LIST: Smart food choices that help fight burnout

LIST: Smart food choices that help fight burnout

MANILA, Philippines — Uncertain times such as a pandemic could trigger stress. Pre-pandemic, stress happened when problems one after the other occur in the workplace, at home and even in school. The pandemic, however, induced a frequent occurence of the release of cortisol in the human body that could trigger stress.

Many scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals are looking into how stress affects wellbeing in these uncertain times.

While there are still researches and studies about the correlation of stress and pandemic, there are ways to fight off excessive cortisol levels in the body.

There's a wellbeing mantra that's been going around for ages: Let nature be your healer. And by this, it could mean the food that you eat.

Dozens of medical literature have listed the popular go-to foods that are known to combat stress: fatty fish oils, chamomile tea and fermented foods like kimchi. These are among the food listed in the article "18 of the Best-Stress Relieving Foods" published in

Dr. Rolando Balburias, a general internal medicine and Institute for Functional Medicine-certified functional medicine practitioner, underscored the importance of taking note what we eat.

"It's not just the hormones that are responsible for making us feel burnt out. What we eat also plays an important role because the lack of micronutrients, enzymes and antioxidants in our body can cause energy deficiency — making us feel fatigued and stressed easily," he explained in a statement sent to

Sekaya, a Filipino plant-based brand produced by Unilab’s natural products company Synnovate Pharma Corporation, explained that the human body is built to deal with bouts of stresses with the help of stress hormone cortisol, which can help fight inflammation, manage blood pressure and protect overall health and well-being.

Balburias gave more definitive "smart eating habits" we could observe during these trying times.

1. Choose your carbs wisely.

Carbohydrates have often been seen as bad for most of the times, but what people tend to forget is that like fat, there are the good ones. After all, like fat, it is a source of energy. It is a matter of choosing the right kinds of carbohydrates to take.

Balburias prescribed to eat unrefined carbs and foods high in fiber such as brown rice, spinach, kale, peas, beets, barley grass and malunggay, the latter which can be easily grown in your yard and is readily available in the country.

2. Eat anti-inflammatory food.

Inflammation can occur when you are stressed. Dr. Balburias pointed out that chronic stress causes chronic inflammation, which can be damaging to your health.

He explained that chronic inflammation affects the brain's ability to reach and maintain a level of alertness that can lead to exhaustion. This is also seen as a common precursor or symptom of some health problems like depression and cardiovascular disease.

He advised to turn into "anti-inflammatory eating." As he explained, "Start by eating the rainbow or eating colorful plant foods that are high in anti-oxidants like leafy greens, berries, whole grains, ginger and turmeric."

He also recommended Omega-3, which is commonly associated with fish but that can also be sourced from soy and nuts such as pecans and walnuts.

    3. Stay hydrated.

    Apart from eating a rainbow of food colors, consuming lots of water within the day has always been a sound advice. Dr. Balburias explained that fatigue can be aggravated by dehydration.

    "Staying hydrated throughout the day is a must, it's not an option. Water can help you power through your exercise and daily tasks at home and at work."

    4. Learn how to use protein efficiently.

    Protein helps the body repair and build tissues and is a primary energy source. Dr. Balburias shared that it is advisable to space out its consumption throughout the day, instead of taking it all up in one sitting.

    "It would be wise to eat your carbs with protein, since the latter takes longer to digest and absorb. When you eat it with a carbohydrate, it also slows the release of sugar into your bloodstream. You get sustained energy without the crash," he explained.

    He suggested to go for healthier plant protein sources such as whole grains, beans, legumes and nuts.

    5. Build immunity with vitamins.

    Together with being proactive in eating healthier food and maintaining a consistent workout routine, people are also advised to make it a habit to take vitamins and supplements to further build and strengthen their immune system.

    Among the options available are Watsons Philippines' new vitamins and supplements range, which includes 64 new products for overall wellness, immunity building, beauty and dietary supplementation for every family member. To ensure of the products' quality, these reportedly go through the meticulous Quality Assurance Process wherein each product is thoroughly inspected, tested and assured of meeting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards before it reaches the stores.

    Available in various formats like tablets, capsules, soft gels and effervescent tablets, and in Watsons stores, mobile app and online shop, the new range includes:

    • Calcium + Vitamin D3 for supporting bone and joint health
    • Vitamin C + Zinc + Vitamin D for strong bones, teeth and muscles
    • Vitamin C + Vitamin E + Glutathione, which whitens, nourishes and protects the skin from ultraviolet damage
    • B-complex for nerve function
    • Evening Primrose for helping reduce acne, eczema and relieve symptoms of post-menstrual syndrome, hot flashes and breast pain
    • Glucosamine for joint health
    • B Complex Plus for nerve health and increasing red blood cells and energy level
    • Bilberry Complex for eye health support, ideal for those who are always in front of laptops and mobile devices
    • Omega-3 to reduce risks of heart diseases
    • MGX+, a mangosteen capsule with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits

    With a pandemic still raging on, it is important to keep on your toes, and your mind and body in sync and alert through these helpful tips.

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