The Keto Diet is a good choice for stay-at-home workers amidst the coronavirus pandemic as it helps cope with the additional stress that stay at home orders have caused. We are told to self-isolate, avoid large gatherings, maintain social distance, avoid public transit whenever possible, and work from home, all of which results in social isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and higher stress levels.
How the Keto Diet Helps Cope with Stress
Our bodies release different stress hormones which is a form of adaptive response known as fight or flight. This also results in a higher energy demand. The main stress hormones produced by the body are noradrenaline, adrenaline, glucocorticoids, and adrenocorticotropic hormone. The body releases these hormones in response to triggers such as drop in blood glucose, lack of sleep, and illness. Among the common causes of stress are also chronic illness, moving to a new home or place, divorce or separation, death of a loved one, and loss of a job. Sadly, all of these can also happen during a pandemic. Moreover, social distancing and isolation may result in emotional problems such as low self-esteem, anger, anxiety, and depression.
The good news for people on the Keto Diet is that it helps relieve stress by enhancing the mitochondrial function. Research studies have shown that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with depression because the levels of adenosine triphosphate are lower. Keto foods help the body produce adenosine triphosphate which supplies energy for chemical synthesis, muscle contraction, and other body processes. Sticking to the Keto Diet may also help reduce oxidative stress which is not only associated with depression but with multiple serious, life-threatening, and debilitating conditions such as lung emphysema, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. In addition, being on the Keto Diet helps control blood sugar levels as dieters avoid foods that are rich in starch and sugar. Products that are particularly high in starch include saltine crackers, pretzels, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, and oats. Insulin resistance is not only associated with depression but with serious and chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Keto Foods That Can Help De-Stress Your Body
Healthy foods can help relieve toxic, physical, and mental stress amidst Covid-19 isolation. The list of foods that help de-stress and energize your body include avocado, wild caught salmon, Swiss chard, shiitake and cremini mushrooms, and dark green leafy vegetables. Shiitake and cremini mushrooms are packed with vitamin B5 which helps improve the functioning of the adrenal glands and thus cope with stress. Dark green leafy vegetables are particularly high in minerals such as molybdenum and magnesium which help control heartbeat and breathing. Avocado is loaded with potassium and thus helps improve the functioning of the nervous system and muscles. Wild caught salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which not only boost the cognitive function but help fight depression and mood swings. Swiss chard is packed with magnesium and fiber that make the nervous system and muscles relax. Grass-fed beef is a protein-rich food to also include in your menu as it contains iron and zinc which have a mood-stabilizing effect. It is also rich in B vitamins.
Other foods that help fight stress include turkey and chicken breast, dark chocolate, fermented foods, berries, and nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast can be added to meals and salads and is rich in B vitamins which help reduce the risk of depression.