- Including healthy food in the daily diet manages stress levels.
Here are 5 ways to eat healthy everyday to keep your stress levels on check
What is Stress
When we humans encounter a situation which is dangerous or come across something that’s terrifying, either mentally or physically, our nervous system triggers adrenaline glands to release adrenaline hormones, that cause a Fight – Fight response, also know as the Acute stress response. This physiological and psychological response to stress prepares the body to react to danger. So, stress is a good sign.
But, In today’s modern world, we are stressed for various reasons like the busy schedules, competition, peer pressure. The stress-levels of every individual are at a soaring levels for various reasons not necessarily dangerous; and yet, the body’s response to stress is same and with the pre-determined instincts, the body sends signals to the nervous system to respond to stress on priority leaving rest of the functions. Digestion also is one such function that’s at a low-priority in stressful situation.
Being aware of how your body works and deals with stress can help you to manage stress and stressful situations. After a stressful period, the human body can go into a ‘recovery mode’ where increased appetite and food cravings become more prevalent. At the same time metabolic rates drop to conserve energy. Being aware of these patterns can help one manage stress levels.
Nutrition and diet can help the body recover from stressful periods more rapidly and minimize negative effects such as weight gain
Studies prove that processed and non-nutritional sugar and fat rich foods also add to the stress levels, triggering increased craving for sugars. When we do not fulfill the body’s micronutrient requirement, that further effects various functions that the organ’s perform, that might make one irritable and stressful.
Food plays a major role in managing stress. Eating right is the key to it. Eating whole foods, avoiding junk as much as possible and maintaining a positive mind helps one reduce stress by 70%.
Here are 5 ways to manage stress by eating right:
1. Herbal tea helps promote feelings of warmth and calmness. Green tea is rich in antioxidants that also gives a calming effect. So, make a habit of having green or herbal tea when stressed, instead of the caffeinated drinks.
- Nuts are a great stress-busting snack and they’re also high in healthy fats. Carry a small pouch of nuts or a pocket sized ziplock with nuts in it, and nibble on them when hungry for a snack instead of loading up on junk.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids cortisol and adrenaline levels associated with stress. So, take your fish oil capsules to be healthy and happy
4. Switch your groceries to Whole grains which provide a mood-boosting way to the carbo-load. Next time when you shop, make sure you include those millets, brown rice and oats in your shopping bag.
5. Citrus fruits and berry fruits (strawberries etc.) contain vitamin c, which help fight stress.
Also, Foods High in Fiber May Reduce Stress and Anxiety. So, eat your vegetables and fruits every day.
Foods to avoid or keep a tab on the intake quantity:
Certain foods, though good do more harm than good when consumed in excess quantities.
Caffeine is found mostly in coffee, tea, some soft drinks and chocolate, can have negative effects on the body if taken in high quantities. Try to wean yourself off caffeine by substituting coffee or tea with decaffeinated versions, herbal tea, or green tea. Substitute sugary and caffeinated soft drinks with water or or fresh fruit juice without sugar.
Getting adequate sleep is an important factor in reducing stress levels Avoid all caffeinated drinks after lunchtime to sleep better, since caffeine stays in body for more than six hours.
Alcohol, Sugar, Salt and Nicotine
You should aim to reduce your intake of alcohol, sugar and salt. Consumption of these items are all known to strip the body of essential nutrients and undo the work of a healthier diet. Stop smoking!
By watching our diet, increasing our intake of stress-busting nutrients and limiting our intake of stress-inducing substances we can feel better about ourselves and our well-being, as well as give our bodies the chance to cope with, and recover from, stressful situations.
Stress can also be managed effectively with:
1. Exercising everyday for atl east half hour
3. Minimum of 7 hours of Sleep everyday.
If you are experiencing unbearable stress for a long time, in spite of following a healthy lifestyle, seek immediate help from your doctor who may recommend a counsellor or some alternative stress relief techniques such as massage, acupuncture or alternative medicine.