How To Find Stress-Relief
In times today, we often think of stress-relief, like breathing, yoga, or meditation. These ideas are great solutions to stress-relief, but diet is often not in the equation.
Stress comes in multiple forms, sometimes caused by external events, and sometimes it is self-inflicted. It chips away at or wellbeing, wears us down, and depletes our nutritional reserves. The good news is that there are easy action steps we can take to help our bodies cope with stress and improve our long term health.
Stressful events, or even daily hassles of life, cause our cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol then causes food cravings. Often this is in the form of carbs and sweet foods. The more we eat them, the worse our mood gets. And as if that is not bad enough, cortisol makes more trouble for us by triggering an enzyme in our fat cells. These are visceral fat cells that convert to more cortisol. Visceral fat cells pack around our vital organs, and the more of these enzymes we have, the more belly fat accumulates. The more stress, the more cells, and then we have obesity.
This links to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
So when we talk about calming foods, it is not comfort foods. I am talking about meals and snacks that soothe and calm you. Because nutrients in foods cause a steady, reliable source of energy, we feel more focused and balanced. Also, more like we can conquer anything. I love that feeling of confidence.Choose nutrient-dense foods for a healthy strong body Click To Tweet
What makes food calming?
When we are making healthy choices, for stress-relief, we are fueling our body and mind with nutrients. These nutrients improve the blood flow to the brain and improve focus and relieve stress. Our intention will be more precise, and we will be more productive with our time.
When we manage the negative physiological changes that stress causes, we need to stabilize our mind. We can manage our reaction, rather than letting our surroundings control us. We will feel more motivated to exercise and stay active, and this will enable us to get more done throughout the day.
When we eat comfort food, we will find ourselves sitting on the couch, letting stress prevent us from getting anything done. Things will feel out of control. So, don’t cave to eating out a lot. Choose to eat at home where it is easier to eat nutritious alternatives.
Another thought is mindful eating. In the context of food, mindful eating is the practice of being fully present for a meal. It can involve slowing down, savoring each bite, and getting in tune with our body’s fullness cues. When we are distracted, we tend to eat faster and longer.
Maintain A Healthy Diet, Even When We Feel That We Do Not Have The Time To
Starting our day with a balanced breakfast is the best way to set ourselves up for success. Even a simple bowl of oatmeal has tons of complex carbs and nutritional benefits. The result is an increase in serotonin levels in the brain. (Serotonin helps regulate appetite)
It is vital to choose our meals by analyzing the nutrients in them. Taking this step will provide nutrients for our mind and body. Eating at home is usually a better alternative. One way to do this is to keep fresh, nutritious foods on hand. We can keep chopped prepped veggies available. Also, be sure to include nuts, fruits, and high fiber snacks during times of stress when we need it the most. These provide our body with the proper fuel it needs to keep us in motion.
According to a study by researchers at UCLA, Omega-3 fatty acids reduce surges of stress hormones. It helps reduce our risk of heart disease, depression, and other health problems caused by chronic stress. Examples of Omega-3 fatty acids include foods like salmon and tuna, nuts, seeds, and plant oils. Try incorporating these into your meals, and you will notice the benefits they provide for your mental health.
The gut microbiome can influence our body, including the brain. The microbiome is supported by consuming fiber-containing foods like beans, fermented vegetables, and yogurts.
I recommend researching ways to incorporate them into your daily diet.
Eat the Right Foods At The Right Time
By substituting junk food for choices full of nutrients, our body will feel full of energy. Our blood flow stabilizes, thus making us more able to control our stress. When we are more motivated and productive, we will be much more likely to find ways to relieve anxiety rather than letting it take over our minds.
One way to reduce the temptations of comfort food when under large amounts of stress is to eat foods that will substitute any potential cravings. For example, eating small amounts of dark chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth. While it still provides stress-relief and keeps you full of energy. Eat this after dinner to avoid craving a sugary dessert before bed.
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I am Shirley Noah, an internationally known stress expert and entrepreneur. I would love to connect further with you to help you improve your health and wellbeing.
Check out: Free Checklist 10 Ways to Eat to Relieve Stress
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