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Stress Diet

Most people are well aware of the fact that there are certain techniques, which are very effective in fighting off stress. These primarily include yoga, meditation, exercising, listening to music and engaging in a relaxing hobby. Several people also consult health experts about the importance of a stress diet plan, in the management of stress, anxiety and other such emotional problems.

Stress has become a common feature of our lives, as almost every individual, faces at least some amount of stress on a daily basis, regardless of their age and gender. Where stress was once regarded as a problem affecting adults, it has been seen that in today’s world, many children and teenagers are also under a significant amount of pressure to perform in different walks of like, which could cause them to experience a significant amount of stress.

Unfortunately, stress can have an adverse effect on just about everybody. At times the impact of stress on a person is not very severe, leading to minor afflictions such as headaches, fatigue and general weakness. However, for some people, stress could be a major problem, causing them to experience serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, sleeping disorders and panic attacks, to name a few. Therefore, as soon as you realize that you are suffering from an excess amount of stress and anxiety, it is important for you to follow the right measure that can help alleviate these problems. A stress diet and exercise routine are important factors that you should consider, before anything else.

In case your high stress diet consists of comfort foods such as chocolate, ice cream, chips, sodas, cookies and other types of junk food, rest assured that you are not alone. Studies indicate that during times of stress, most of us reach out for foods that we like, not really giving much thought to their nutritional value. Unfortunately, the guilt that follows the consumption of these foods is enough to add to the already existing levels of stress in your body. Therefore, instead of allowing your stress nutrition to comprise of unhealthy foods, it is best for you to make a few dietary changes, and follow a proper, balanced diet for stress reduction. A good an effective anti stress diet usually consists of those foods that are high in nutrients and allow your body to cope with and eventually fight off stress. Given below are some of the recommendations of a low stress diet:

  • Skim milk: Low fat milk and skim milk are great sources of Vitamin D, calcium and protein. Hence, they help to stabilize the levels of sugar in your blood, decreasing stress, anxiety and tension. Therefore, instead of reaching out for some ice cream when you are stressed, you could blend some cold skin milk, along with a mild sweetener and fresh berries, to make yourself a healthy and tasty drink, which can cheer you up. 
  • Vegetables: Stress can have a negative impact on the body, which is why you should increase your intake of foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. Vegetables can replenish the nutrients in your body, especially during the time of stress. 
  • Berries: It is very common for people to use chocolate in a “reduce stress diet”. However, too much of chocolate can be harmful and could lead to several health problems. Hence, people suffering from stress should consume high amounts of blueberries instead, which are sweet enough to boost the energy levels in the body. At the same time, blueberries are also good for regulating the levels of blood sugar. 
  • Soy Products: Tofu, soymilk, tempeh and soy nuts are all high in calcium, Vitamin B, magnesium and protein. These nutrients are excellent in helping the body combat stress.

Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are several other stress diet nutrition food choices that you can opt for, based on your preferences and overall health condition. Since there is a very strong correlation between your stress diet and your heart, it is important for you to follow a healthy heart diet and remain free of stress as well as heart diseases.

Stress Foods

How many times have you reached out for a tub of ice cream, a bar of candy, a piece of cake or even a slice of pizza, not because you are hungry, but mainly because you feel stressed and are overcome with the urge to eat what you probably refer to as “de stress foods”. However, what you regard as anti stress foods could actually be considered as stress foods to avoid, by most health experts. This is because ice cream, chocolate, cakes, cookies, chips and any of the other stress foods you eat in most instances are very high in calories, fat, sugar, sodium or carbs. These high stress foods will not only have a negative impact on your health, but will also bring on loads of guilt later on, as you realize the amount of fat you consumed. Therefore, it is best for you to get information on healthy stress foods that you can reach out for, whenever you are seeking comfort in food.

Some of the most commonly recommended low fat and low stress foods include:

  • Low fat milk and dairy products like plain yogurt, skim milk and cottage cheese 
  • Dark green vegetables preferably eaten raw, as they are crunchy and can replace unhealthy fried foods and snacks. Other healthy vegetables include sweet potatoes and broccoli 
  • Fruits are naturally sweet and crunchy and can be great for satisfying any sweet cravings that you experience when you are stressed. Hence, when you are stressed, instead of reaching out for chocolate, pop a piece of fruit in your mouth instead. Some of the healthiest fruits for stress are oranges, apricots and blueberries. 
  • Poultry contains amino acids, which releases serotonin in the body, thereby increasing your “feel good” factor. Eating skinless chicken or turkey can help you feel a bit more relaxed than before. These are usually regarded as the most effective stress foods for men 
  • Whole grain cereals, like oats brown rice, wheat and quinoa are high in Vitamin B and help increasing the serotonin in the body.

Many people add a multivitamin to their daily diets, to help them combat stress. However, before adding any stress foods or vitamins to you diet, it is best for you to consult a doctor and get an approval.

Submitted on January 16, 2014