Epilepsy Talk

Foods That Fight Stress… | July 19, 2018

I worked as a writer in the health and wellness field for more than ten years.

So I know a thing or two about this stuff.  (And stress!)

But I also know from personal experience that epilepsy is a very unique condition.

Between all the different types of seizures, and triggers, and meds…there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The same goes for de-stressing your diet.

What works for one might not work for another.

And it certainly doesn’t take the place of meds.

However, I do believe that although living a healthy lifestyle won’t cure you…it can certainly help you.

So, here’s some information for sensible stress-busting eating…


Obviously, you should get most of your vitamins from food by eating a balanced diet. But one of the most important vitamins for you to include in your diet is Folic Acid (Folate) which can help deal with vitamin loss caused by medication and also calm your mood.

However, the all-star vitamin is Vitamin B6.  This vitamin is involved in critical functions of the nervous system.  And it boosts the metabolism of various neurotransmitters which are needed for normal brain function.  The good news is that it’s easy to get it in all kinds of different foods…fresh juicy fruits like apples, oranges, grapefruits, grapes, (especially grape juice),  pineapples, peaches, pears and lemons…green leafy vegetables, carrots, peanuts, rice, milk, cereals, seeds, nuts and grain.

Now for the stress fighting superstars…


Although many people think of beef as a no-no, it contains high levels of Zinc, Iron, and B Vitamins, which are known to help stabilize your mood.  Plus Vitamin E, which when deficient from your diet, can actually encourage seizures. (Choose lean cuts like tenderloin and top sirloin to ease up on saturated fat.)


Turkey is high in Selenium — a calming hormone.  And you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to dig into a good turkey sandwich or make some turkey burgers on the grill.  (Try some guacamole and salsa on them!)


Oily fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which boost happy brain chemicals like serotonin and regulate stress hormones like cortisol.  Most types of fish are also loaded with  B6 and B12.  (A Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to depression.  And Vitamin B12 levels may be reduced by some anticonvulsant drugs!)  For lunch, try a tuna salad sandwich (with light mayo). And grilled salmon or mackerel with a side of leafy greens, is perfect for dinner.


Rich in Vitamin B12, clams are terrific on their own. (Did somebody say “Clam Bake?”) Or in soups, spaghetti sauces, and as appetizers when entertaining.


Rich in antioxidants, blueberries offer a high-fiber, low-calorie fruit option that is also high in stress-fighting Vitamin C.   Make a berry salad or for a quick snack or just take a handful of blueberries and enjoy.


Loaded with Vitamin C which cuts down on cortisol, the stress hormone in your body.  Kiwis, lemons and any other citrus fruits are also contenders.  But watch it with the grapefruit, it may not be compatible with your meds.


The Vitamin B6 in bananas is a heavy hitter when it comes to regulating stress.  And what could be easier to grab when you’re on the go?


Yum.  Papaya contributes more Vitamins A and C, and Folic Acid to your diet.  Add it to some berry salad to super-charge your stress control.

Leafy greens

Chock full of Calcium and Magnesium, these super vegetables can have relaxing, calming effects on the body.  Have a big salad with dinner and you’ll likely sleep better that night!


The Magnesium in spinach helps prevent your blood pressure from sky-rocketing.  It’s wonderful sautéed (with a little garlic), in salads, sandwiches and omelets.


Arugula is a good source of  Folic Acid and great in salads, soups, or on pizzas and sandwiches.

Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers also contribute good amounts of Vitamins A and C and Folic Acid. Try them roasted as a side dish (my favorite), on salads, in sandwiches, soups, and in casseroles.


High in Folic Acid and B Vitamins which help make serotonin, a chemical that directly affects mood in a positive way.  Roasted, grilled, steamed or as a soup, it’s a happy winner.


Full of stress-relieving B Vitamins and Folic Acid which help relieve stress, anxiety, panic, and even depression.  Try broccoli as a side dish or a stir-fry with a few other vegetables and some beef or shrimp.  (And throw some asparagus in.)


My favorite food in the world lowers blood pressure with its high contents of Potassium and healthy fat (monounsaturated).  It’s also low in calories and the perfect excuse to eat (or make) guacamole.  Great sliced up in salads, too.


Basil calms your nerves by helping your body resist stress and by increasing physical endurance.  Use it in any tomato or seafood dish, or on chicken, turkey, in salads, sandwiches or wraps.


Include more lentils — in soups and salads — as a rich source of Folic Acid.  And if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they have lentils vacuum packed and ready to go.


Chickpeas are also a good source of Folic Acid on salads or in hummus, with baby carrots, bell peppers, cucumber spears, or on whole wheat crackers.

Sunflower Seeds

Rich in Selenium (which has been found to significantly reduce seizures) this super snack includes Vitamin E and Folic Acid, too.  Grab them on the go or toss some in a salad for a rich stress fighting solution.  What could be easier?  (Just be sure to use dry-roasted seeds without salt, because the added sodium defeats the purpose.)


Try crunching on almonds to get some aggression out. A good source of Vitamin B2 and E, as well as Magnesium and Zinc, almonds are high in fat, but most of the fat is unsaturated. Like Vitamin C, Vitamin E has been shown to fight the free radicals associated with stress and heart disease.

