our planet. 

Superfied is the result of my own journey into wellness and a new understanding of how to take care of myself. I hope it gives you a new perspective on food, helps you see how everything in you and around you is connected, and inspires you to better look after yourself too.

And doing so in a way that works for us and our planet both now and in the future, without ignoring progress but by embracing it; old meets new, tech meets nature, ideas meet action. 

For the cost of a cappu-frappe-ccino every month, I want to make it even easier for you to boost your wellbeing, to spread the word and help those who don’t have enough to eat. 10% of your investment will go directly to a food voucher scheme for those in need . 

I’d love your support. Let’s change the status quo, one meal at a time!

Sandy Purewal,
Superfied Founder

 

How Superfied Works

The Superfied low-down!

Superfied is about using food as your toolkit to be at your best, every day.

Through smarter food choices, you can sort out those everyday ailments before they become more serious issues in a natural and sustainable way.

Learn to eat for your body type, not someone else’s, because what’s good for one person isn’t necessarily best for everyone else.

So, when your wellbeing takes a downturn, eat your way back to your natural balanced self. We call this being Superfied – it’s like yoga but with food – and it’s backed by a self-care system called Ayurveda.

How it works

The first thing to know is your ‘body type’ – it’s a basic blueprint for your physical and mental make-up.

A simple 10-minute assessment is all it takes. Once we know that, we’ll email your body type summary report and the kind of foods, meals and activities we recommend to stay well.

You can get more information in your personal Superfied Space – including a full food list and recipes, all personalised to your body type and free to try for seven days. No payment details are taken and no obligations – so you can browse and evaluate in peace!

You can tell us how you’re feeling at any point, and we’ll adapt your Superfied Space accordingly for your mental and physical wellbeing so that you can stay ‘in balance’.

You can also evaluate your digestion – because any wellbeing issues are likely to start there. Everything is personalised to you and it changes with you.

Superfied Goals

There are three simple goals for being Superfied:

  1. Achieve Balance
  2. Maintain Balance
  3. Detox

We’ll set and update these automatically as you progress to your brilliant best, but you can change them if you want to.

Test, Learn, Eat

Achieve Superfied status in three easy steps!

1. TEST: Let’s look inside

Take a tick-box test to know your body type – it’s the first step to being Superfied. Your body type is your baseline for being well. It’s like knowing your blood type or personality type.

Knowing your body type can help you better understand yourself; your inherent personality, physiology, emotional predispositions and how likely you are to get ill or injured (physically and mentally). 

Your body type reflects who you are at your core and so it’s doesn’t change throughout your life.

2. LEARN: Self-care for your situation

Make smarter food choices by understanding how the superpowers of foods can help you stay well.

Your body’s always either moving into or out of balance (i.e. your best physical and mental state), The closer you are to your body type’s baseline, the better you’ll feel.

If you start moving out of balance spot the early signs and know what to do to address it. We’ve got you’re back with recommendations, guides, tips and articles on how to be Superfied.

3. EAT: Foods to make you fly

Eating for your body type is the first step to eating smarter. And then eating in response to how you’re feeling in any given week will help you stay balanced and healthy.

We’ll create a personalised food list that changes with you, supported by recipes to inspire you to eat more of the foods you love that love you back.

Be Superfied by making small food swaps and enjoying food – eat your way to the best you, every day.

Use the 80:20 rule

In the real world, there are temptations and traumas around every corner so don’t be hard on yourself – it’s a marathon not a sprint!

Apply the 80:20 rule to eating foods; eat the ones that have the superpowers you need from nature’s yard 80% of the time and, eat whatever you fancy for the rest! Food choices should be fun, not just functional

Healthing Hands

Superfied is all about self-care to prevent illness from arising but if you’ve got a pre-existing health condition or an everyday ailment that won’t go away, you can speak to a qualified professional to take a closer look.

We’ve hand-picked some exceptional independent practitioners who all focus on getting to the root cause of an issue and get it fixed.

Health yourself in a natural, sustainable way and learn to stay well with the things you have already. Be Superfied!

