We all have to deal with stress in our day-to-day lives. Whether you’re dealing with a minor problem at work or a life changing issue, stress often leaves us powerless and vulnerable. For many people, comfort food is the solution to this state of mind.
Feelings of control, power, and immediate gratification are what certain foods provide us in stressful conditions. This is not to say that comfort foods are bad; eating food that you enjoy can, in fact, relieve stress. However, moderation and restraint are important traits to have.
Adrenaline and You
Whenever we experience periods of moderate to extreme stress, adrenaline is subsequently produced in the body. Adrenaline signals the flight or fight response, giving the body a sudden surge of energy that then diminishes as the immediate threat passes. Once this happens, the body’s blood sugar levels fall – with food being necessary to replenish it in the long run.
How to Maintain a Healthy Diet to Deal with Stress
Not all foods are created equal and stress actually causes digestive dysfunction. Some foods can actually make matters worse by increasing the physical effects that stress has on your body. For example, two of the most popular drinks, alcohol and caffeinated beverages, actually put strain on the body and its digestive processes.
At the risk of sounding cliché, it has to be said that alcohol has little to no nutritional value. As a result, for each alcoholic beverage that you have, you should make an effort to match it with a simple glass of water or juice.
Similarly, you should also try to lower your intake of stimulants such as soda, tea, and especially coffee. Try to get decaffeinated alternatives whenever possible and drink water regularly to avoid dehydration.
Always make an effort to have breakfast in the morning. Even if it is a piece of fruits and vegetables, having something healthy in your stomach is better than nothing. Healthy quick meals that you can have on the go, like yogurt and protein smoothies, are perfect. Having low energy reserves early in the day only makes matters worse when it comes to stressful situations.
A healthy vitamin and mineral supplement can be a perfect solution for dealing with a lack of nutrients that could possibly be caused by stress. Herbal supplements that contain ingredients like mint, aloe vera, ginger, and lemongrass, all speed up the digestion of nutrients that are needed to replace those lost due to stress.
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