How To Reduce Stress Through Your Diet

 

To raise awareness for National Stress Day, Plenish expert Jenna Hope has put together some top tips in order to control stress levels throughout the day.

 

Daily stresses seem to get on top of all of us no matter how big or how small. Often we can forget about ourselves as we allow our stresses to take over which may impinge on our eating and sleeping habits or breaking our exercise routine. Research suggests that stress negatively impacts our dietary choices and increases our chances of consuming more high-fat, high-sugar foods.

As always my main focus is on food as I strongly believe it can hugely effect how well we manage our stress levels.

 

  1. Fight the cold – Stress weakens your immune system and causes inflammation. Make sure you are fully stocked up on fruits and veggies as they are packed with Vitamin C which prevents the common cold. It is really important to increase your intakes when you feel stressed as Vitamin C does not work as a therapy for a cold but more as a prevention. Some great sources of Vitamin C include: citrus fruits, berries, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower and hazelnuts. And if a cold manages to get the better of you, I have made a golden milk recipe to help reduce the inflammation (see below).

To boost your Vitamin C levels buy Plenish Calm here.

 

  1. Perfect your prep – Often when we feel stressed one of two things happen, either we skip eating all together which can result in drastic weight loss and nutrient deficiencies. This may happen due to a lack of time or a lack of appetite. Alternatively, we turn to food as a coping mechanism for our stresses. Stress increases cortisol levels which promotes fat storage around the stomach. If you head for the fridge you’re at greater risk of weight gain. Prepping your food and ensuring you factor time into your routine to eat properly can prevent either of these circumstances.

 

  1. Reduce the sugar – During stressful times, your hormones play havoc which consequently impacts your blood sugar stability. As a result you can feel hungrier and crave unhealthy, high sugar foods. Ensuring that your snacks are packed with protein and fats will help to control your blood sugar and reduce your cravings. Some great snacking foods include; nuts and seeds, hummus and veggies, beans, boiled eggs, nut butter and celery.

 

  1. Sweat it out – Exercise is a fantastic way to beat stress; not only does it give you a break from your stresses and provide you with some alone time it also releases endorphins in the brain and make you feel great. Often, after a great workout you can have a fresh outlook on a situation. The exercise doesn’t always need to be high intensity so for the days where you aren’t up for a HIIT sweat session, roll out your yoga mat and find your inner zen.

 

Finally, no matter how stressed or how busy you are try and find at least 15 minutes in your day to have some down time. This will help you to de-stress. So sit down with our recommended recipe and relax!

 

Golden Milk

 

Ingredients:

400ml Plenish Cashew M*lk

1tsp turmeric

1tsp vanilla powder

2cardamon pods crushed

1tbsp honey (optional)

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a pan on a low heat on the hob.
  2. Use a whisk to ensure all the ingredients are fully combined and to prevent any powdery bits floating on the top.
  3. Leave on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes whilst whisking regularly.
  4. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

 


 

Jenna has a Nutrition BSc (hons) and a masters in Nutrition. Visit her blog where she discusses all things nutrition, health, wellness, food and exercise!

Instagram – @jennahopenutrition and Twitter – @primalhopeuk.

 

References:

Errisuriz VL, Pasch KE, Perry CL. Perceived stress and dietary choices: The moderating role of stress management. Eating Behaviors. 2016 Aug 1 [cited 2016 Oct 16];22:211–6. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471015316300897 doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.06.008

Cohen S, Tyrrell DAJ, Smith AP. Psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold. New England Journal of Medicine. 1991 Aug 29;325(9):606–12.

Adam TC, Epel ES. Stress, eating and the reward system. Physiology & Behavior. 2007 [cited 2016 Oct 16];91(4):449–58. Available from: http://www.foodaddictionsummit.org/documents/StressEatingandtheRewardSystem.pdf doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.04.011.