Find out your body type

Learn about Superfied

Learn more about the Superfied Way

 

Superfied x Alexandra Rose Charity

Good vibes can change society

Superfied is about helping people health themselves in the most simple, effective and inexpensive way. It’s a free resource for everyone. For those that want more, their subscriptions help fund the Superfied project.

We are an ethical brand looking to make a positive social impact. We strive to work with organisations that share our values. That’s important to us and so we’re delighted to say that we are supporting Alexandra Rose Charity. 10% of all our profits will go to them. 

Why @AlexRoseCharity?

Well, not only are they a great bunch of people, they are delivering practical help to people who are affected by food poverty. We think the Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project is both inspired and a game-changer.

Families on low incomes can register for the vouchers at their local children’s centre. A family receives £3 of Rose Vouchers for each child, every week (or £6 if the child is under one year of age).

Rose Vouchers can only be redeemed at registered markets and independent greengrocers. This means that the project not only helps young families but also supports local markets, maintaining their position as sources of healthy low-cost food and helping to ensure economic vibrancy by encouraging regular trade. The Rose Vouchers Project currently runs in six areas around the UK.

For us, it’s great to think of food education contributing to putting food on a plate for those that need it.

Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg 


Small steps to a big goal

More than ever, these times have shown the power of community, consideration and care. We really are all connected. Wellbeing is a human right, natural food is the foundation and both should be accessible to all. It shouldn’t be just for some of us so here’s to making a difference through togetherness!

Find out more about Alexandra Rose Charity 

Superfied founder interview

The Superfied Story

 

Superfied founder, Sandy Purewal, talks to Manny Veiga about what Superfied is, why he started it, and why nutrition is more important than ever in these times. Have a listen!

The original podcast with Manny Veiga of MarchComms is here

Find out more about the Superfied Way

Dealing with allergies

What is an allergy?

Allergies are commonplace in our modern lifestyles and the severity can range from a mild reaction all the way to a fatal outcome. At least 1 in 4 of us will have an allergy at some point in our life but that statistic is on the rise.

Allergies are historically more common in childhood and can disappear as children get older, but adults can also react to something with which they weren’t previously allergic to. A good example of that is a food allergy or hay fever.

So, what exactly is an allergy? Well, it’s an adverse (incorrect) reaction to something we have come into contact with which is ordinarily harmless. The offending item that caused an allergic reaction is called an allergen.

What are the most common allergies?

The most common form of an allergy tends to be:

  • Food – triggered by either a specific food or groups of food (as in the case of Coeliac disease)
  • Hay Fever (allergic rhinitis) – triggered by grass or pollen
  • Dust – triggered by dust mites
  • Pet hair – triggered by tiny flakes of skin in pet hair or fur
  • Insect bites
Why do people get an allergy?

Now we’ve all experienced an allergy either directly or through a friend or family member and it’s not pleasant.

The reaction is just the tip of the iceberg – it’s the visible manifestation of a more-involved process. By understanding what this process is, we can be better equipped to manage an allergy. It all starts with our immune system…

A quick overview of the immune system

We can consider our immune system as made up of two parts:

Innate immune system: This is what we’re born with (it’s based on our parents’ immunity and environmental factors at the time)

Acquired immune system: This is what we develop as we age through the creation of antibodies which are a response to threats to our normal biological operation

The two parts of our immune system work together to keep our defences strong. The two parts keep themselves in balance through proteins called ‘cytokines’ that are released by our immune cells, such as T-cells.

Our body decides which part of our immune system is best placed to deal with a threat to our health. If one side takes the lead, the other drops back in dealing with that threat.  As we can see then, the healthy functioning of our cells is critical to a healthy immune system.

Our constitution (body type) plays a major role in how strong our immune system is – some of us naturally have a stronger immune system than others.

The key to having the best possible immunity for our body type is keeping our body in its natural balance. When this isn’t the case and we move out of balance, then our immunity can drop.

Our constitution and lifestyle mean some of us have a lower defence level than others – so it takes less for us to tip out of balance which increases the chances of getting allergies.

1 in 4 of us will suffer from an allergy at some point in our life

What causes an allergy?

