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Healthy Eating for Lower Stress

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Our daily diet is more than just a source of nutrition. It can trigger memories, bringing forth nostalgic feelings that had been all but forgotten.

It can be comforting or exciting and the difference it can make on one’s day is impressive. But even with everything else food can be, it is still a means to an end. Food is the fuel that drives the body to keep going and just as machinery needs different categories of fluids to keep things running smoothly, the body requires various categories as well.

What Stress Does to the Body

There are good stresses and bad stresses constantly assaulting the body. Avoiding stress is an improbable venture, and one that would not be good to attempt. The body needs stress to function; it is designed to react to stress automatically. Almost no voluntary thought is needed when the body responds to a stressful condition. Muscles tense, hormones are released, the pulse quickens, adrenaline is generated, and blood pressure and heart rate are elevated involuntarily. It is a organic process that serves to prepare the body for the condition that caused it.

The Harmful Side of Stress

When harmful stresses are exerted on the body for expanded periods of time it becomes a chronic condition that the body reacts to negatively. Since the organic reaction for stress is for the body to be ready to react, a constant stress will have the body in a continuous condition of nervousness. Blood pressure and heart rates stay elevated for expanded periods of time rising the chance for either stroke or heart attack. The digestive system is slowed which may cause diarrhea or heartburn. The body is not made to be under constant attack and it cannot function properly in that surroundings.

Why is food so essential?

Food is one of the few constants in any person’s life. Food, air and water are the three basics that are needed to sustain life, so it makes sense to diligently select the ways in which we get those basic needs. Clean air and water is the preferred method of choice for two of the needs but with food the story is different. Taste buds can fool almost anyone into choosing an unhealthy dish over the healthy one. For those with a penchant for sweets, a piece of cake would be more satisfying to the palate than an apple, even though the apple contains the sugar the body needs for energy it does not comfort the mind the way that piece of cake will. That is because food is not simply sustaining the physical body it is sustaining the psychological body as well. food is cultural, regional, and familial and its preparation and presentation is as much a part of its importance as the real nutritional value is. in any case, it is to the mind.

Make Healthy alternatives

A lifetime of bad habits regarding food can be changed. It begins with a decision, the decision to begin now to alter those habits and give the body what it wants and needs to function properly.

  • limit caffeine –High levels of caffeine can increase irritability and nervousness and can raise the amount of stomach acid being generated.
  • reduce sugar – Sugar that has been added to food is frequently processed in a factory and does not contain the required nutrients such as nutrients that the body needs.
  • increase fiber – Fiber slows the absorption of fat in the body and cleans the digestive system. Avocados, sunflower seeds, and chick peas are a few of the foods that are rich in fiber.
  • eat breakfast – A healthy breakfast that is low in fat and high in fiber will keep hunger at bay and provide energy throughout the morning.

Always Remember That food is Controllable

There are many things in life that are circumstantial and cannot be controlled but food is not one of them. Each person has the final say in what goes inside their mouth. That little bit of knowledge alone may be sufficient to combat some of the stress that plagues the population on a daily basis. The body never goes on break, giving it what it needs to run effectively is an easy way to lighten its load. A well oiled, properly tuned machine will last longer than a abused and neglected one will.

Sources:

Fatfreekitchen.com, *”Fiber list” (accessed May 25, 2010)

Ehealthmd.com, *”Fiber” (accessed May 30, 2010)

Mayohospital.com, *”Stress” (accessed June 1, 2010)

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