Foods That Elevate Stress

Thanks in advance for sharing! Jeanne :)

Foods That Elevate Your Stress Levels

Foods That Elevate StressTherefore, you know now that there are a variety of habits that can increase your stress levels, and stress is more likely to have you turning to unhealthy options. What foods, though, are the worst for elevating your stress levels?

Caffeine. Too much caffeine can increase your stress levels greatly. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your morning cup of coffee, but if you constantly have a cup on the go then it could just be increasing your stress levels. The reason for this is that caffeine is a stimulant for your nervous system, which can result in a steep rise in blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. It can also dehydrate you, leaving you with headaches, and affect your sleep, which will leave you exhausted. Please note: coffee shop hot drinks are the absolute worst for stress because they contain so much additional sugar that the crash they bring is so steep your only option is to have another caffeinated beverage just to find balance.

Alcohol. You might think a nice drink will help you relax, but the truth of the matter is that it’s feeding your stress. Again, it’s stimulating the production of stress hormones and the two simply feed off of each other. It can also interfere with your sleep, so it’s best to avoid a drink before bed.

Refined Sugars. There are no nutrients in sugary foods, they are what we refer to as dead foods. They have no value whatsoever. They are designed to taste good and hook you – which they do very well. As delicious as they may be you can expect mood swings and sugar crashes following the very brief highs.

Sodium. Foods that are high in sodium cause you to retain fluid and bloat. That may not sound like such a big deal but it adds more pressure to your heart and increases your blood pressure. This feeds your stress and leaves you fatigued.

Confectionery Goods. We all love home baking and when we hit the coffee shop and spot a glazed donut looking back up at us it can be difficult to resist. There’s a problem with these types of snacks, though, because they don’t contain fiber the sugar burns quickly increasing your glucose levels and boosting your stress. Sugar needs a fiber friend to allow for a slow burn.

Potato Chips & Pretzels. If you think you’re good because you don’t have a sweet tooth – think again. Potato chips are packed with trans fats which is the one type of fat you should exclude from your diet altogether! It’s guilty of increasing belly fat, which is a serious health risk. Pretzels may seem harmless but they are simple carbs, which means they provide a mood boost and a major crash thereafter.

Granola Bars. A lot of people pick up granola bars and pat themselves on the back for picking the healthy snack option. Sorry to be the one who breaks it to you, they’re just as naughty as candy bars. Read the labels before you choose the “healthy” option of any type of food. It’s simply a well-disguised lie.

Deep Fried Foods. It’s truly awful how much of the foods we find delicious are terrible for us. Come fair and festival season the temptation to indulge in deep-fried foods is overwhelming. Whether it’s a Snickers bar, Twinkies, or mac and cheese balls. They are packed with trans fats, carbs, and are going to fuel a fatty stomach and increase your risk of depression while they’re are it. You may be thinking that you don’t indulge in these types of food often, but… French fries, mozzarella sticks, zucchini… don’t fool yourself, and partially hydrogenated oils are everywhere.

Ice cream. Is there anything more comforting than ice cream when you’ve had a bad day or gone through a nasty breakup? Sitcoms would tell us no, but your health has a different opinion. Sadly, ice cream creates a serious spike in cortisol and glucose levels and it’s a lot of lactose, which can have dire consequences for those with sensitivities.

Chinese food. It’s a firm favorite in so many households across America; unfortunately, there are plenty of carbs and additives in it to enhance the flavors. You’re better off creating your own Chinese meals at home where you can control the ingredients.

Soda Pop. Diet soda is a wise option than the regular stuff, which is so filled with your sugar you can probably feel your teeth rotting with every sip. However, even diet soda isn’t great. It has an impact on good bacteria in the gut and can actually increase your risk of diabetes and obesity. If you’re a regular soda drinker and don’t think you can let go make the switch to diet and go from there. Diet soda drinker? Start to cut back and wean yourself off of it. Replace it with water and infuse it with cucumber and sprigs of mint for a bit of flavor.