The biggest disruptor to normal functioning of our cells is…stress!

Whether the source of stress is mental or physical, the result is a breakdown in normal operations at a cellular level involving cytokines. This lowers immunity.

Our body will react to stress in distinct ways depending on the scale of it and our natural constitution.

If we know what to look for in terms of its response, it can help us stay well, including avoiding or minimising the impact of allergies. So, let’s look at how stress affects allergies specifically.

How does stress lead to allergies?

Stress impacts our digestive system which in turn impacts our immune system (70% of our immune cells are created in our gut). This impacts our ability to deal with allergens.

Stress causes our adrenals to work harder. They produce adrenaline to deal with the stress and the longer that goes on for, the more fatigued they become, slowing down our response to managing threats.

The process of stress pushes our body out of balance and our body is always working to rebalance itself – it will always give us the absolute best it can, even if that looks like it’s not doing you any favours at the time!

The three stages of stress on our body

There are three phases of how the body responds to stress:

  • Phase 1 – Reaction
    body produces adrenaline to power through the situation
  • Phase 2 – Adaption
    body continues to produce adrenaline to manage the ongoing situation
  • Phase 3 – Exhaustion
    adrenal fatigue sets in causing the body to be more susceptible to allergies due to the weakened adrenal response

Generally, the adrenal glands will stop allergic reactions. This is why adrenaline is given for an acute allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, and why those at risk of anaphylactic shock (from eating peanuts for example) carry an EpiPen around with them.

To a much lesser degree, the lack of adrenal support also contributes to milder allergies such as Hayfever and allergies to pet fur.

A food allergy is an example of the body adapting to stress. An intolerance to a specific food can result in an initial (mild) reaction which you may not notice or connect to a food item. Although this has stressed your body, your body will learn to adapt to that food – but this will slowly push it out of balance, increasingly depleting your energy.

Since stress is a trigger for allergies and our adrenals are responsible for managing stress, the health of our adrenals is important for managing allergies. If you’re continually stressed, you may be suffering from burnout and your adrenals could be overworked as a result.

The relationship between stress and allergies

Stress triggers adrenaline which results in more cortisol being produced (the stress hormone). This affects our cellular electrolyte balance, which in turn increases our blood sugar level (for more energy) and dehydrates us. Dehydration causes a number of health issues including allergic responses.

Mental or physical stress increases the chances of an allergy

From stress to allergy in 10 steps
  1. Stress results in our body producing more cortisol and in doing so changes our cellular status quo
  2. Potassium and magnesium levels (inside the cell) become depleted resulting in our cells holding on to more sodium and calcium (which are generally kept predominantly outside the cell)
  3. This cell mineral imbalance results in a drop in our blood sugar level
  4. Stress is a diuretic, and so water is lost from the body, together with potassium and magnesium. This leads to dehydration and increased acidity in the body
  5. Our body realises its dehydrated and, to correct the cellular imbalance, it takes water from wherever it can afford. This might be the bowel (leading to constipation), muscles (aches and pains) or digestive tract (heartburn) depending on our natural weak spots (determined by our body type). The neurotransmitter which regulates water balance in the body is histamine. Therefore, a loss of water from stress will lead to increased levels of histamine as the body tries to compensate.
  6. The falling blood sugar level resulting from the electrolyte imbalances trigger a craving for sweet foods, caffeine etc and makes the body more acidic
  7. This creates an environment for bad bacteria to breed in our gut, leading to a toxin build up which creates more work for the organs that are designed to eliminate toxins – like our liver, kidneys, lungs, colon and skin
  8. If our body is not as healthy as it should be, stress can cause ‘leaky gut’. This results in toxins getting into our bloodstream faster, requiring more effort from our body to get rid of them. This extra burden further lowers our immunity
  9. The more dehydrated we become, the more histamine our body produces
  10.  The more histamine we produce, the bigger our allergic response
What are the symptoms of an allergy?

You may have experienced some or all of the symptoms of an allergy, but you may not have connected the dots to other health conditions which can actually be a consequence of an ongoing allergy (immunity) problem.

