Nutrition and Stress

Different people have different ways in which they deal with stressful times in their lives, especially after experiencing trauma. More often people turn to alcohol, smoking, high fat and sweetened foods “comfort foods”, these however do not help in relieving the stress rather they add more stress upon their bodies. In times of perceived danger, the body prioritizes the strengthening of physical organs and neglects other functions including digestion so that the body has the strength to face the enemy or flee.

It is therefore important to avoid foods that require the digestive system to work overtime in stressful times; caffeine, foods high in fat and sugar, highly processed/refined food, alcohol, and smoking.

Instead, fill up on:

1. Fresh fruits and vegetables; bananas, leafy green vegetables, oranges, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli
2. Healthy snacks; yoghurt with fresh fruits, nuts, raw vegetables (frozen carrots)
3. Unprocessed carbohydrates; whole grains, oats, cereals
4. Omega 3 rich foods; oily fish, nut, pumpkin seeds
5. Calcium-rich foods; low – fat milk, yogurt, cheese, spinach, broccoli

For ultimate stress reduction:

  • Eat small meals regularly throughout the day.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Stock up on healthy snacks.