If you’ve been anywhere near Sidon, Lebanon these past few days, stress has been your only company. In general though, we all suffer from bouts of stress and some turn to food for comfort – however, can your stress-induced foods be harming you?
Let’s take a look at the best and worst foods to relieve stress.
Foods to avoid:
Caffeine – if you’re stressed and tense, adding rapid heart beats and irritability will not help. Moreover, caffeine may promote insomnia which will only add to your stress.
High sugar food – the sudden increase in blood sugar will only add aggravation and cravings, and cause more stress hormones to get released.
Alcohol – alcohol and stress feed each other, they add to the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) and does not actually “calm you down” like many assume.
Spicy food – some people get tense when stressed and that affects their digestive system, adding spicy food might add to that discomfort.
Artificial sweeteners – this is particular to gum, which causes your digestive enzymes to work for no reason (since you are not actually eating!), this may lead to bloating and irritation which in turn will make you feel more agitated.
Foods that help:
Almonds – are a good source of Vitamin B2 and E (antioxidant), as well as magnesium and zinc, AND they have a crunchy nature which might relieve stress as you chew.
- Exercise helps release hormones which make you feel all around better, and provides an outlet for the stress hormones released
- Eating small regular meals to control blood sugar levels
- Try yoga, stretching your muscles will release any tension you carry
- Be conscious of your food, emotional overeating or overdrinking will only put you down
- Chamomile tea has been shown to help people relax and ease sleep
- LAUGH! watching comedy or trying laughter yoga can be a way to release pent up anxiousness