The immediate signs of an allergy tend to fall into these camps:

  • Respiratory issues – sneezing, wheezing, breathing difficulties
  • Skin and eye complaints – itching, weeping skin, water eyes
  • Swelling – eyes, lips, tongue, face
  • Digestion problems – upset stomach, constipation
  • Shock – a severe allergic reaction can result in anaphylactic shock which can be life-threatening

The knock-on effects of an allergy to look out for are:

  • Weakness – fatigue, exhaustion
  • Aches and pains (due to dehydration)
  • Heartburn (due to dehydration)
  • Candida (due to increased acidity in the gut)
Can multiple allergies be connected?

The short answer is yes!

The greater the burden on our body (i.e., stress), and/or the poorer our digestive system, the lower our immunity and so the lower our tolerance threshold for allergens. The longer that goes on, the more things we become vulnerable to.

So, if you’ve suffered from an allergy and you haven’t manged your stress levels, or diet and lifestyle, the chances are you will develop more than one allergy.

Given that our elimination organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, colon and skin) play such a big part in allergies, if they’re not functioning properly, our ability to deal with allergens will be compromised.

A healthy liver is especially important here and is a common factor in having multiple allergies. That becomes a challenge because our modern lifestyle habits aren’t the best support for our liver!

What role does medication play in treating allergies?

Prescription or over-the-counter medication is plentiful and can help reduce allergy symptoms, but they are a temporary solution.

For example, antihistamine medication for hay fever may reduce your symptoms but they’re masking an underlying problem which can increase if left unchecked.

Allergy symptoms are actually your body telling you it’s out of balance and needs help. Relying on medications as a temporary fix ignores the underlying condition and can actually make the situation worse.

Steroids for example (whether topical or oral) push the toxins that your body is trying to eliminate back in! It’s like having rotting food in your kitchen and applying fly spray to keep the flies at bay!

Self-care tips for managing allergies

  1. Make lifestyle changes
    Stress is a major contributing factor to allergies so it’s vital to get a better work/life balance. Your immunity depends on it! And don’t forget that physical stress is still a form of stress – so if you are over-exercising and have a weak constitution, that can also be a factor

  2. Improve your digestion
    Our brain and gut is connected so our digestion can easily be a victim of stress. Keep your digestion strong with a diet suited to your body type and needs. As a rule of thumb, less processed foods and more veg (especially bitter leafy greens) is key. Remember bitter tasting foods are a great support for your liver

  3. Stay hydrated
    Dehydration sets off a chain reaction that results in impaired biological functions that pushes us out of our natural balance. The solution is simple – increase your water intake, especially when you’re stressed BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean drinking more water. Studies show that water can be better absorbed through water-rich foods like many fruits and vegetables than drinking it alone

  4. Drink less tea and coffee
    When we get stressed, we tend to reach for a cuppa, especially if we’re feeling exhausted! Both coffee and tea are stimulants, causing our adrenals to produce cortisol. Because they are diuretics (i.e. make us wee), they can actually dehydrate us and encourage more histamine production – meaning bigger allergic reactions!

  5. Identifying and removing any food triggers
    Common food triggers include wheat, potatoes, eggs, nuts, soya, shellfish and anything that contains gluten. You may have an intolerance to one or more of these items so it’s good to test each one. You can download and use the food sensitivity chart here
Important foods to minimise allergies

Being smart with a healthy diet is critical when you suffer from an allergy, even if it’s not a food related allergy. Eating to maintain your body’s natural balance is your best bet and to do this, the first step is to eat for your specific body type

If you don’t know what your body type is, you can either take the Superfied body type assessment or eat a diverse range of natural foods (of all colours and groups) as a general insurance policy.

Foods that contain all of the B vitamins but in particular, vitamins B5, B9 and B12 are especially useful for helping manage allergies. These include food like meats and fish and grains.  

Vitamin B12 and folic acid (vitamin B9) are especially useful in a biochemical process that supports a number of functions in our body including liver function, histamine metabolism and energy production, all of which help manage allergies. Vitamin B5 is particularly helpful for good adrenal function.

