Healthy eating is the main contributor to overall stamina and wellness, especially during extreme stress. Like, the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has landed people with excessive worry and anxiety. So, it has become essential for people to prioritize their health and eating habits.
Stress is a natural reaction to a challenging situation. Little worry can help respond to concerns, like avoiding danger, meeting deadlines, or dealing with certain life events. But when this worry starts affecting your health mentally and physically, it is time to make some changes in your lifestyle and eating habits. It is a common problem we have to deal with at some point in our lives. Many factors can bring stress to your body. These factors include external pressure from family responsibilities or work and internal influence such as what we eat and how our immune system, nervous system, or digestive are functioning.
But, the good news is that some simple lifestyle changes and eating habits can help us manage our stress levels.
How can stress affect your body?
Worry or extreme stress triggers a set of biological factors such as an increase in sugar levels, high blood pressure, the release of stress hormones, or rapid heart rate. All these factors, known as flight or fight, help meet physical challenges that threaten your survival when faced with stress. Due to the current culture of high stress, the stress response continually remains on alert, and your body does not have a chance to recover.
Extreme worry can also lead to some hormonal imbalance. The adrenal glands on the upper inner surface of the kidney produce the primary stress hormone such as noradrenaline, cortisol, and adrenaline. Over time, the hormonal glands may become overworked and have difficulty producing adequate hormones.
How can health benefit your stress?
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is necessary to help your body manage the psychological changes caused due to stress. An essential role of any stress response includes reducing the causes of stress.
It is essential to have a mindful eating habit, as you try to eat healthily, well-balanced meals, get proper rest, drink plenty of water, or avoid alcohol or excessive caffeine. Experts say that healthy eating can reduce the adverse effects of stress on your body. A proper diet can build a solid, more enduring foundation for your body by reducing inflammation and oxidation and also help in reducing weight.
Stress can negatively affect blood flow or blood pressure. There is a strong relationship between mental health and brain blood flow, and these compounds over time. For instance, nutritious food that improves blood flow includes omega-3s, polyphenols, and vitamin E that are found in red wine, dark chocolates, and blueberries.
A healthy diet has a positive effect on health as it improves blood flow and the delivery of critical nutrients to every part of the body. Foods rich in omega 3s such as salmon fish and tuna fish provide an inflammatory effect. You can find Vitamin E in foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, and spinach.
Food that helps to reduce stress and boost health?
Unhealthy eating habits can increase stress levels and increase the risk of health problems if you do not address them. According to a recent study, a well-balanced diet is more likely the vital ingredient for good health. So, next time you feel stressed or under pressure, try these natural stress-busting foods.
Drinking a warm cup of herbal tea is one way to make yourself feel calm. Some past research suggests that sipping a warm herbal tea increases the feelings of interpersonal friendliness and warmth. Certain herbs like chamomile and lavender have been shown to give a relaxing effect to the unconscious mind.
Green tea is excellent when you crave caffeine as it is full of flavonoids that can support your brain health. It helps to protect the neurons against injury and promotes memory, cognitive function, and learning.
A cup of green contains between 25 to 23 mg of caffeine compared to a brewed coffee that includes approximately 165 mg per cup. So, if you want to relax your mood reduce your stress, green is the best choice compared to a coffee.
People say that chocolates are unhealthy for your health. But, eating dark chocolate can reduce stress. It reduces stress in two ways a chemical impact and the emotional impact. Dark chocolates are rich in antioxidants that may reduce anxiety by lowering the stress hormones level in the body. But make sure you aim to eat only one-fourth of a small dark chocolate bar. Also, ensure that the bar does not contain unnecessary sugar.
It is also essential to choose a bar of high-quality dark chocolate, an expert says. You may have heard about a movement called bean-to-bar, which focuses on high-quality ingredients in the chocolate-making process. They ensure that the bar is packed with pure ingredients and no hidden chemicals. These ingredients include cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and cane sugar.
Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are a good source for reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, and boosting concentration. According to a study, the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can help to boost your overall health and reduce anxiety. Avocados consist of phytochemicals, essential nutrients, and fiber. It has been linked to a good diet and nutrient intake and reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Daily Eating Plan
A daily eating plan includes two to four cups of vegetables, at least two cups of fruit daily, three to four ounces of whole grain per day, 8 to 16 ounces of fish per week for Omega 3, one to two tablespoons of olive oil per day, four to six ounces of soy or nuts per week, and only one drink of alcohol a day if craving.
You can eat oatmeal with cinnamon, 1% or fat-free milk with toppings of walnut, and fresh or dried fruits with a cup of herbal tea.
In snacks, you can eat fruits, nuts, or tea. Your lunch should be a balanced meal with bean soup with whole-grain crackers, fresh pear, or baby carrot.
Your dinner can include fish, spinach salad with olive oil dressing, or baked potatoes.
When you follow these eating habits, it can help reduce the risk of chronic disease, depression, and the effects of aging. When you have excessive stress or worry, choose to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grain, dark chocolates, proteins, and avocados rather than eating junk foods and comfort drinks. There are some other ways to reduce stress. It includes relaxation techniques, regular exercising, yoga, meditation, or quality of sleep. If your anxiety becomes worse and starts impacting your daily life, seek medical attention.