Doctor Roach is an integrative health expert and is one of Optimal RD’s friends and mentors.
Here are some of Doctor Roaches top nutrition tips to help with relaxation.
1. Eliminate caffeine: Coffee and soft drinks
Many people use caffeine to help keep them awake and mask a sleep deprivation, but this can lead to a bigger problem. If you drink caffeine to stay awake during the day, it can keep you from falling asleep at night and therefore shorten the length of time you sleep. This creates a unwanted cycle of sleep deprivation.
2. Eat a balance of healthy protein, fat, and fiber at each meal to prevent a drop in blood sugar
According the the Mayo Clinic, here are some low blood sugar symptoms:
Keeping a normal level of blood sugar, can prevent anxiety, irritability, and other unwanted symptoms that may affect your ability to relax.
3. Natural sources of tryptophan for relaxation: Dark chocolate, turkey and bananas
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that occurs naturally is some foods. It helps with relaxation and can make you sleepy. Tryptophan can also help with the production of serotonin and melatonin.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences mood. Low levels of serotonin can lead to anxiety and depression
Melatonin is a hormone in the body that influences sleep. Irregular levels of melatonin can affect your sleep habits.
Other foods high in tryptophan: Honey, milk, and eggs
4. Natural source of L-theanine for calming: Green Tea
Green tea contains the amino acid, L-theanine.
L-theanine helps with stress reduction, promoting relaxation, and positively affects mood. Dopamine levels in the body increase with an increase in L-theanine which acts like a “reward” and mood-booster.
5. Natural source of melatonin: Walnuts
The hormone, melatonin, has an affect on your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin levels are typically higher at night (when you are going to sleep) and lower during the day (while you are awake). Eating some foods containing melatonin, such as walnuts, before bed might help with a better night’s sleep.
Other natural sources of melatonin: cherries, tomatoes, pineapple
6. 30 minutes of exercise twice daily.
Regular physical activity can be a mood booster and help with a reduction of stress and boost your ability to relax. According to an article in Harvard Health, “multiple clinical trials have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression.” Exercise reduced the body’s stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, while also stimulating the production of endorphines, which works as a mood booster.
7. Spiritual enlightenment
Research has demonstrated that a Spirituality/Faith based organization* can add 14 years to your life.
*If you want more information about how a faith based organization can improve your life expectancy check out: blue zone
Thank you Doctor Roach!