Eating foods which contain naturally occurring antihistamine are also beneficial. These include foods with high levels of vitamin C (such as citrus fruits, berries and peppers), quercetin (such as onions), or bromelain (such as pineapples).

As you can see, there’s more to allergies than meets the eye. If your allergy issues persist despite taking these steps or if you have long-standing allergy issues that are getting worse as you get older, you may benefit from speaking with a qualified expert to help you eleminate the root cause of the issue, professional food sensitivity testing may also be helpful as part of that.

More information:
NHS allergy information 
Allergy UK
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

This self-care health hack is from Superfied expert nutritionist Mary Sharma

Find out more about the Superfied Way

What are prebiotics?

I know about Probiotics, but what are prebiotics?”

Taking a course of probiotics after an illness treated by antibiotics has been a health hack for those in-the-know for some time.

Our modern urban lifestyles, processed foods, antibiotics, antacids, excess alcohol and stress can all impact the delicate balance of our gut bacteria and so taking a probiotic supplement on occasion can be a useful way of righting wrongs!

What are Prebiotics? 

Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. Probiotics go some way to ensuring positive commensal gut bacteria in the first place and prebiotics feed the beneficial bacteria to keep them there!

Are they essential to health?

Prebiotics help gut bacteria produce nutrients for your colon cells and lead to a healthier digestive system. One of the nutrients produced as a by-product of prebiotics is n-butryrate, a short-chain fatty acid that is responsible for carbohydrate metabolism; along with acetate and propionate, which contribute towards the health of the intestines. These fatty acids can also be absorbed into the bloodstream and improve metabolic health.

Prebiotics help gut bacteria produce nutrients to keep your gut healthy

As a nutritional therapist, I frequently run a functional CDSA (Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis) stool test with clients to see the exact bacteria in their gut, any imbalances of the gut bacteria (known as dysbiosis) which may lead to bloating and/or digestive complaints, or if parasites or infectious agents are present.

Based on these stool tests, I then make bespoke nutrition suggestions to clients to optimise their digestion and gut bacteria balance.

Did you know our gut bacteria and microbiome have the capacity to change in just 3-5 days!

Four commonly used prebiotics

Here are some prebiotic foods I sometimes recommend in my clinic:

  1. Chicory Root

Chicory root is popular for its coffee-like flavour and antioxidant properties. I

t’s also a great source of prebiotics. Around 47% of chicory root fibre comes from the prebiotic fibre, inulin, which nourishes the gut bacteria, improves digestion and helps relieve constipation. It can also help increase bile production, which improves fat digestion

  1. Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke, also known as the “earth apple,” has great health benefits. It provides about 2 grams of dietary fibre per 100 grams, 76% of which comes from inulin.

They are high in thiamine and potassium which help the nervous system and muscular strength as well as facilitating transporting the energy from food into each cell.

Jerusalem artichokes may help strengthen the immune system and prevent certain metabolic disorders.

  1. Garlic
    Garlic is a tasty herb, full of antioxidants and praised for its anti-microbial properties. About 11% of garlic’s fibre content comes from inulin and 6% from a sweet, naturally occurring prebiotic called fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

Garlic acts as a prebiotic by promoting the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the gut. It also prevents disease-promoting bacteria from growing.00:01

  1. Asparagus

Asparagus is a popular vegetable, thought by many to have aphrodisiac qualities and it is another great source of prebiotics.

The inulin content maybe around 2-3 grams per 100-gram serving. This serving also contains around 2g of protein.

Asparagus has been shown to promote friendly bacteria in the gut and to have anti-inflammatory properties.

To find a prebiotic you like from one of thirty prebiotic foods, search ‘Prebiotics’ in the Superfied search bar on the Resources page

To find the prebiotics right for your needs right now search in your Superfied Spac

This self-care health hack is from Superfied expert nutritionist Karen Preece Smith

To find a prebiotic you like from one of thirty prebiotic foods, search ‘prebiotics’ in the Superfied search bar 

 

What are Blue, Red and Green energies?

We are all energy

Ayurveda and Yoga acknowledge three fundamental energies working together to operate your body. The same energies exist in everyone and everything.

