Most of us experience a degree of stress in our lives – it’s part of being a human being. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, and we seek out ways to actively reduce the levels of stress we feel. While many see external factors as solutions – changing jobs, moving homes, getting rid of toxic relationships or bad habits – but what about nutrition? can nutrient poor diet contribute to stress? Is what you’re feeding yourself is making you feel anxious and on edge?
A nutrient poor diet is a diet that lacks all the vital nutrients, which in turn can increase your susceptibility to stress by causing fatigue and irritability. This is even more likely to happen to people who are eating too many meals away from home, missing meals, or eating on the run. Due to busy lifestyles, many people are unable to choose to eat a healthy nutrient rich diet and they resort to nutrient poor foods available in vending machines or restaurants.
However, this kind of nutrient poor eating can only contribute to stress, which in turn can cause many other physical and mental illnesses. By changing your unhealthy eating habits, you cannot only prevent stress, but physical ailments as well.
In order to achieve optimal health and relaxation here are a few steps to consider that you as a busy person must include:
• Emphasize nutrient-rich foods: These include leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, legumes, mushrooms and whole grains.
• Reduce or eliminate caffeine. It is a stimulant and magnifies the effects of stress.
• Limit foods containing sugar, especially highly refined sugar. This processed additive robs the body of many vitamins and minerals essential for proper body and mind function. A lack of these essential vitamins and minerals can induce anxiety and inability to cope with stressful situations.
• Avoid damaged fat. These include processed fats, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, and headed polyunsaturated oils. These fats can be harmful to mental health because they reduce circulation (blood flow) especially to the brain and heart. This prevents the brain from getting adequate oxygen, which means that thinking becomes dull, sluggish, and weak.• Avoid alcohol. This beverage is a powerful depressant drug that inevitably increases stress.
Once you start making these small albeit big changes to your lifestyle, your body will heal itself, have more energy and will not be weigh down by unnecessary weight but most importantly you will stop contributing to stress.