Though stress can happen in many areas of our lives, food stress is often overlooked. Find out how your food affects your stress levels, what to avoid, and what to eat instead.
Stress can affect the body in many ways. Job stress, relationships, and social stress, are a few of its regular sources. But stressors can also occur from your food choices and eating habits. And food stress can occur in more ways than you might think.
Stress has been proven to directly influence eating habits, according to an American Psychological Association (APA) survey. In it, 38 percent of adults admitted to eating unhealthy foods due to stress.
And eating unhealthy foods because of stress can worsen your mental health. There is good news, though: choose your food carefully, and help alleviate your stress levels.
Check out what foods to avoid and what to eat to minimize stress below.
Many common go-to foods can lead to higher stress levels, and even hide in some surprising foods. Try to limit your intake of unnatural food-like products like junk food. As a smart tip, learn how to read the ingredients on the food label so you know what you’re eating.
Some proven foods that can cause stress include:
Make sure to eat a healthy diet filled with nutritious fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins; they are known to be calming foods. Experts are continuing to study depression and stress with the correlation of a lack of nutrients like folate, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, zinc, omega 3s, and more.
Some good options that have been proven to reduce stress include:
Avoid these common stressors as much as possible to help reduce stress levels and lead to an overall healthier life:
Looking for more tips on how to minimize stress? Check out four easy ways to manage stress here.
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“Berries and Oxidative Stress Markers,” National Institutes of Health. September 6, 2015.
“Magnesium Deficiency and Stress,” National Institutes of Health. 2015.
“The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,” Oxford Academic. June 1, 2015.
“Effects of Chocolate Intake on Perceived Stress,” National Institutes of Health. October 8, 2014.
“Trying to Eat Our Way to Stress Relief,” American Psychological Association. 2013
“Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health,” National Institutes of Health. April 4, 2013.
“Mental Health,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. March 29, 2010.
“Stress, Food, and Inflammation,” National Institutes of Health. April 21, 2010.