A Balanced Diet to Combat Stress
A well balanced diet is important for maintaining your health and getting your stress under control.
Unfortunately the foods that we turn to when we are stressed are not the likely to be recommended on any healthy eating plan.
For those that have demolished a block of chocolate when your life is falling apart will know what I mean!
A balanced diet contains a variety of foods that provide you with a variety of nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and water.
In order to ensure that you get the right quantities you should eat foods that reflect the quantities in the food pyramid.
When we are stressed there are a number of foods that we should avoid. Let’s look at a few of these.
Caffeine is a stimulant and triggers a stress response in your body. Caffeine is found in drinks such as coffee, tea and coca cola.
When drinking caffeine in moderation, it can increase alertness and muscle tension. Some people also report being being able to notice changes in their heart rate.
Overloading with too much caffeine can have the same effect as long-term stress.
To make a step today in reducing your caffeine, opt to substitute your latte or cappuccino with a decaffeinated green tea, which is also rich in antioxidants.
While a very moderate consumption of alcohol is generally not a problem, the problem is constraining your consumption to a small amount.
Alcohol is damaging to your stress, with the irony being that some people drink to alleviate stress which actually results in more stress.
While sugar is often thought as an energy boost in the short term, the problem is that your body secretes insulin which reduces the sugar in your blood.
This roller coaster sugar ride actually leaves you with a low energy feeling and can possibly result in less concentration and greater irritability.
Do you reach for a smoke when you get stressed? Many people smoke as a coping mechanism to help them relax.
While in the short term smoking may relieve stress, in the longer term the toxins raise the heart rate and stress the body.
Similarly, smoking is linked to heart disease, cancer, hypertension and respiratory illnesses.
Fruits and vegetables
When you are stressed you are low on calcium levels in your body. Eating leafy green vegetables can help replenish your calcium stores and get some additional fiber.
These boost your production of serotonin which add to your feelings of well being. Furthermore cereals and whole grains will help you can replenish the vitamins that are depleted as a result of the production of cortisol - a stress hormone.
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Exercise, in addition to a balanced diet and good stress nutrition, can also improve your stress levels. See this article of exercise and stress.
What food reduces stress for you? Please Share It!
Do you know a food that reduces stress for you. Share it!
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