What to Eat When You are Stressed

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Ensure the foods you eat are going to energize your body

Avoid sugars and processed foods – these will spike blood sugar and can cause mood swings and inflammation. These foods can pull minerals from the body in order to digest properly.

If you are eating this:                           Replace with this:

cereal, bagel, muffin                             protein smoothie, eggs, steel cut oatmeal with ground flax seeds and nuts, flax muffin

chips, pretzels                                   vegetables and hummus, guacamole, handful of nuts, nut butter on a rice cake

cookies, tasty cakes, ice cream                   dark chocolate (70% or higher), frozen berries

Choose easy to digest foods – digestion can be weakened when the body is under stress. Try choosing cooked vegetables such as roasted brussel sprouts and beets, steamed spinach and broccoli instead of the raw options. Making soups, chili and stews can help to maximize the nutrient content of these foods to help fuel your body. A morning protein smoothie is a great way to get in good nutrition without having to digest a heavy meal.

Tips to aid digestion and decrease bloating: Try a cup of hot ginger tea with a meal or drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in a few ounces of water right before a meal. These can help with the process of breaking down food in order to decrease bloating caused by fermentation of undigested foods. Try diaphragmatic breathing exercises before and after a meal to stimulate the vagus nerve and calm the body in order to promote better digestion.

Eat 3 times per day – provide your body with enough energy to get through the day by fueling it with enough protein, healthy fat and carbohydrates from vegetables and fruit. Smaller meals with snacks in between can be helpful when digestion is not as strong. However, try not to overload your body by grazing all day long. Give your body enough time (3-4 hours) to break down a meal before feeding it more.

Increase foods with vitamin C, B-vitamins, Zinc and Magnesium – these are needed to help buffer the stress response, boost your immune system, promote energy levels and sleep and balance blood sugar levels.

Vitamin C – red pepper, kiwi, strawberries, orange, guava, brussel sprouts, broccoli

Zinc – oysters, beef shanks, crab (Alaska king), pork shoulder/tenderloin, lobster, chicken leg, almonds, cashews, yogurt, chickpeas

Magnesium – pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, halibut, quinoa, spinach, almonds, buckwheat, cashews, beans, pine nuts, mixed nuts, yellowfin tuna, artichoke hearts

B-vitamins – liver and organ meats, beef, chicken, fish, spinach, legumes, eggs, collard and turnip greens, romaine lettuce, yogurt

Tip to help cut stress hormones: Eat a small amount of starch at lunch to help cut stress hormones (cut cortisol and increase serotonin). Examples: ½ cup sweet potato, quinoa, carrots, beets, parsnips, brown rice.

For individual recommendations on improving your health, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Koganski at 215-750-7000 or https://www.NewtownInternalMedicine.com.

Tags:

stress

diet

digestion

bloating

processed food

zinc

magnesium

vitamin D

vitamin C

B-vitamins

stress hormones

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