Nutrition and Stress

What 5 ways can nutrition and food help you to reduce stress?

Nutrition and stress

Nutrition and stress are opposites in some ways. Or they should be. One gives life and one can constrict life. Oftentimes nowadays nutrition has become stressful in itself:

”You should eat this!”

“You must take that diet!”

“You must look at what nutrition you are taking in!”

“You must be more careful with nutrition!”

Well, these thoughts are just stressful in themselves. Nutrition should energize, give you life and energy. But if you worry and fret about it… well, you defeat the object.

Nutrition and Stress

So what 5 ways can you help to make nutrition work for you when fighting stress?

1. Watch what you eat

You can often be your own worst enemy when it comes to nutrition and stress. If you eat poorly then later on you will feel lethargic and tired. If you eat well you will feel energized afterwards.

So be aware of what you are taking in. Be aware that if you eat well you will reap the rewards and it will help you to relieve stress.

For an article outlining 10 great stress relief foods click here.

2. Diet & Exercise

Dieting can be stressful. The most important thing if you are going on a diet is to balance it with exercise. The story of Oprah Winfrey is a classic example of this.

Oprah struggled to lose weight through dieting for many years. It was only when she added in exercise as well did she finally lose the weight and keep it off.

Exercise is also a great way of reducing stress. To find out more about relieving stress by exerise click here.

3. Be Gentle

So often people treat nutrition fanatically. Well, this breeds more stress in your life. I have known vegans and people on raw food diets who have created such stress and anxiety around nutrition.

Be gentle, be kind. Listen to your body with kindness and you will soon see what foods give you great energy boosts (e.g. fruit, nuts) and so help to combat stress.

You will also learn which foods don’t make you feel good and which mean you get grumpy and stressed afterwards (e.g. fast food).

But don’t give yourself (or any others!) a hard time if you don’t keep to it all the time. I personally eat very healthily but still have chips and chocolate from time to time (they do taste good!)

Do what you can do. Receive yourself as you are.

4. Make It Tasty

If you want to eat nutritiously to reduce stress, well, make the food tasty.

I eat and recommend eating a lot of stir fries (South East Asian style) because of the large content of vegetables and meat and the way the vegetables retain a lot of nutrition.

To make a stir fry tasty mix and match any of the following ingredients to a base of stir fried meat and/ or vegetables:

• Toasted sesame oil

• Balsamic vinegar

• Mustard

• Olive oil

• Pepper

• Soy sauce (Oriental supermarkets sell this very cheaply)

• Garlic

• Ginger

• Galangal

• Cayenne pepper

• Sweet chilli sauce

• Fresh herbs – coriander/ basil (add right at the end)

• Lemon

5. Make it Quick

A nutritious meal does not have to take ages to make. I usually cook very healthy meals in about 20 minutes: 10 minutes prep time and 10 minutes cooking.

These meals are usually rice based, pasta based, noodles, stir-fries and Indian dhal. By making it quickly, even if you’re tired, you still get the right nutrition and you set yourself up really well to keep your stress levels down.

I hope that this is of help. Be gentle and kind, have fun – make it an exploration of all the wonderful foods you can try or make. A great stress relief remedy!

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