Diet & Stress

You know your job and home life can be stressful at times, which may lead to some bad eating habits.  But can your diet add to your emotional turmoil?

According to the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), as you become increasingly stressed, the following occurs:

  • Vital nutrients are depleted in the body and are generally not replaced because of stress-prone eating habits.
  • Individuals gravitate toward foods that promote a stress response to fulfill a need. These foods include refined sugar, processed flour, salt and caffeine. These foods can compromise your immune system.

Many stressed individuals eat poorly because they do not have time to find healthy ways to replenish their bodies, or they crave junk food during stressful experiences.

To avoid stress food traps, consider these healthy eating recommendations:

  • Eat a diet rich in foods of many colors, such as vegetables.
  • Select foods that are high in antioxidants, like broccoli, carrots, whole grains, spinach and any kind of berries.
  • Opt for organic foods whenever possible.
  • Drink filtered water to keep you hydrated.
  • Reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake.
  • Cook with fresh herbs and spices.
  • Consume free-range meats to avoid ingesting synthetic hormones and fertilizers.
  • Avoid eating genetically modified foods, especially meat products.
  • Consume at least 30 to 40 grams of fiber each day. Good sources of fiber include apples, peas, whole wheat bread, and bran cereal.
  • Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, either with a supplement or in foods such as salmon, walnuts, shrimp and soybeans.