Did you know that the way you eat can affect your body’s ability to handle stress?
The foods you eat can absolutely affect your body’s ability to balance insulin, cortisol and other hormones that are produced when you feel stressed.
Let me say that stress is not inherently bad for you. Sometimes stress means that you are pushing yourself and getting out of your comfort zone.
But left unmanaged and unaddressed stress can lead to all kinds of health implications — heart disease, diabetes and obesity have all been linked to chronic stress. (see this article by Dr. Mark Hyman for more on how chronic stress can impact the body).
The good news is that our bodies are evolved to deal with daily stress. These natural ways the body calms and soothes itself out of flight or flight mode are activated as long as we nourish ourselves with the right food and nutrients.
Other tips for managing stress:
- On stressful days eat little and often. This way you are minimizing peaks and valleys in blood sugar levels. Make sure your meals and snacks are high in protein and healthy fats to avoid blood sugar spikes.
- Exercise! No quicker way to move stress through the body than physical movement — even small, short blocks of movement will do wonders.
- Time in nature — go outside to a quiet place and just breathe for five minutes. Or go for a walk in nature (also great physical movement).
- Seek support. The emotional support of a therapist or other professional can help you gain perspective and management over the chronic stresses in your life.
- Stock your home with healthy meals! Try Vita Kitchen’s meal delivery service for an easy way to start eating healthy on a daily basis!
20 Foods That Are High in Vitamin C. (2018, June 5). Retrieved May 3, 2019, from Healthline website: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-foods
Explore IM (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2019, from Explore Integrative Medicine website: https://exploreim.ucla.edu/nutrition/eat-right-drink-well-stress-less-stress-reducing-foods-herbal-supplements-and-teas/Singh, K. (2016). Nutrient and Stress Management. Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences, 6(4). https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-9600.1000528