Diet and Stress

Diet and Stress

A balanced diet is crucial for good health and assists in reducing stress. Particular foods as well as drinks act as powerful stimulants to the body, thus causing stress. Such stimulation is pleasurable in the short term. However, it can be pretty harmful over a longer period of time.

Stress, food and drink


Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, coke, chocolate and so on. It releases adrenaline, thus increasing stress levels. However, when consumed in moderation, coffee makes you more alert, and increases muscle, heart and nervous system activity. Should you consume a great deal of caffeine, it affects you in the same way as long-term stress. There have been suggestions that caffeine intake is linked to high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.

It is important not to abruptly cut out all coffee and caffeine from your diet. It is better to decrease coffee consumption slowly. Should you cut caffeine from your diet abruptly, it can cause withdrawal symptoms like migraines. It is better to make steady yet slow changes to your caffeine consumption.


Alcohol, taken in moderation, can be useful in benefiting the cardiovascular system. Alcohol is also a significant cause of stress. Ironically, a lot of people start drinking to fight stress. However, the situation worsens through alcohol consumption. Stress and alcohol make for a deadly combination.

Alcohol causes unnecessary secretion of the adrenal glands, creating such problems as insomnia, irritability and nervous tension. The purpose of the adrenal glands is to keep the body’s reactions to stress in balance in order that those responses are appropriate and do not cause any harm to the body.

Too much alcohol increases fat deposits in the heart as well as reducing immune system functions.

In addition, alcohol hinders the liver’s ability to rid the body of toxins. Under stress, the body produces multiple toxins such as hormones. When the liver is unable to filter the toxins, they continue to circulate in the body causing serious damage.


Just like alcohol, many people use cigarettes as a coping mechanism. It may appear to many that smoking helps to reduce stress in the short term. However, in the long term it is extremely harmful. The disadvantages of cigarettes outweigh any of its short-term benefits. Smoking causes multiple cancers, respiratory illness, hypertension and heart disease.


Sugar contains no essential nutrients. It gives the body a quick energy boost, possibly causing exhaustion of the adrenal glands. This often results in poor concentration, irritability and depression. High sugar consumption in a diet places a great weight on the pancreas. This increases the possibility of getting diabetes.

It is vital to maintain your blood sugar on a constant basis. It is important not to use sugar as a “pick me up.”


Too much salt ups blood pressure, weakens our adrenal glands and triggers emotional instability. It is important to use a salt substitute with potassium in it as opposed to sodium. It is crucial to avoid junk foods in your diet, which are high in salt like ham, bacon, sausages and pickles.


A diet that avoids the consumption of foods high in saturated fats is a healthy option. Fats cause obesity and put more stress than necessary on the cardiovascular system. Too much fat causes colon, breast and prostate cancers.

High Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates trigger the release of serotonin, the brain hormone that soothes you. Excellent sources of carbohydrates are pasta, rice, potatoes, breads, popcorn as well as low calorie cookies. Some experts claim that the carbohydrates in a baked potato or a plate of spaghetti or rice can relieve the anxiety produced in a stressful day.

Eat High Fibre Foods

Stress can cause constipation and cramps. A high fibre diet ensures your digestive system flows properly. Each meal ought to provide a minimum of 25 grams of fibre on a daily basis. Fruits, vegetables, as well as whole grains are particularly good sources of fibre. At breakfast, you can have fruit instead of just fruit juice, as well as fibre enriched muffins and whole grain cereals.

Consume More Vegetables

The amount of serotonin (the feel good hormone) the brain produces is diet sensitive. The consumption of more vegetables heightens the brain’s serotonin production due to better absorption of the amino acid L-Tryptophan.

Increase consumption of:

  • Whole grains that trigger promotion of the hormone serotonin, thus enhancing your sense of well-being.
  • Green, orange and yellow vegetables, full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, boosting your immune system’s responses as well as protecting you against ailments and diseases.

Avoid consumption of:

  • Coffee and drinks laden with caffeine. Should you be addicted to coffee, try drinking black tea instead; it contains less than a third of the caffeine in coffee, with none of coffee’s harmful oils.
  • Fatty and fried foods are exceedingly immune system depressing, particularly alongside stress.
  • Try to cut down on consumption of animal foods. High-protein foods increase the amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, levels of which are related to increased levels of stress and anxiety.


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