Foods That De-Stress

Stress is the bane of today’s society and plays havoc on our physical and mental makeup. Psychological stress activates the adrenal glands to discharge stress hormones called cortisol, which help us survive the stress but are harmful to our health. When a person is exposed to prolonged periods of stress, he can develop ailments like high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, cancer and various immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, depression etc.
Food has a profound effect on both mind and body. Health is a reflection of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. A person with a disturbed mind cannot have a healthy body because the mind is the monitor of our physical health. Research at the National Institutes of Health in the USA has been looking at how stress affects the mind and body. One of the scientists, Dr. Pamela Peeke, focussed her work on the relationship between stress and weight gain. It was found that people who are stressed out often turn to food for solace, and eat more than normal. Dr. Peeke found that the stress released fat accumulation can begin in people as young as 20.
Stress is one of the largest killers of mankind, today. It is the cause of most of our illnesses, whether physical or mental. Stress has a very negative impact on our digestive system. The body can assimilate the nutrients from food only when the mind is in a relaxed condition. No matter what you eat, if the mind is disturbed, your body will not gain any benefits from the nutritive components of your food.
There are, however, a few foods that help the body cope with the demands made by stress. When the body is under stress the demand for nutrients is more as key nutrients are burned up faster. In order to derive the maximum benefits from a nourishing diet, one needs to follow three essential steps-
• Eat under a stress-free and pleasant atmosphere.
• Eat just enough to repress hunger; overeating can be hazardous. Overload the digestive system by overeating and it will make you lethargic, sleepy and inactive.
• In case you suffer from excessive stress, eat foods that counteract stress.