Other varieties of nuts, such as peanuts, pistachios and pecans have been shown to reduce blood pressure, boost energy and lower stress hormones, too.




  1. It’s good to see the facts about some things that are so bad for you that are actually GOOD to have, like BEEF / RED MEATS but never trust or believe that PORK is good or any deli meats sold in the food stores. NITRATES & NITRITES ”’ not found in BEEF can cause seizures, as those toxins acts as nerve EXCITOTOXINS which helps chemicals in the brain like GLUTAMATE become more productive, & possible making glucose levels lower which can in many times cause a severe GRAND MAL / TONIC CLONIC SEIZURE. Last week I believe this is what happened to me, as yet I can never prove this other than saying I ate 1 to 2 strips of beacon at lunch time & by 2:30 A GRAND MAL seizure is happening. No I do not eat beacon every day, & when I do I take vitamin C knowing how it is to keep at check how the nitrates & nitrites in where they are in foods, are suppose to somehow eliminate the reactions some people can have with nitrates & nitrites, yet still there are times then the rain gauge fills up with WATER, like as I say the human brain is the rain gauge that fills with GLUTAMATE which can cause a seizure. When over time the wrong foods are eaten & nothing happens, then it only means the month, week day & hour will come when in that minute, you may know something is getting ready to happen IF you get the AURA / WARNING where the brain you have is not acting 100% normal, & you wonder if it ever was acting normal between the last seizure & the seizure that is getting ready to happen. EXCITOTOXINS in all drugs, AED’s especially, & other neurological drugs,OTC ones, foods & drinks are everywhere where we use hand actions going to the mouth then to the gut where everything is being digested. THERE is when the body & brain chemistry is all getting IGNORED, as pure 100% real foods never give you any fears unless such a fermented / ORGANIC FOOD that is advertised as such are sprayed with MSG’s & other toxins to keep the freshness of that food or drink. All to say that most FOODS & DRINKS are not always a stress eliminator but a STRESS CREATOR, that will increase GLUTAMATE in the brain / blood barrier in a person internal body & brain chemistry. As I say all of this gets IGNORED, as you have to ask yourself if you see a neurologist, WHY ? he or She has never told you this when THEY KNOW IT IS TRUE & THEY KNOW WE ALL WILL SUFFER MORE by knowing little or nothing about these serious seizure root causing problems, that FDA, CDC & NIH has purposely IGNORED but APPROVED as safe, and funded by congress, BIG PHARMA & MONSANTO.. Shhhhhhhhh quiet please,, Let’s not talk about THE DARK ACT, that became the law in 2017, signed by president OBAMA in 2016 or CODEX ALIMENTARIUS passed as a law singed into law by president LBJ in 1963. FOLLOW THE MONEY,, Remember too,, YOUR BRAIN DOES NOT LIE & Mine never has either. All AED’s from all I have taken & IF I DID TAKE MORE,, I would never have the common sense to think things like this out, to see HOW seizures have happened to me in over 50 years,& WHAT have been the root causes for over 95% of them that has happened to me since 1965. TRUE today there are so many triggers that makes seizures happen that the root causes for them are totally IGNORED, as EXCITOTOXINS are the main root causes a human brain is being attacked daily to everyone who eats & drinks, inhales & exhales. The problem is over 95% of all people do not see this happening to them until IT”S TOO LATE & then nothing seems to happen for any good, even the fasting of all BAD FOODS & UNSAFE FOODS have done their damage that seems to be not reversible once the damage gets done. NO AED is able to help in most cases which is WHY I believe a persons BLOOD TYPE & BLOOD CHEMISTRY has something more to do with stopping all types of seizures, from ALL root causes the seizures could be happening from. Can’t do nothing about that because the BIG PHARMA would lose BIG BUCK$, so we have now close to 70 MILLION living with seizures, compared to 10 MILLION who had seizures in 1975, as I did then too was 1 of those 10 million, now 1 of the 70 million. Uhhhh What’s the meaning of $UCCE$$ for a NEUROLOGISTS & NEUROSURGEONS. For me that is,, To have A REAL LIFE, WITH A JOB, & WITH NO SEIZURES IN MY LIFE SO I CAN KEEP THAT JOB. << That has not happened yet in over 57 years now, and with BIG PHAMA & FDA in control IN HOW A NEUROLOGIST WILL TREAT OUR SYMPTOMS of our '''condition that is not a disorder'''',, that never will happen,


    Comment by CD — July 19, 2018 @ 9:54 AM

  2. Great information, Phylis! May I share this?


    Comment by Soo Ihm — July 19, 2018 @ 12:30 PM

  3. So true! I have been telling people about weather’s cause not only for arthritis pain, etc.but increases in Epilepsy spells. Id be willing to say most people think I’m crazy. My father always wondered why I was always saying, “there’s going to be a storm”……..until he began to realize I actually knew what I was talking about. THen he’d say every now and then, “Well, what’s the weather going to do? Ha.

