Nutrition and Stress Management
Posted October 8, 2009on:
You are what you eat. If you eat junk food all the time, such as fast food, you will end up feeling bad. Your skin will look bad, you will feel out of shape and your mental and physical health will suffer.
If you suffer from stress, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat a balanced diet. The diet should contain vitamins and minerals that are found in fruits and vegetables, especially the dark green vegetables, proteins and whole grains. You need carbohydrates in your body but you do not need simple carbohydrates at all. Simple carbohydrates are candy, cakes, cookies and other sweets that offer you no nutritional value at all but only add pounds and fat to your body. You don’t need them so why bother eating them?
Many doctors believe that it is lack of proper nutrition that leads to stress. If you are not getting enough of the B vitamins or Omega Fats, for example, it is said to lead to anxiety, depression and stress. While you can take nutritional supplements to make sure that you get the proper amount of vitamins, you are better off to do it the natural way and eat the foods that are good for you. Here is a list of foods that you should eat:
-Proteins such as chicken, fish and meats;
-Fruits and vegetables;
-Whole grain breads and cereals;
-Dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese
-Rice and pastas
Contrary to what you may think, these are all good for you and are all part of the food pyramid. If you are a vegetarian, you can eliminate meat from your diet and substitute it with hardboiled eggs and legumes which offer just as much protein as meats. Omega fatty acid is good for building memory and brain cells and can relieve stress so you should take a supplement.
The above mentioned foods are not bad for you in moderation. It depends on how you cook them that causes them to add fat to you instead of nutrition. For example, broiled chicken is an excellent source of protein and is low in calories and fat. But if you deep fry that same chicken, it is not good for you. Vegetables are great steamed, but when you cook them in butter, they are filled with fat and calories. Pastas and rice are staples in a lot of diets, especially in Asia and the Mediterranean. If they are so fattening, why aren’t there more overweight Asians and Mediterranean individuals? More often than not, it is because Americans tend to overdo it and cook rice and pasta with butter and oil.
A few years ago, it was considered a good diet to eliminate carbohydrates such as vegetables and fruits. This goes against any bit of medical advice you will ever get. You may be able to trick your body into losing weight fast, but you are better off to simply cut your calories and exercise more to lose weight.
Whole grains are also necessary for fiber and aid your digestive tract. You need dairy products such as eggs and cheese for the calcium – this is especially important for women. Eat eggs hard boiled or soft boiled and not fried and that will give you the protein you need without the fat. That being said, here is a list of foods you should not eat when you are watching your diet for stress or general health:
-Heavy cream sauces
These foods are all detrimental to your health and often take away the nutritional value of foods that should be good for you. Fried foods are loaded with fats that you do not need. Fast foods are usually deep fried or prepared in such a way that they are not healthy for you. For example, a Big Mac, Fries and Coke give you more than the amount of calories that you need for a day. And this is only lunch. Eat a lunch like that every day and you will begin to gain weight. The more weight you gain, the more sluggish you may feel. This is bound to make you feel depressed and unhappy. It will also add to your stress level. Eating a balanced diet of healthy foods may take some getting used to if you are used to eating junk food all of the time, but in the the long run, it will pay off. You will start to feel better, look better and have better mental health. A healthy diet is essential to fighting stress.