Cocktails. Okay, we already mentioned alcohol but cocktails truly deserve their own paragraph. Why? Well, in addition to their alcohol content they are also laden with sugar. The big problem here is that you never have just one cocktail because they’re just so easy to drink. The next time you peruse the cocktail menu quietly remind yourself that just one comes with a hit of 500 calories.

SEE ALSO:  The Non-Food Reasons You Always Feel Hungry

Nachos. A favorite snack whether at the ballgame or at the bar, it seems like it can’t be that unhealthy if you just choose wise toppings but sadly, that’s a lie. Cheese is always a must when it comes to nachos and that’s a hit that won’t help you relax no matter how delicious they are.

Artificial Sweeteners. Did you think we wouldn’t mention them since we covered sugar further up the page? Sorry to disappoint you, they’re not a great choice either. The most common sweeteners are guilty of blocking serotonin production, which can result in headaches, mood swings, and insomnia. Where possible, avoid sugar and sweeteners. It may take some getting used to but you can enjoy iced tea, hot tea, and coffees without the additions.

Fast Food. Okay, so it is delicious, it’s easy, and it’s often fairly cheap. Here’s the problem with it – that cheapness is only true in the short-term. In the long-term it’s damage to your health can become incredibly expensive. Not only does it impact your physical health, but it can also have a negative impact on your mental health, too. According to Public Health Nutrition, regularly consuming fast food increases the risk of depression by over 50%. You can still enjoy the occasional fast food treat, but making it a regular thing is detrimental to your overall well-being.

Trans fats. We mentioned above that trans fats are a giant no-no in your diet. They came to fruition back in the 1950s, suddenly finding a home in boxed baked books, fried foods, and even margarine. As well as increasing your risk of depression, they are guilty of clogging your arteries thus increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack. We know that the Mediterranean diet is a healthy option and it utilizes a lot of olive oil and includes no trans fats whatsoever.

Wheat Bran. Wait, what? I know, it’s something the experts have told us is great for that additional fiber content. Unfortunately, when it comes to stress and anxiety it sends it haywire thanks to the content of phytic acid. It prevents your body from adequately absorbing zinc and other minerals. Zinc is a pretty important nutrient for people who tend to suffer with stress, anxiety, and depression.

Tofu. Can you hear vegans everywhere collectively moaning in disgust? Unfortunately, tofu is soy based and while it’s a great source of lean protein, it contains enzymes that make digesting that lean protein nearly impossible. Additionally, soy contains high levels of copper, for someone who is already prone to stress and anxiety this will only fuel the issue. Another problem is that causes flatulence – that may not sound like the worst problem, but many people with chronic-stress and anxiety also suffer from digestive issues so the last thing they need is flatulence and bloating.

Whole-wheat Bread. While the gluten-free craze may have gone over the top many people forget that it is a problem for a lot of people. Those with celiac disease often struggle with anxiety and that stress problem can disappear once they remove gluten from their diet. Even those who don’t have celiac disease can be sensitive to gluten, so don’t judge someone who has cut gluten from their diet. If you are fond of gluten but you are constantly stressed make the change and see what happens, you may find that there’s a change in just a few days.

Canned Soups. It may remind you of your childhood when you were home sick, but you’re better off making your own soups at home. Not only are they cheap and easy to make, but you can store them in the freezer in individual portions and defrost when necessary. The problem with canned soup is the container contains Bisphenol A (better known as BPA) and it is known for affecting the brain’s ability to stabilize moods. Why? It alters the genes in the part of your brain that mediates stress.

Apple Juice. Why is fruit juice so bad for you when fruit isn’t? Fiber. The fiber allows you to process the sugar slowly, but when you drink it in a juice, it creates such a spike in your blood sugar that cortisol floods your system and it can induce a panic attack. Of course, there’s also the tiny problem that many of the apple juices on the market test positive for the presence of arsenic. This toxin can increase anxiety and stress and exacerbate the symptoms of depression. So, steer clear of any beverage that has been sweetened.


Visit these top health related websites for information on a wide variety of health and wellness topics.
National Institute of Health
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Thanks in advance for sharing! Jeanne :)

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