Stress – No More

We all experience stress at some stage of our life.

Running late for work, waiting for exam results, running late to a meeting or getting a project assigned out of the blue; these are some common situations when you will reach for a chocolate bar or your chips in the drawer at your work desk. No matter what the situation or location, stressful situations invoke similar physiological reactions. Your body reacts, leading to a rise in blood pressure level and the heart rate leading to rise in the cortisol level, a hormone when released over a period can lead to diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Stress is nothing but a physical and mental reaction to incidents positive or dreadful that occur around us.

One of the most common reactions to stressful situation is overeating. As it provides a temporary diversion, we tend to take this route in the bargain ignoring the long term impact ‘weight gain’ which could potentially be an additional source of stress.

A well balanced diet is crucial in helping reduce stress. Certain foods and drinks can cause stress, the stimulation, although quite satisfying in the short term, may be quite harmful in the long run.

Let us identify some food groups that are good to consume and can help during trying times. Yellow, green and orange food groups are all rich in minerals, vitamins and increase the immunity helping the body to combat disease.

Food rich in carbohydrates like rice, pasta, potatoes and bread especially the whole grain variety are known to increase your sense of satiety and provide essential nutrients like fibre , vitamins and minerals. Fruits, vegetables and grains are excellent sources of fibre and are known to be beneficial during these times.

On the other hand caffeine laden beverages and food high in fat can reduce the body’s ability to encounter stress. Avoid consumption of foods that are high in saturated fats. One can also avoid junk foods on a regular basis as these are high in salt such as bacon, ham, pickles, sausage, etc, as salt is directly related to high blood pressure levels.

Another important food group to be kept at an arm’s length during stressful times is sugar. Sugars are known to provide short term boost of energy however, since this isn’t long-lasting it can in turn cause a drop in your blood sugars and make you leaving feeling worse than before.

Alcohol is known to benefit if consumed in moderation; however the combination of stress with alcohol is lethal if consumed overly. People tend to look up to alcohol for support when dealing with stress, but in reality they make it worse by consuming alcohol.

Severe starvation diets can cause negative impact on mood and generally cause worsening behavioural problems in people especially in young teenage girls. Aim to have a healthy diet with the goodness of fruits and vegetables, ensure exercise is a routine as this can help tremendously in combating stress.

This article is a general guideline ONLY, if you have any medical condition and for individual conditions you should consult a health professional or your medical practitioner immediately.

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