A recent poll by the American Psychologist Association showed Americans are turning to junk food, alcohol and ‘comfort’ foods when stressed. I also see it every day in New York City – the more stress goes up, the more business for Starbucks. This might be a popular, but it is not a wise coping strategy and causes more stress in many other ways.
Your diet & lifestyle have a profound and underappreciated effect on your moods and physical stress response. I will cover some basics of nutrition & stress tips that will help you cope and get healthy at the same time!
Every meal produces a hormonal response. Your hormones control your emotions and thus affect your perception. Certain foods trigger a stress response while others can help you stay calm by balancing your energy and hormonal systems. What you eat before, during and after any stressful event will either help you cope or make it difficult to deal. Here are some tiups that will help you stay focused and energized during the economic crisis.
Eat a fat, protein and a carb at every meal or snack.
Since all carbs are sugars, eating a carb by itself (or skipping meals) is a sure fire way to create energy & hormonal imbalances. Yes, fruits and vegetables are carbs, the best carbs in fact. So choosing smart carbs like fruit and veggies, but also including a fat and protein, will help you tremendously.
Eat 4-6 times per day, no matter what! This creates hormonal balance and maintains energy levels so you can cope effectively.
You are designed to drink nothing but water. Even a small drop in your water needs can trigger brain fog. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, spread throughout the day.
Sugar, in all its forms, triggers hormonal volatility. Artificial sweeteners can also trigger brain chemistry imbalance and cravings which not only make it difficult to deal, but also create more physical stress later in the day.
Due to the high prevalence and under diagnosed reality that is celiac disease, it may be helpful to simply avoid grains and notice how you feel. If you are gluten intolerant and don’t know about it, you could be eating foods that cause a whole host of health problems, including brain chemistry imbalance and digestive problems.
There are many other foods that trigger energy and hormonal imbalances and these are just a few.