Dec 19

How Your Diet Affects Your Stress Levels

Nowadays, life can get very busy. We all have crazy schedules, between work, family and personal commitments, it is easy to find your stress levels inching higher. When stress levels are high, it’s common to reach for comforting food or dinks that you think will help you feel better. However, some of these foods and drinks can actually have the opposite effect, leaving you feeling worse. Here’s what to avoid consuming when you’re stressed.

  • Caffeine

There are many positive aspects to drinking coffee – it wakes you up in the morning, goes well with breakfast foods and can be great for social get togethers with friends and family. There are also some negative effects, particularly for people feeling stressed. Caffeine increases your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as stimulates the nervous system. The effects of drinking too much coffee are dehydration and sleeplessness, which won’t alleviate your stress levels. Try to limit your caffeine intake after 12pm for a good night’s sleep.

  • Refined Sugar

Refined sugar is delicious but has no nutritional value. It causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to go up and down – unlike natural sugars in fruits that also contain fibre to slow it’s digestion down. These fluctuations cause irritability and poor concentration, which is the last thing you need when you’re overworked and under pressure.

  • Alcohol

Many of us enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine at the end of a long day and in moderation there is no significant change to your body. However, drinking excessively when you’re stressed can make you feel worse. Alcohol stimulates the same cortisol, just as drinking coffee does. This means that it can make you feel anxious, increase your blood pressure, dehydrate you and promote insomnia. Many types of alcohol also contain a large amount of sugar, which can compound the problem as well.

  • Salt

Sodium naturally retains liquid which is why eating salty foods or snacks can cause your body to retain water, leaving you feeling bloated and puffy, increasing blood pressure and draining your energy levels. Avoid overdoing it on salty chips and other fast food.

Salty and sugary foods, as well as caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, might give you instant gratification, but it never lasts long. Rather avoid these elements altogether and focus on maintaining a healthy diet complete with a strong blend of vitamins and nutrients.

Check out our full range of daily health supplements, including Vital All-In-One and Vital Organic Greens, which helps people maintain a healthy & nutritious diet which is great for managing stress levels.

About The Author

Stephen Sprada (ND BDM MAHSc) Shane Sullivan (ND BDM Dip Ac)