Stress can lead to failing physical and mental health. African-Americans are more likely to experience stress due to discrimination, exposure to violence, inadequate housing and lack of access to appropriate health care. Stress in the workplace or even when working from home can have damaging effects on self-esteem, productivity and overall quality of life. Fortunately, we live at a time where there are options. They even have apps to help navigate anxiety. Consult your doctor before making a lifestyle change and be sure to take note of any limitations or modifications.
How Green Is Green?
Those curious about a plant-based diet are often torn between being a vegetarian and being a vegan. For clarification, a vegetarian does not eat meat but eats a diet of fruits, grains, vegetables and nuts while possibly continuing to eat animal products including seafood, milk, cheese and eggs. A vegan has decided not to eat any kind of animal product including all meat, seafood and dairy and for some, honey is on the list of won’t have foods. No matter which you choose, there are great benefits to going green.
Research has shown that meat, dairy and eggs can cause inflammation in the body. Many of the foods found in a plant-based diet are high in antioxidants and they naturally contribute to reduced stress and improved moods. Magnesium plays a key role in regulating stress and anxiety. Foods high in magnesium include: dark leafy greens, salmon, avocado, dark chocolate, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Vitamin A, C, E and anti-oxidants are a few of the reasons why your skin might start to glow when you choose a plant based diet. Water is another. While you should strive to get your daily intake of 6-8 glasses a day, when you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, you are adding more water. So get your glow on!
When it comes to brain power, foods such as kale, spinach, collard greens and broccoli are packed with vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta carotene. Omega 3 fatty acids may help to lower blood pressure, prevent and or manage heart disease and promote brain health. Salmon is a great weapon against cognitive decline but if you are skipping fish, reach for flaxseeds, avocados and walnuts which also contain great amounts of mind blowing Omega 3.
LA Dunn is a plant based advocate and a fan of Shakespeare. If you have 20 minutes, listen to an episode of The Black Girls Eat Podcast !
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