Nutrition is one of the most important foundations of human existence. Health, general well-being and the ability to withstand anxieties and worries depend on how balanced it is. Life in large cities is full of constant stress. For example, nervous work, traffic jams, chronic lack of sleep, fatigue, and a sedentary lifestyle has become our way of life.
All this leads to health and mental problems, the development of chronic diseases, and depression. Often the diet of a stressed person consists of foods that are far from healthy food. And the jamming of problems leads to new ones in the form of excess weight, obesity, and additional complexes.
Role of Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is a key to good physical health and the prevention of many diseases. However, its influence is also great on the psycho-emotional sphere, particularly on the fight against manifestations of stress.
Stress is a strong external influence on the body, activating and overstraining the body’s defenses. Thus, leading to malfunctions in the normal functioning of organs and systems. As a result of chronic manifestations of stress, the body’s strength gets depleted. Moreover, diseases of the cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine and digestive systems develop.
The human body tries to cope with the negative influence with the help of the necessary substances obtained from food. When they are not enough, the body’s reserves begin to be expended, not benefiting its health.
Causes of Stress
The most common causes of this destructive phenomenon for the body include:
- Exhausting and nervous work
- Lack of sleep and rest
- Troubled home environment
- Poor nutrition
- Alcohol abuse
- Frequent respiratory viral diseases
- Diseases of the digestive tract
- Taking certain medications
- Abuse of alcohol and smoking
Stress leads to a deterioration in well-being, poor appetite and impaired absorption of vitamins and other useful things from food. A timely start in the fight against this phenomenon allows you to avoid the most negative consequences and the development of chronic diseases.
Nutritional Rules to Fight Stress
Proper nutrition is a fairly general concept that has a number of components. A sharp change in eating behavior does not always bring positive results. So you need to get used to a new lifestyle gradually, taking into account the existing features.
1. Avoid Alcohol
Many people believe that drinking alcohol will help combat stress; however, it is not true. Alcohol abuse only exaggerates the effect of stress. Thus, the first thing you need to do is get rid of alcoholism. You can do it yourself or get professional assistance.
A safer way is to take help from experts. You do not have to worry about treatment’s expenses. You can even get proper alcohol rehab insurance coverage to pay for your addiction treatment. It is the first step towards an alcohol-free and stress-free life.
2. Schedule Your Meal
The main principle here is fragmentation. The number of meals should be at least five. Breakfast should be no earlier than half an hour after getting up. And each next meal should be done after 2-3 hours. These time periods are considered optimal for proper digestion and assimilation of the maximum nutrients from food.
3. Compliance With The Rules Of Eating
These include the environment where the meal takes place (calm atmosphere, good serving, and soothing music). An important role is played by the sequence of serving dishes (vegetables, then meat), as well as careful and leisurely chewing. Through proper nutrition, you can fight stress.
4. Monitor Food Characteristics
To get the maximum benefit from food, you should monitor their freshness and quality. It is necessary to exclude obviously “harmful” foods – fast food (food high in trans fats, preservatives, sugar). Give preference to plant and animal products grown in environmentally friendly natural conditions. Having healthy foods will help you fight stress.
5. Nutritional Balance
It is based on the observance of the norms for obtaining nutrients per day. A properly composed diet should include the following food groups: meat, fish, eggs, cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products. Eating one food from each group per day can provide the body with all the key nutrients.
The peculiarities of nutrition during stress include the additional inclusion of substances that contribute to a more rapid recovery of damaged cells in the diet. These include vitamins A, E, C and group B. Frequent stress contributes to the rapid loss of protein since it is necessary to maintain the immune system. Thus, you should increase the amount of protein and calcium-containing foods consumed.
There are foods that are aimed at minimizing the effects of stress on the body. So, the most effective products for an anti-stress diet are:
1. Leafy and Green Vegetables
These foods are especially rich in folic acid, which promotes dopamine production (the hormone responsible for feelings of satisfaction). Experts found that people who regularly consume green vegetables are less prone to stress and experience positive emotions more often. Thus, if you are dealing with stress, consume leafy and green vegetables.
Milk is not only rich in protein and calcium; it also contains vitamins B2, B12, potassium and antioxidants that help fight insomnia. You should consume it warm before going to bed. The result is increased energy in the morning after a good night’s rest.
3. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is a traditional mood booster. Its use has a positive effect on the moral state of a person. The benefits of chocolate are due to its carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, sodium, vitamins, and fats. However, remember that you should not overeat chocolate as it has a high quantity of sugar.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants and promote the production of serotonin. This hormone is associated with a mood boost. They also contain healthy unsaturated fats and fiber. So you can include them in your diet when you feel stressed.
Sweet and fresh, berries are high in antioxidants that help relieve stress. Berries are also a source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. Eating them with low-fat yogurt containing calcium and protein will allow the body to cope with anxiety quickly.
Now you know which foods to eat and what to avoid. It will help you not only confront but also healthily fight stress.