Stress is an indispensable element of human life and, unfortunately, in many situations, despite strenuous efforts, it cannot be avoided. However, you can learn to deal with it effectively, and one of the ways is to use the right diet. All because the consumption of certain foods can increase stress, so you should limit their consumption. On the other hand, it is worth including in your daily menu products that will allow the body to better prepare to fight stress. Diet and stress at work – what to eat and what to avoid to better cope with stress at work? Check!
Does your daily diet affect stress?
There are many factors that can be directly related to long-term stress. A large part of them is related to the daily lifestyle, which contributes to the occurrence of noticeable tension in the body. The problem is largely a diet based on highly processed foods. Reaching for products that are a source of refined carbohydrates, too much saturated fatty acids, preservatives and sweeteners or artificial colors, we unconsciously expose ourselves to stress and the consequences associated with it.
It has been proven that improper nutrition and unhealthy eating habits increase the overall stress level in the body. If we do not take care of our diet in time, over time it can lead to diet-related health disorders.
Stress and diet - the impact of stress on nutrition
It is also worth paying attention to how we approach our diet when under stress. The influence of emotions on eating behavior is indisputable and can be noticed at every stage of the consumption process. Some people tend to “eat” under stress, while others even avoid eating when under stress.
Emotions influence not only the desire to eat, but also the choice of nutritional foods and even the pace at which we eat. They also affect the quantity and quality of food consumed.
What foods should you avoid to better manage stress?
If you want to start eating healthier, you need to be conscious about this topic. Pay special attention to the ingredients and avoid buying high-energy products, rich in salt, sugar, saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids, as their consumption may increase stress.
In numerous studies, it has been observed that people struggling with severe stress eat little vegetables and fruits rich in nutrients valuable for health, while they are more likely to choose sweet and high-fat products. German scientists have noticed a strong link between low-quality food and excessive consumption of sweets and products rich in refined simple sugars and a significantly higher probability of emotional and behavioral disorders.
What to eat to soothe your nerves at work?
Let’s start with the fact that under the influence of chronic stress, the body uses the reserves of vitamins, especially from group B, as well as minerals. It also increases the demand for other ingredients such as complete protein, unsaturated fatty acids (especially DHA), as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Vegetables and fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins from group B, which are valuable for health, can be found in products such as: eggs, milk and milk products, meat, offal, fish, wholegrain cereals or legumes. You will provide your body with complete protein by eating especially animal products, e.g. meat, eggs, fish, as well as milk and milk products. In turn, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially DHA, are found in fatty marine fish such as salmon or mackerel.
Diet for stress - who will help in arranging it?
Changing your daily diet and overall approach to nutrition can be very difficult, especially if you don’t know how to do it at all. Too much information can overwhelm or even lead to the elimination of virtually everything from the menu due to the suspicion of a bad effect on the body. Therefore, it is worth seeking specialist help, which a dietitian can offer in this case.
Specialists in the field of nutrition conduct a consultation, which allows them to analyze the patient’s nutrition and see the mistakes he makes in this area. On this basis, they also analyze the patient’s needs and expectations regarding the diet, and then, based on the information obtained about the life and health of a given person, they compose a tailor-made menu especially for them.
A dietary consultation is an option for you if you live in constant stress and suspect that it may be influenced by, among others, diet, but despite your best efforts you are unable to do anything about it and improve your situation. If you do not have time to visit the office, you can meet with a dietitian without leaving your home. An online dietician provides assistance in the same scope as during a classic visit.
- Durbas M., Dieta a stres, Medycyna praktyczna dla pacjentów, 2021 (https://www.mp.pl/pacjent/dieta/diety/diety_w_chorobach/194076,dieta-a-stres (retrieved: 2022.12.14.)).
- Szczygieł D., Kadzikowska-Wrzosek R., Emocje a zachowania żywieniowe – przegląd badań, Zeszyty naukowe Akademii Morskiej w Gdyni, nr 86, grudzień 2014.