The World Health Organisation has dubbed stress the ‘Health Epidemic of the 21st Century’.

Most of us would presume that stress is largely due to external factors like working long hours, hectic family lives and the pressures of modern life but our capacity to deal with stress lies internally.  What makes one person thrive on a busy and demanding schedule while another finds it difficult to cope? Diet can play a huge role here so here are 5 food pointers that will help to increase your resilience.

1.  Eat your magnesium. Choose dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat (see below for a buckwheat pancake recipe), oats and sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

2. Respect mealtimes and stop to eat.  Give your food the attention it deserves and you’ll benefit more from the good food you’re consuming through better digestion and absorption. If you can use mealtimes and snacks as a break, your mental health will benefit too.

3. Go easy on the stimulants (caffeine, alcohol).  They will wind you up even more!

4. Look after the good guys in your gut with some probiotic foods and drinks like kefir, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut. Always buy them refrigerated or all the live bacteria will be gone. 95% of the body’s serotonin resides in the gut so gut health is critical.

5. Have your Christmas dinner early!  Turkey has high levels of tryptophan which is converted to serotonin in the body which helps you feel calm and happy.