Food Do’s and Don’ts When You’re Feeling Stressed

feeling stress

When you are feeling stressed in life you might be tempted to stuff a Twinkie in your mouth to give yourself a quick sugar high, but that would be a big mistake. Sugar may give you a boost for a moment, but you will crash and feel even more stressed out afterwards. Plus, during the time you’re stimulated, you may even feel more stressed out.

Do: Eat Turkey When You’re Feeling Stressed

Foods with tryptophan can calm you down and make you feel better, and turkey is particularly tryptophan-rich. Avoid high fat by taking the skin off and eating white meat. Stick to one serving and eat it during your normal meals to avoid eating too many calories.

Do: Eat Lean Beef

This is another food with tryptophan that can help you get some calm into your life. Follow the same rules. Eat only one serving. A serving size of meat is about the size of the palm of your hand. Prepare it by braising it or broiling it, without adding extra fat or butter to it.

Do: Eat Whole Grain Bread

So many people today are afraid to eat carbohydrates. But, your body needs complex carbs to feed your brain. If you are feeling stressed out, eating some whole grain bread can help feed your brain and make you feel better. Don’t eat the whole loaf; just add a serving to your meals or spread peanut butter on it for a snack or breakfast.

Do: Eat Salmon

Salmon is rich in Omega 3s, which is also brain food. Since emotions like stress center in the brain, eating a diet rich in Omega 3s can help. Incidentally, salmon is also high in tryptophan.

Do: Eat Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt. Avoid the ones with added sugar. Instead, choose plain Greek yogurt and add fresh fruit, a little honey or maple syrup and eat a serving every day to help you get enough calcium, protein, and nutrients.

Don’t: Drink Coffee When You’re Feeling Stressed

When You're Feeling Stressed

Some people are very sensitive to caffeine. If you’re experiencing a high level of stress, try eliminating any beverages with caffeine. Caffeine can cause you to be shakier, moodier, and just more stressed out in general.

Don’t: Eat Candy

Stressed out people sometimes crave sugar. But, it’s the worst thing you can eat. Try eating whole grain bread, cereal, or fruit instead of sugar when you get a craving. You’ll be glad you did, because eating sugar can cause problems with your blood sugar levels, making you even more stressed.

Don’t: Drink Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant and might seem like a good choice when you are experiencing stress. It can slow you down, but the boomerang effect of alcohol isn’t worth it. Instead, you want to avoid anything that will deliver a big punch to your blood sugar too fast.

Don’t: Eat Processed Food

Sometimes nothing sounds more satisfying than a big bag of potato chips or a big box of sugary popped corn or even a frozen pizza. But the fact is, eating processed food is not good for you. The chemicals in the food can add to your stress levels by affecting your health. Plus, it’s too easy to overeat.

Don’t: Eat Ice Cream

Eating a combination of sugar and fat (and salt in some cases) seems like a dream concoction that always makes you feel better, right? Sure, maybe for the short term. But in the long term, you can end up in a cycle of stress eating which can make you overweight and unhealthy. It’s not worth it.

When you’re feeling stressed you can’t beat all stress through food, but you can avoid adding to your stress by making good food choices.

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