• Dr. Shuyun

Stress Management: Your Diet Can Help You to Master It

Stress, probably the most uttered word in 2020. Obviously, after the words 'COVID-19' and 'Corona Virus.' Not surprisingly, these three words are related to one another so closely as almost every one of us is suffering from some amount of stress due to this devastating virus. But, don't lose hope yet, my friend. We are all in this together, and together we will overcome it. That's why today, I am going to share some tips on stress management that might help you alleviate stress.

Yes, we all face it from time to time. But how we handle it makes the difference. There are many ways to manage stress, like practising meditation, yoga, exercise, socializing, etc. However, while following all of these, many of us forget the most basic one, which can be called the introduction to stress management, which is the food we eat.

Whether you do all other things or not, you have to eat to stay alive. And, foods are the primary source of the nutrients we need to survive. Why don't you give your body the right food so that you stay ahead in the stress management process? Yes, my friend, certain foods can help you to manage your stress better through their nutritional values.

So you may question…

How exactly can a healthy diet manage stress?

Stress causes a variety of physiological changes in our bodies. Some of them are,

· It increases blood pressure.

· It increases the blood sugar level.

· It increases the LDL cholesterol level.

A study published in 2020 confirmed that the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is very useful in lowering blood pressure, controlling diabetes, and lowering cholesterol levels. When all these benefits are linked together, they resulted in better stress management, as the study concluded.

Foods can help you to manage stress by handling the physiological changes caused by stress.

What types of foods are the best for stress management?

Well, now you know that eating the right food is very important in successful stress management. So, what are the right foods? Here are some suggestions for you.

Ensure 1/5th of your daily food intake are vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Vitamin-C is one of the most effective ingredients that can effectively control cortisol levels, a stress hormone. Some other essential ingredients for stress management found in fruits and vegetables are vitamin B, carbohydrate, and magnesium.

Have a healthy breakfast

A healthy breakfast can put you far ahead in stress management. I suggest you include a bowl of warm oatmeal in your breakfast. Warm oatmeal is rich in serotonin, a brain chemical that keeps the nerves calm and helps us think clearly.

Here are some tips on healthy breakfasts from the NHS, UK.

Check your sugar intake

Sugar, especially highly refined sugar, contains simple carbohydrates that can instantly increase blood sugar and many other complexities. So, try to reduce or avoid eating any sugary foods and drinks. Some of the common sugary foods you should be aware of are cola, lemonades, processed juice, and candy.

Try eating dark chocolates. They satisfy your taste buds, and cocoa in dark chocolates can improve the brain's cognitive functions, which is very important in high-stress management, according to research.

Prioritize the intake of protein

There is a common myth that eating protein-rich foods increases weight. But this is not true. Protein is necessary for our survival. Experts suggest taking 0.7 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight daily.

But, be sure to avoid red meats. They are rich in cholesterols, which is not good for stress. The best source of healthy protein is fish.

So my friend, here are some tips on dietary techniques of stress management along with some suggested foods. Do you know about any other dietary techniques of stress management that you found to be effective? Please share the knowledge with the community. We would love to hear from you.

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