When a television programme becomes intense or frightening, you may notice that you go for the potato chips. Or you reach for the crackers at work when you’re informed that you’ll be tasked with a new project. You might even chew on candy bars if you’re having trouble keeping your children under control. All of these eating tendencies might be in response to increased stress.
Stress is a significant component of our everyday life. Indeed, stress has been connected to a considerable amount of overeating. However, it is also true that your diet can affect how you feel about yourself. Certain foods have been shown to exacerbate our stress levels, and numerous of these foods are stimulants.
Caffeine, of course, is the most well-known stimulant. It’s not only in coffee; it’s also in soft drinks, tea, and chocolate. When you consume a substantial amount of coffee, your heart rate and thinking speed up, caffeine use may be associated with hypertension. However, you may not want to abstain from caffeine entirely, and a gradual reduction will alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol consumption can also contribute to an increase in stress levels, and it results in the production of adrenaline, which might make sleeping difficult. Additionally, you may suffer from increased tension as a result of your alcohol consumption. Further, alcohol impairs the body’s natural ability to eliminate pollutants. Smoking is also hazardous, as it increases blood pressure and contributes to heart disease.
There is a good chance that you may experience significant tension due to eating sugar, and this is because sugar depletes the adrenal glands, resulting in sadness and irritability. It also contributes to inflammation, worsening muscle tension! While some individuals go for sugar cookies when they’re worried, the irony is that sugar-sweetened treats might make you feel even worse.
Salt and fat are two elements that might contribute to an increase in stress. For example, salt increases blood pressure, creating the sensation that an individual’s emotions are out of control. As a result, you should avoid highly salted foods, such as ham or sausage and other processed meats. Meanwhile, excessive fat consumption can place a load on the cardiovascular system, resulting in increased stress. In general, you should avoid highly processed foods because they tend to be nutritionally deficient.
If you’re looking to reduce your stress level, consider a diet high in whole foods, vegetables, fruits, and berries. These are natural stress relievers, nutrient-dense foods that will help you feel better in the long run. Additionally, these foods are much less likely to induce weight gain, which is another significant source of stress. Certain dieticians recommend eating a 65 to 70% raw diet to guarantee that you acquire the maximum number of nutrients possible—nutrients that would be lost during the cooking process.
How can you tell whether the food you eat is contributing to your stress? By keeping an eye out for warning signals. For instance, do you have headaches immediately following a meal? Do you suffer from neck or back pain? Are you irritable following dinner? Do you have irrational anxiety? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you might be experiencing stress caused by the foods you are eating. While attempting to alleviate that stress, you should also ensure that you obtain at least seven hours of sleep each night to maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Being exhausted can dramatically increase your stress level.
No doubt, eating healthy can help you manage your stress. Consuming caffeine-containing beverages or fatty foods can make you hyperactive and difficult to relax or concentrate. However, if you consume vitamin and mineral-rich foods, you may notice a considerable reduction in your stress level. Plan your meals to ensure that you get the optimum amount of nourishment. Consume food slowly and deliberately—feeling rushed during meals might add to your stress level. The good news is that diet is a manageable source of stress. By employing a few common-sense measures, you can ensure that you are eating a stress-relieving diet.
If you need help restoring your sleep quality naturally, managing stress/anxiety, or eating healthier, consider scheduling an initial naturopathy/hypnotherapy consultation.