This might sound confusing but it’s actually a simpler way of looking at what’s happening in your body (and around you) to keep yourself well.

We’ve called these three energies ‘Blue’, ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ to make them easier to understand! Knowing their basic properties takes you a long way:

  • Blue energy moves things
  • Red energy changes things
  • Green energy build things

Blue energy allows things like nerve signals to move through your body and food through your gut. Too much Blue energy can make you agitated or cause bloating.

Red energy is responsible for your body’s metabolism; as an example, too much can give you the sweats or the runs.

Green energy builds things like cells, tissues and bones. Too much Green energy can make you gain weight.

Each energy also has a particular effect on your mind just like it does on your body.

The three (biological) energies combined, add up to 100% so, as one energy drops, the others increase. All three work together to keep you ticking over.

We are all different

Now here’s what makes us all different. We’re all born with different amounts of each energy; just like we are born with DNA that’s specific to us.

So your natural wellbeing state will rely on a different percentage of each energy from what someone else has. This determines if your body is bigger, thinner or more muscular than them, for example.

We don’t need to aim to have an equal amount of each energy; we just need to keep to the proportions we were born with to stay in our best mental or physical state. This is our natural balance and is different for each of us.

When these energies are disrupted, they impact our natural state of balance and cause illness (dis-ease).

So, if one or more energies become too high or low, you can tackle that by eating a specific food that’s either low or high in that energy.

Superfied makes wellbeing easier

Superfied has done the hard work for you – it finds out what your natural level of each energy is (that determines your body type) and recommends the foods that will help to stay well.

And it works out which energies might be too high or low on a given day and takes that into account too.

Each time, Superfied flags foods that will support your wellbeing with green thumbs and those that won’t with red thumbs. As things change with you, so do your food recommendations.

The natural foods recommended for you are all in your Superfied food list. You can also search for energy-balancing foods using the search bar.

Learn more about the Blue, Red and Green energies in the ‘Know your Body Type’ guide

So, use these energies to health yourself – it’s your secret weapon to being Superfied!

Tackle stress by eating better

The stress connection

I think we can safely say 2020 has raised our stress levels! But did you know that chronic stress can adversely affect many of our body’s normal functions, including:

Now more than ever it is key to take care of ourselves, our bodies and our minds.

And sure, everyone will have their own way to cope and relax, from running in nature to watching Netflix, to taking a bath, calling family and friends or cooking and much more.  You should do whatever works for you. We are all different, aren’t we? There is no right or wrong.

Though, there is one thing that we all have to do at some point during these days – eat!

So how about starting to put on our table some foods that can help us support our stress response?

Eating for stress management

If you are wondering how making healthier choices when preparing your meals could help you deal with stress, just remember that 70% of your immune system is in your gut and that your gut is connected to your brain via the vagus nerve (sort of a bi-directional highway).

The gut barrier also ensures (amongst other functions) that toxins, undigested food particles and harmful bacteria may trespass into the bloodstream.

So you can see why starting from what you put in your gut may be a pretty sensible place to start. So what should we eat?

Well, I could start talking about expensive superfoods with weird exotic names but actually there is no need for that at all. Simple, affordable foods that you can find in your supermarket are what we will focus on.

The key concept when eating to support your gut function is that we want as many diverse foods and colours as possible, as these will provide us with different vitamins, minerals and fibre; nutrients that can help us increase the type and amount of bacteria within our gut microbiome.

Different bacteria will have different functions from vitamin production to binding and excreting toxins and more…The main thing is to have a higher number of beneficial bacteria in our gut than harmful ones.

Simple, affordable foods will help you manage stress

Six tips for eating to beat stress

  1. Dial-up your fruit and veg intake
    Aim for 10 fruit and vegetables per day (8 vegetables and 2 fruits), but should you find that too overwhelming start with 5-7 fruit and vegetables per day (2 fruits and 5 veggies).

    If you find that’s also too much for you don’t worry, just start where you can. And make sure to start low and go slow, especially as we want your body to adjust to the increasing amount of fibre which otherwise may cause bloating in some individuals.

