The Link Between Diet and Stress

Do you ever think about the fact that if you ate differently, you might be better able to handle the stress in your life?  Do you ever wonder how stress might affect what you eat?  No matter which way you look at it, stress and food are related.  There are many things that you can do to help deal with your stress without resorting to food as your crutch. 

How Your Diet and Stress Are Related 

  • When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to overeat or eat too little. Either of these things harms your blood glucose levels and can cause mood swings that create conflict and intensify your stress. Once you become aware of your stress response, you can choose to change it.
  • Food cannot cure stress, but it can help. When you eat nutritious foods you are giving your body what it needs to deal with your daily demands. In other words, when you eat the proper foods you are giving your body the fuel it needs to make it through common stressful situationsBy contrast, when you eat mostly sugars and fats, your body doesn’t have all of the nutrients and energy supplies needed to deal with stress, and you’ll be more likely to feel grouchy, tired, or anxious.
  • Stress breaks down the immune system, but the right foods support it.  Studies have proven that stress weakens our immune system, leaving us exposed to dangerous viruses and bacteriaEating nutritious foods helps your body build and maintain a healthy immune system to combat both stress and illness. So eat right and feel great! 

When you look at all of the ways that stress and diet are interwoven, its hard to deny the fact that the foods you eat affect how you think, feel, and react. After all, an unhealthy diet not only stresses your body but your mind as wellA good starting point is to evaluate your daily diet and make one change at a time to create a healthier lifestyle. 

Beyond the Diet 

As you begin to adjust your diet, consider these other proactive ways to help control and manage your stress: 

  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. 
  • Maktime to relax. 
  • Have and use a support system of trusted friends, family, a support group, or a counselor. 
  • Know your limits. 
  • Plan and organize proactively. 
  • Learn to say no 

These are just a few stress solutions that, in addition to healthy eating, will help you limit the stress in your life.  When you incorporate even just a few of these healthyliving strategies into your life, you’ll find that stress becomes less overwhelming.