Monday, March 15, 2010


i came across 2 nice articles this morning
that i thought i'd share with you....

Foods that increase Stress levels

Some of you may wonder what on earth has healthy eating to do with stress?

What you eat affects the way you feel emotionally and physically.

Stress is everywhere and there are many people who are trying to overcome their problems with stress, anxiety, and depression start out their day by consuming two cups of coffees, a couple of sugar donuts, and a few cigarettes hoping to overcome fatigue resulting from a sleepless night and wonder why they end up having a panic attack on their way to work.
Needless to say that such a breakfast is completely void of nutrition as well.

This lens is about foods which could make your stress even worse.
You Are What You Eat!
Eating is one of the natural joys in life.

Most cultures celebrate holidays and the passages of life with feasting. However, eating right is a learned skill and not just something that just comes naturally.

Unfortunately, the foods that people eat for pleasure are not always nutritionally sound. The love affair with snack foods has led to joke that the four food groups are candies, cookies, coke, and chips.

A healthy body responds better to the inevitable stresses of life, and good nutrition is a building block of good health.

Eating a balanced diet can help to prevent stress, optimize health and manage stress and burnout more efficiently.

What you eat affects the way you feel emotionally and physically.

There are foods that reduce stress and those what increase your stress levels instead.

Foods that increase your stress levels are: Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar, Sodium, and Fast Foods.

Caffeine is a stimulant. One of the reasons we drink it is to raise our levels of arousal, particularly at the start of the day. If you drink many cups of coffee a day, then you may become nervous, hyperactive and irritable.

In small amounts, alcohol may help you relax. In larger amounts, it may increase stress as it disrupts sleep, reduces your effectiveness, and possibly harms relationships.

Large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time will damage your body: depletes B vitamins, alters blood sugar, elevates blood pressure.

Read this if you use bad habits and addictions such as excessive emotional eating or alcohol consumption as a stress management technique.
Avoid Too Much Sugar
Sugar-rich foods can raise energy in the short term.

The problem with this is that your body copes with high levels of sugar by secreting insulin, which reduces the amount of sugar in your blood stream. Insulin can persist and continue acting after it has controlled blood sugar levels. This can cause an energy dip and prompt another sweet treat.

Tips for cutting sugar

-Use less sugar, raw sugar, honey, and syrup.

-Use natural sweetener Stevia, instead.

-Eat fewer foods that contain sugar such as candy, cookies, and soft drinks.

-Select fresh fruit or fruits canned is juice or light syrup.

-Read labels and avoid foods that list sucrose, glucose, maltose, dextrose, lactose, or fructose.

To make lasting changes in your diet, plan on gradually introducing a few changes at a time that you can stick with for a minimum one month.

Limit Sodium Intake
Sodium is an essential mineral, but adults nowadays intake about ten to twenty times more sodium than the body needs.

A single slice of bread actually provides the minimum daily requirements for salt (23 milligrams.) Recommend sodium intake is three thousand milligrams daily.

Tips to eliminate salt habit

-Avoid salty snacks such as chis, crackers, pretzels, and nuts.

-Limit your intake of salty condiments such as soy sauce, pickles, and cheese.

-Restrict use of cured meats, sausages, and bacon.

-Use herbs and spices while you cook, and reduce the salt in recipes.

'Fast food'
'Fast food' as it usually contains more fat and additives than are good for you.

Certain food additives may aggravate stress and there is usually more salt in 'fast foods' which can contribute to raised blood pressure and heart problems.

Too much fat has a similar effect.

7 Foods to Soothe Stress and Anxiety

Feeling frazzled? Reach for foods that really fight stress and anxiety, like these seven wonders of the high-wired world.

1. Nuts

Almost all nuts are good sources of vitamins B and E, plus selenium and zinc, but some nuts have more than others, so cover your bases by mixing them up.

Just an ounce -- a small handful -- will help replace those stress-depleted Bs (walnuts); give you a good dose of selenium and zinc (Brazil nuts), which are also drained by high anxiety; boost your vitamin E (almonds), which helps fight cellular damage linked to chronic stress; and may even lower your blood pressure by helping your arteries relax (pistachios). They're high in calories, so don't overindulge.

2. Guacamole

Avocados are loaded with B vitamins, which stress quickly depletes and your body needs in order to maintain nerves and brain cells. Scoop up the creamy goodness -- which comes from healthy monounsaturated fats -- with whole-grain baked chips or raw veggies. If you're watching calories, dip instead of scoop: 2 tablespoons have about 55 calories.

3. Berries, Any Berries

Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries.

They're not just delicious; they're jammed with antioxidants, which is why they're great at countering the skin-damaging free radicals generated by stress. Eat them one by one (like healthy M&M's) when the pressure is on. If you're a jaw clencher, try rolling a frozen berry around in your mouth. And then another, and another.

4. Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

The omega-3 fatty acid in salmon, called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), isn't just good for your skin. Studies show people who eat ample amounts of DHA have a much lower incidence of depression, aggressiveness, and hostility. So this healthy fish may even help road rage! Some people report improvements in mood within days or even hours of eating omega-3-rich meals. Consider omega-3 supplements to assure you get the right amount.

5. Oranges

People who take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C before giving a speech have lower levels of cortisol and better-behaved blood pressure than those who don't take it. So lean back, take a deep breath, and concentrate on peeling a big, juicy orange. The 5-minute mindfulness break will steady your brain cells, and you'll get a bunch of C as well. (Read: Vitamin C - Stress Buster)

6. Spinach

Spinach and other happy greens (the dark, leafy ones) contain folate, a B vitamin that appears to be essential for mood and proper nerve function in the brain. Two cups of cooked spinach gives you the 400 micrograms of folate recommended to pick up your mood.

7. Dark Chocolate

The antioxidant flavonols in dark chocolate (check labels; you want 70% or more cacao) help keep your blood pressure steady and your mind sharp. They may also help counter cellular damage caused by stress. Try this when you need a mental lift: Microwave 8 ounces of vanilla almond milk on medium for 1 minute, and then stir in an ounce of dark chocolate till it melts (heat triggers antioxidant release). Delish. Just show a little restraint; chocolate packs a lot of calories.

i hope you all have a stress-free day today

1 comment:

  1. I love you 4 food groups comment! That is a great list of de-stress foods. I also use bananas as a great mood enhancer.