Are you feeling stressed out? Monitor what you eat to avoid increasing your stress levels. Stress is more than just the feeling of being under too much emotional, mental or physical pressure. It is a kind of disease that you should never stop preventing. Certain foods help to fight stress while others can worsen the symptoms. Check out what you should avoid if you live a stressful life.
1. White bread and pastries
White bread and most pastries contain white flour, sugar, sodium, and many additives that are not only harmful to your waistline, but for your mental and physical health as well. Foods that contain white flour affect the digestive system causing additional stress to your body. Switch to gluten-free versions to avoid extra stress. If you are going to bake, consider using coconut or almond flour instead of white flour.
2. Sugary foods
Ice cream, milk chocolate, doughnuts, and other sugary foods can satisfy your cravings and improve mood but for very short period of time. When you are stressed, your cortisol level increases. High cortisol level can significantly destroy your health.
Although your body has natural self-repair mechanisms that slow the aging process, combat infections and prevent cancer cell growth, stress stops those mechanisms, and this leads to a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If you crave sugar, eat a piece of dark chocolate or a bit of nut butter.
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3. Tea, coffee, cocoa energy drinks
Energy drinks, coffee, tea, and even cocoa are all those drinks you should certainly avoid when stressed. They help boost energy and mood, however, they are also high in theobromine, caffeine, and other neuro-stimulators that promote stress. Opt for warm lemon water or light herbal tea without sugar instead. It hydrates the body and helps you calm down.
4. Spicy foods
If you get stressed easily, chances are you have digestive problems as well. The thing is, your digestive system is not able to work properly and process food when your body is under stress. Stress slows down metabolism making food stay in your stomach for longer. This, in turn, leads to acid reflux that spicy foods make worse.
Reduce your stress levels by eating more vegetables and fruit, such as spinach, oranges, bananas, avocado, kale, and broccoli. A vegetable soup or a salad is a healthy option too. It will not increase your stress levels and weight.
5. Processed foods
The processed foods are the big sources of fat, sodium, and artificial additives that directly increase your cortisol levels and prevent your body from fighting stress effectively. When you feel stressed out, avoid packaged foods at all costs. Whole foods are your best choices when it comes to managing and reducing stress.
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French fries, alcohol, sugar-free gums, and meat are another foods that increase your stress levels. These are difficult things to avoid, but do it for your health. Needless to say, your waistline will thank you too. Exercise, meditation, breathing techniques and a healthy diet can help you manage stress the next time you get through challenging times.