Stress influences many parts of human behavior, including tendencies regarding food. I have been studying stress in a couple of my classes this semester and learning about different aspects of it, including the correlation between stress and integrative nutrition. Even if it does not seem like it, what you feed yourself will alter your stress levels, whether it is good or bad.
What is your go-to snack when you are stressed? Your emotions can lead you to grab unhealthy foods that will actually make your stress levels higher. Not fueling your body with the right foods will make you feel less energetic and can create worse problems than short-term stress.
This can also go the other way. When some people feel extreme levels of stress, instead of loading up on junk, they skip meals sometimes. They feel that they do not have the time to eat and fuel themselves with anything, and this is also extremely harmful. Both eating junk and not eating at all will have harsh effects on your behavior and mindset, and this cycle will go on and become long-term.
There are many factors that play into stress: nutrition, sleep, social life, emotions, and more. We all feel stressed at times, and it can actually be good for your mind and body, as long as levels are being controlled. Everyone’s body and brain react differently to stress but do everything they can to protect you from physical and emotional damage.
When you have a healthy relationship with stress, it can strengthen your memory and be important in your development as a person. Those who can not take care of themselves and control their stress level must learn how to begin controlling stress. Following the steps below will have a huge impact and prevent worse problems from arising.
Stay away from fried foods and added sugars. Find foods with high quality protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and complex carbs. Do not use caffeine as your source for a midday pick-me-up. Remember that food is fuel and should be your primary source of energy. Some people think that coffee will make them focus better, but it actually increases your blood pressure, leading to higher anxiety and stress. Try green tea instead, which is loaded with antioxidants and may enhance brain function.
Foods to relieve your stress:
- Dark chocolate
Reliving stress is truly all about self-care and doing the things that are the best for your mind and body. Preferred self-care activities vary among people and should be tailored to your interests. Do activities that make you feel calm such as reading, listening to music, or meditating. Do a challenging puzzle that will allow your brain to focus on something else.
Stress has a large impact on human health, but the food we choose to eat can either help or create a higher risk. Follow my tips to see change and feel your best!