Stress and Nutrition

Stress and Nutrition

This link provides information about Stress and Nutrition

Stress and Nutrition

Stress and nutrition-moving to a new home- a divorce- changing jobs, exams, money, traffic jam…. Many of life’s events often bring along stress. Too much stress can make you feel tired, depressed and even ill.

You may have trouble sleeping, gain or lose weight or experience indigestion, constipation or diarrhea.

Eating well can help. How your body handles stress may depend on how well it is nourished before and during times of stress. Sometimes people respond to stress by eating too much food. Others forget to eat at all. If you have poor eating habits, your body will have a harder time fighting infection and illness. Healthy eating won’t get rid of stress in your life, but may help you respond well to stress.

If eating healthier feels like a big challenge, focus on the small changes. Talking small steps can motivate you to add a few more. Build on them and over time you will see results such as more energy to enjoy life and to cope with stress.

Nutrition tips to handle stress:

Eat a nutrient packed high fiber diet. Choose more whole grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes.

Eat regularly during the day. Eat three small meals plus healthy snacks every day.

At each meal, include foods from three or four of the food groups, protein, complex carbs, fruits and vegetables.

Slow down and relax at mealtime. Take the time to sit down for meals and snacks. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied

Cut down on caffeine- caffeine found in coffee, cola, tea, chocolate may make some people irritable and nervous. Others get headaches or have difficulty sleeping.

Drink water often

Prepare your healthy snacks, so that they are ready when you need them.

Some people overeat when they are stressed and reach for cookies, cake and chips. If the foods you eat are higher in fat, sugar or sodium, eating a lot of them may lead to health problems. Take a step towards eating healthier snacks by trying- raw vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, low fat yogurt, lower fat cheese, air popped popcorn, hummus and whole wheat pita, whole grain bread and low fat milk

Activity helps to fight stress. Be active, regular physical activity will improve your mood and make you feel better. Do something you enjoy like walking, dancing, biking, gardening etc

Get enough sleep

Your body doesn’t need extra nutrients when you are under emotional stress. However, if you eat poorly or very little, your body may not get enough nutrients. Consults your doctor if you have questions.

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