By Peter Hutch |
Stress is an important factor that in long term can be the cause of a number of physical neurological and psychiatric disorders. It is important to manage stress by adopting a healthy attitude towards various aspects of life limiting the responsibility to what you can shoulder, limiting your liabilities to the extent that you can handle them and not over committing yourself to any task beyond what you can reasonably except to perform.
There is an accepted association between nutrition and stress. Stress can lead people to make poor nutritional choices which can affect overall health. Poor nutrition also can greatly affect a person’s capability of reacting and coping with stress. And because of this, good nutrition is always part of effective stress management. Here are just some simple tips that would help people use good nutrition as a means to manage the stresses in life.
Stress raises our metabolism and decreases our nutritional status, depleting our body of water- soluble vitamins and minerals. Therefore we must increase intake of the water-soluble vitamins, B and C. A deficiency of B vitamins leaves you feeling tired and lethargic, yet more reactive to stress. Minerals, particularly potassium, magnesium and zinc are also depleted during stress. A basic multi-vitamin supplementation program is essential.
A healthy nutritious diet typically includes fresh fruit, whole grains and vegetables Foods that contain high levels of fat, salt, sugar and alcohol should be taken in moderation. A healthy diet enhances the immune system and helps to maintain a reasonable energy level which is essential for dealing with stress.
Foods high in calcium and magnesium have been shown to reduce stress because these two nutrients relax muscle fibres.
Overall, when stressed, depending on what your activity level it can be a good idea to eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates. These help to release serotonin into the body and elevate mood. Some good food sources of complex carbohydrates include broccoli, potatoes, squash, and brown rice.
One thing that is important to know about stress is that it creates poor nutrition. For instance if you are in a rush and can not cook breakfast, what do you grab? Most likely a doughnut, Pop-Tart or something else similiar that can be eaten on the run. Green tea has a substantial amount of anti-oxidants in it that can protect the body during stressful times, and can even help promote weight loss by giving your body the tools to burn fat.
Nutrition and stress are more related than you could imagine. In fact, they are intertwining – one affecting other in a little circle. Your eating habits in relation to stress can become a negative vicious cycle until you understand what is happening and take charge of the nutrition you put into your body.
By Peter Hutch