A well balanced diet is crucial in preserving health and helping to reduce stress.
Certain foods and drinks act as powerful stimulants to the body and hence are a direct
cause of stress. This stimulation, although quite pleasurable in the short term, may be
quite harmful in the long run. We will look at a few of them:
This is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, Coke, etc. It causes the release of
adrenaline, thus increasing the level of stress. When taken in moderation, coffee can
increase your alertness, increased activity in the muscles, nervous system and heart.
Consuming too much caffeine has the same effect as long term stress. It is suggested that
there is a link between caffeine intake and high blood pressure and high cholesterol
Be careful in reducing the coffee or caffeine consumption. Cutting it off abruptly can
result in your experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Reduce the consumption slowly over a
period of time.
Like caffeine, taken in moderation, alcohol is a very useful drug. It has been shown to
benefit cardiovascular system. Alcohol is a major cause of stress. The irony of the
situation is that most people take to drinking as way to combat stress. But, in actuality,
they make it worse by consuming alcohol. Alcohol and stress, in combination, are quite
Alcohol stimulates the secretion of adrenaline resulting in the problems such as
nervous tension, irritability and insomnia. Excess alcohol will increase the fat deposits
in the heart and decrease the immune function. Alcohol also limits the ability of the
liver to remove toxins from the body. During stress, the body produces several toxins such
as hormones. In the absence of its filtering by the liver, these toxins continue to
circulate through the body resulting in serious damage.
Many people use cigarettes as a coping mechanism. In the short term, smoking seems to
relieve stress. But in the long term smoking is very harmful. Its disadvantages far
outweigh its short-term benefits. Cigarette smoking is shown to be responsible for a
variety of cancers, hypertension, respiratory illness and heart disease.
Sugar has no essential nutrients. It provides a short-term boost of energy through the
body, resulting possibly in the exhaustion of the adrenal glands. This can result in
irritability, poor concentration, and depression. High sugar consumption puts a severe
load on the pancreas. There is increasing possibility of developing diabetes.
Keep your blood sugar constant. Do not use sugar as a "pick me up."
Salt increases the blood pressure, deplete adrenal glands, and causes emotional
instability. Use a salt substitute that has potassium rather than sodium. Avoid junk foods
high in salt such as bacon, ham, pickles, sausage, etc.
Avoid the consumption of foods rich in saturated fats. Fats cause obesity and put
unnecessary stress on the cardiovascular system. High fat is believed to cause breast,
colon and prostate cancers.
Eat a meal high in carbohydrates
Carbohydrates trigger release of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which soothes
you. Good sources of carbohydrates include rice, pasta, potatoes, breads, air-popped
popcorn and low-cal cookies. Experts suggest that the carbohydrates present in a baked
potato or a cup of spaghetti or white rice, is enough to relieve the anxiety of a
Eat Food High In Fiber
Stress result in cramps and constipation. Eat more fiber to keep your digestive system
moving. Your meal should provide at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Fruits, vegetables
and grains are excellent sources of fiber. For breakfast, eat whole fruits instead of just
juice, and whole-grain cereals and fiber-fortified muffins.
Eat More Vegetables
Your brain's production of Serotonin, is sensitive to your diet. Eating more
vegetables, can increase your brain's Serotonin production. This increase is due to
improved absorption of the amino acid L-Tryptophan. (Vegetables contain the natural, safe,
form of L Tryptophan.) Meats contain natural L-Tryptophan also, but when you eat meat,
the L-Tryptophan has to compete with so many other amino acids for absorption that the
L-Tryptophan loses out. The net result is that you get better absorption of L-Tryptophan
when you eat vegetables.
Foods to Eat