  2. The more colourful your plate the better!
    Do not always eat the same veggies and fruits, experiment!

  3. Make half of your plate non-starchy veggies
    Eat foods such as peppers, cucumbers, salad leaves, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes…

  4. Try some prebiotic foods
    These are foods that when broken down in your body, will feed beneficial bacteria. Think bananas, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, chicory. Please, once again, if you have never eaten much of these START LOW AND GO SLOW, let your body adjust slowly.

  5. Increase your fibre intake
    Fibre is not absorbed but can help motility and also provides short-chain fatty acids, compounds which provide energy fuel for your gut wall. Good sources of fibre include brown rice, lentils, chickpea, beans, oats, barley, rye, nuts, seeds, potatoes with the skin on, vegetables, fruits.

  6. Hydrate!
    Ensuring you drink a good amount of water daily can support bowel movements, softening your stools. Good motility is key, as it helps our body excrete toxins and unwanted waste. Everyone needs a different amount of water daily based on age, activity levels etc.

    Your best bet is to keep checking the colour of your urine and making sure it is always pale yellow. If you see it starts getting darker, make sure to drink up! Keep a bottle on your desk or set reminders on your phone to drink every hour. And remember that herbal teas count too!
Certain nutrients get used up quickly by your body when you’re stressed
Replenish lost nutrients

In addition to your gut, please remember that your hormone cortisol (your stress hormone) is produced by the adrenal glands and when you are under chronic stress, nutrients that support adrenal function can become depleted, so it can be a good idea to ensure the food you eat is rich in them. Which nutrients am I talking about?

Stress-supporting minerals:
  • Magnesium: swiss chard, spinach, kelp, beetroot, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, halibut, nuts and seeds.
  • Zinc: Venison, pork, beef, lamb, poultry, crab, seeds, sea vegetables, whole grains
  • Selenium: brazil nuts, meat, poultry, fish and whole grains
Adrenal supporting vitamins:
  • Vitamin C: bell peppers, broccoli, salad greens, fresh fruits especially strawberries and citrus fruits.
  • B Vitamins: beef, poultry, lamb, fish, nuts, seeds, whole grains      
Essential fatty acids:

Increase your intake of these because they are not produced by your body and need to be taken in from the diet. They are a critical part of cells membranes in your body and in these membranes sit the receptors for adrenal hormones amongst others.

Foods rich in these nutrients: SMASH

Oily fish, think of the acronym SMASH (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring) just as a rough guide. Nuts, seeds and their oils can also be used.

Keep an eye on your blood sugar level

Lastly, think about endogenous stress (stress created within your body).

Upset blood sugar levels can promote cortisol production from the adrenals so you want to make sure that your meals and snack support blood sugar balance instead of making it peak and the crash and burn.

The easiest tip is to make sure that all meals and snacks include a source of protein such as meat, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes. You see, protein is broken down slower in the body, which will help blood sugar levels last longer supporting energy, mood, cognition and stress response.

And adding cinnamon to your meals is also a great idea, as this spice can also support your blood sugar balance.

Examples of blood sugar supporting meals:
  • Morning: omelette with spinach spring onions and parsley, or porridge with cinnamon and nut butter
  • Snack: veggies sticks with hummus or babaganush
  • Lunch: salmon with steamed spring greens and roasted asparagus
  • Snack: a handful of nuts
  • Dinner: lentils, aubergine and butternut squash stew
Food for thought

Hopefully, this blog will inspire a few ideas for your next shopping trip.

And please do remember that nutrition is a key part of optimising your health and supporting your stress response but exercise, sleep and spending time talking with your loved ones are just as important. Everything works in synergy, there is no magic pill.

You just need to find the right combination that works for you.

For a deep, deep dive, an expert’s reference for cooking to beat stress (and other ailments) is The Functional Nutrition Cookbook, by Lorraine Nicolle and Christine Bailey, 2013

If you are suffering from chronic stress and want help with dealing with it through diet, contact a qualified nutritional therapist.

This self-care health hack is from Superfied nutritional therapy expert, Valentina Cartago

Search the Superfied food database for a full list of different nutrients in everyday food here

Find out more about the Superfied Way

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