10 Things You Need to Do to Manage Your Stress With Healthy Eating
People are liabl to make poor food choices when they are stressed or busy, these poor food choices will eventually result in more stress and might cause other problems as well. Here are the 10 Things You Need to do To Manage Your Stress With Healthy Eating.
1. Eat Your Breakfast You might feel you are not hungry in the morning, but the truth is that you have to eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast causes your blood sugar levels to drop during the day which will cause fatigue and mood swings, to prevent this you need to eat something for breakfast unless you are following and intermittent fasting protocol.
2. Alywas Have a Snack on HandKeeping some protein rich snacks in your pocket, office, or car will help you avoid blood sugar level drops and the following mood swings and the fatigue. Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars all have the nutrients and energy you need.
3. Healthy MunchiesIf you tend to munch when you feel stressed out, you can replace chocolates, chips and other non healthy foods with mixed nuts, greek yogurt, carrot sticks, kale chips, red bell pepper, celery sticks, or even sunflower seeds.
4. Prepare your Lunch at HomeMany people like to eat fast food at lunch time, but you can save lots of money and actually eat healthier if you take the time and prepare your lunch at home. You can do this a few times per week, and you will feel the improvement compared to eating out.
5. Stock Your HomeIt is so important to get the bad foods out of your pantry, but it's even more important to get the good foods in! to do this you have to plan a menu of healthy meals and snacks at the start of each week, create your shopping list, then go shop for it. This way, you'll know what you want to eat and you will find it ready when you need it and you won't have to stress over what to eat and start eating unhealthy staff.
6. Incorporate Anti-Inflammatory Foods
It's not just the cortisol levels that are affected by stress, but also inflammation in the body. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can help reduce the physical and emotional effects of stress. Foods such as salmon, turmeric, leafy greens, and berries all have anti-inflammatory properties.
7. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can increase cortisol levels and disrupt sleep, which can further contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. Try to limit your intake of these substances, or consider eliminating them from your diet altogether.
8. Practice Mindful Eating
Eating mindfully means being present and aware of what you're eating, savoring the flavors and textures of your food, and paying attention to your body's signals of hunger and fullness. This can help you make healthier food choices and avoid overeating or making poor food choices due to stress.
Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining overall health, including managing stress. When you're dehydrated, your body has to work harder to maintain normal bodily functions, which can lead to fatigue and other stress-related symptoms. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and stay away from sugary or caffeinated drinks.
10. Get Support
Managing stress and maintaining healthy eating habits can be difficult, especially when you're going through a tough time. It's important to surround yourself with a supportive community, whether that's friends and family, a therapist, or a support group. Having someone to talk to and lean on can help you stay on track and make healthier choices.
It's also important to note that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. They also advise limiting saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium to promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular physical activity, which can also help reduce stress levels and improve overall health. By following these healthy eating habits and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, you can better manage your stress and improve your overall well-being.
Understanding The Role of Cortisol Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, it's part of your body's natural response during the fight or flight reaction (the body reaction to strssful or frightening events where the body increases heart rate, increase blood supply to muscles and raises blood sugar levels among many other actions to help you fight or flight); but cortisol plays a lot of other major roles in your body too, it helps regulate everything from sleep cycles and inflammation to blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Cortisol is helpful in the short term, but being exposed to it for too long can lead to a chronic stress response which can lead to more anxiety, inflammation, fatigue, depression, weight gain, higher blood pressure a decreased immune system a higher chance of diabetes and heart diseases.
as you can see decreasing cortisol levels can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health. It was found that people on diets with high carbs and sugar have much higher cortisol levels than people who eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and polyunsaturated fats. What you eat impacts cortisol levels and essentially trigger the stress response in the body, so you can choose foods that lower cortisol and the stress response.
Certain foods can help to decrease cortisol levels in the body as you might notice these foods highly resemble The Mediterranean Diet which has been shown to be effective at decreasing inflammation and improving mental health .
• Foods high in B vitamins, particularly B12, such as organ meat, beef, chicken eggs, nutritional yeast, and fortified cereals
• Foods high in omega-3s, which reduce inflammation. Fish are a good source, but you can also get omega-3s from plant-based sources like walnuts, avocados, chia, flax and olive oil
• Magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, broccoli, bananas, avocados, artichokes, spinach, and dark chocolate
• Foods that help regulate blood sugar, such as regular meals and protein-rich foods like beans and legumes
• Foods that promote a healthy gut microbiome, including high-fiber foods and probiotics like live yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut
• Staying well hydrated by drinking enough water every day
Foods that can increase cortisol levels include alcohol, caffeine, saturated fats, and simple sugars and carbs like soda, candy, and white bread. It's important to be mindful of how these foods affect your stress levels and to eat them in moderation and strictly avoiding alcohol .