    I’ve always thought about inventing an apparatus= hook to a person, press a button, and it cause themto have the discomforts of a seizure. It’s probably the only way you can convince anyone who has not experienced it- be it friends, relatives, job supervisors, etc. etc. etc. They really don’t know as much as they think they do……………………… And stress—YES. Absolutely. I take a stress formula every day- I feel it really helps. Before taking it, I used to find myself starting to cry over the least little things; after taking it, I felt like a different person!




    Comment by karen629@charter.net — July 19, 2018 @ 4:35 PM

    • Consider this Karen:

      Barometric Pressure

      Weather differences such as sudden changes in temperature, dark skies, thunder, or bright, hot sunlight and humidity may be a definite trigger for some.

      B Complex Vitamins — without a question, they are the star of all vitamins.

      In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, they are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

      Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

      The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group.

      And when combined, they work synergistically together.

      Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food.

      Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 19, 2018 @ 5:05 PM

  4. Yet another great post from Phylis and brilliant coment to follow, yes that search for the trigger can seem endless and frustating, my focus has been on all lifes toxins and @ 69 there has been more than a couple pass by, stopping and advoiding them is a start, detoxing all the accumulation is a joiney in its self, everything consumed is measured from the air we breath, the water we drink and the purchased and home grown food we eat, a little quotation we repeat, if it’s got a bar code then think twice about it. we live in little old clean green NZ, yes it’s a healthy start, but no way have we advoided the toxins that the modern day western world has created, keep the support flowing.



    Comment by Donald Nairn — July 19, 2018 @ 7:22 PM

  5. Given all the good info above towards B complex, I thought I would double check what I am currently takeing ????

    Each Tablet Contains:

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamine hydrochloride) 75mg
    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 10mg
    Nicotinamide 100mg
    Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid from calcium pantothenate 75mg) 68.7mg
    Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine hydrochloride) 25mg
    Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) 30µg
    Vitamin H (Biotin) 20µg
    Calcium ascorbate 145mg
    Ascorbic acid 130mg
    (Total Vitamin C 250mg)
    Vitamin E (d-alpha-Tocopheryl acid succinate 41.3mg) 50IU
    Magnesium phosphate 140mg
    Calcium phosphate 100mg
    Potassium phosphate monobasic 117.3mg
    Folic acid 150µg
    Avena sativa (Oats) extract equiv. to dry seed 250mg
    Passiflora incarnata (Passion flower) extract equiv. to dry herb 100mg
    Lecithin 50mg
    Choline bitartrate 25mg
    Inositol 25mg
    No added salt, yeast, wheat, milk derivatives,preservatives, artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners.


    Comments appreciated,



    Comment by Donald Nairn — July 20, 2018 @ 4:23 AM

  6. This is really helpful to know. Thank you again Phylis. I will repost this to our page at Epilepsy Support NZ and Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by vhealing — May 1, 2019 @ 10:40 AM

  7. One of the best B COMPLEX anyone can take is the brand GARDEN OF LIFE. I also believe the brain never lies when of IF you are testing it with foods & drinks, and the processed food & drink world is nothing but ENEMIES to all brain chemistry within a few minutes or hours to several hours or a day later, maybe days or week or 2 later IF you slowly add toxins into the BBB or a lot of them in 1 or 2 meals a day. All brain chemistry is SUPPOSE TO BE different, but not 1 neurologist that I ever had in 50 years has ever said to stay away from all foods & drinks with MSG’s, ASPARTAME / SACCHARIN, & other toxins that THEY KNOW as well as I do triggers petit mals, & GRAND MALS & other types of seizures. WHY do 90% of us have the same SIDE EEFECTS where we may take the same drugs from the drugs of DILANTIN, PHENOBARBITAL, KEPPRA, TEGRETOL, you name them,, and yet we can never have any same reactions for whatever reasons, and we are to IGNORE all these food & drug toxins & chemicals WILL DO to the human brain, because if something happens to 1 brain, that’s ALL it will happen to, and it is not worth worrying about if FDA does not see those things as a brain problem. They think that because they KNOW there is NO DRUG to stop it, plus they do NOT WANT TO STOP IT as long as MORE DRUGS to anything in between to having a surgery is the answer & it usually IS NOT the answer. This is WHY I believe the bible in MARK 9:29 can be 90% to 100% of all the answers that we ALL need, but when seizures can still happen BUT you know you are having LESS OF THEM, then you know you are doing something right, if the seizures are LESS than what they use to be, and you see WHY they were MORE before the changes you made helped make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by James D — April 11, 2020 @ 5:03 PM

    • Without a question, B Complex Vitamins are the star of all vitamins.

      In sufficient quantities, especially those that combine B6, B12, folic acid, thiamine and biotin, they are vital to the production of numerous brain chemicals.

      Like the neurotransmitters which serve as the chemical message bearers between your nervous system and brain.

      The most efficient way to make use of this “brain food,” is to take it in a B complex form, since this contains all the vitamins in the B group. And when combined, they work synergistically together.

      Take a single B-50 B complex tablet twice a day with food.

      Each dose should contain 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 micrograms of folic acid, and 50 milligrams each of all the other B vitamins.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 11, 2020 @ 10:55 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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