Performance Habit #33 – Stress Foods

If you have the right inputs, you can create the right chemicals. You can create calming chemicals like serotonin or damaging, stress chemicals like cortisol.


To fight stress, the fuel we take in is critical. Here’s what we need: antioxidants to fight the damage that stress causes; omega 3 fats to rebuild cells and B-group vitamins to help produce calming chemicals that work in opposition to the stress response.


When we are under stress, we produce enormous amounts of energy and our cells (both body and brain) work overtime. This is why stress is exhausting. Just like a car, when we run our cells at high levels, high levels of by-products are also produced and it is these by-products (called free radicals) that eat away at our brain cells (and others) and hurt performance.

Antioxidants neutralise these free radicals. Foods high in antioxidants are coloured fruits and vegetables and berries. Article – 5 Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Omega 3 Fats:

Omega 3 Fats nourish our brains. After we are working overtime with the stress response, we need to repair the cells. We also need to make sure we have enough of the fuel that helps us to build new cell connections (this is learning) and lay down new behaviuors and habits. Omega 3 is that fuel.

Omega 3 Fats are found in some nuts, and fish such as salmon. Article – Best Omega 3 Foods

B-Group Vitamins:

These vitamins provide the inputs from which our calming chemicals are made. Like anything, if you don’t have enough ingredients, you can’t make enough of what you need. B-Group Vitamins, especially B6 and B12 are the ingredients for serotonin and GABA – the calming brain chemicals that help us to switch off the stress response so we can get back to normal.

Milk and milk products are one source of vitamin B. Article – Foods that are high in Vitamin B
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