Healthy Eatings Role in Managing Stress

We recently noticed this great article on the Healthy U website.  Summer isn’t usually thought of as a stressful time, but these tips will come in handy all year long.  For the whole article, including links to great recipes go to http://www.healthyalberta.com/1759.htm

Keep the following tips in mind to help your body cope with the stresses that life can present:

  • Eat regularly.  Eating regular meals and snacks gives the body (including the brain) a ready source of fuel and nutrients and helps to prevent hunger.  Hunger can create stress in the body. It can also magnify the effects of other stressors.  Aim to eat something healthy about every three hours during the waking part of your day.
  • Water works!  Our bodies need water throughout the day. If we become dehydrated or short of body water, our bodies feel physical stress which, like hunger, can magnify other sources of stress in our lives.  Pay attention to your body and drink up whenever you are thirsty!
  • Choose well.  Eat a variety of nutritious foods each day to ensure you get all of the nutrients needed for good health. Consult the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Adults to learn more about the types and amounts of foods you need each day for good health.
  • Limit caffeine intake from foods and beverages.  Caffeine is a stimulant that is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and some soft drinks.  Excessive amounts of caffeine can make you feel agitated and add to feelings of stress.  Avoid this effect by limiting how often you choose foods or beverages that contain caffeine.
  • Get help if you need it!  Healthy eating and active living play an important role in stress management.  However, if your stress levels are very high, you may need additional support or help.  Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a counsellor or mental health practitioner if you feel you can’t cope, or if stress is taking a huge toll on the quality of your life.

Feelings of stress are unavoidable.  Eating well and active living can help to make stress easier manage.