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Diet plays an important role when under stress. In fact, they have attributed a great deal of overeating to stress. But your diet can affect stress. There are certain foods that worsen our stress levels. Several foods fall into the category of stimulants.

And some eating patterns are reactions to stress. For example, reaching for potato chips when a television program becomes frightening. Grabbing crackers at work when you learn that you’ll have to handle a new project. Or nibbling on candy bars when you’re having difficulty controlling your children. 

Of course, the best-known stimulant is caffeine. You’ll find it not only in coffee, but in soft drinks, tea, and chocolate. Your heartbeat races, as does your mind, after having a significant amount of caffeine. It can even connect caffeine consumption to high blood pressure. So you might not want to cut out caffeine all at once. A gradual reduction will help lessen your withdrawal symptoms.

Consuming alcohol can also increase your stress level. It leads to the production of adrenaline, which can cause you to have difficulty sleeping. You might also experience a feeling of tension because of your alcohol intake. Also, alcohol makes it more difficult for the body to get rid of toxins. Smoking is also quite dangerous, increasing hypertension and leading to heart disease.

Chances are you will experience a great deal of stress after eating sugar. It’s because sweets can exhaust the adrenal glands, leading to depression and irritability. While this is common, the irony is that sugar-filled snacks can actually make things worse. 

Salt and fat are the other two substances that can increase your stress level. Salt, for instance, raises blood pressure, leading to out-of-control emotions. As a result, you should not eat high-salt foods such as ham or sausage. Meanwhile, consuming fat can strain the cardiovascular system, which leads to stress. You should avoid processed food, which is sparse in nutritional value.

If you want to get your stress level under control, consider a healthy diet. Choose foods that are rich in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. These are natural stress-busters. These foods have nutrients that will help you feel good over the long run. And these foods are far less likely to result in weight gain—another significant cause of stress. Dieticians recommend eating a diet that is 65 to 70 percent salad to gain the most nutrients.  

How do you know if your diet is stressing you out? Pay close attention to warning signs. For instance, do you get headaches right after eating? Are you experiencing neck or back pain? Do you feel irritable after dinner? Do you feel eager for no reason? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you could deal with food-induced stress. Aside from a healthy diet, have at least seven hours of sleep each night. Being tired can contribute to your stress level. 

Eating right can reduce your stress. Consuming caffeine-filled drinks, fatty foods, and sweets can make you hyper. You’ll be most likely to become unable to relax and concentrate. In contrast, eating meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals can reduce stress levels. So plan your meals ahead of time to ensure that you receive the most nutrition. Be sure to eat slowly and deliberately. The feeling of rushing a mealtime can contribute to your stress level. The good news is diet is a stressor you can easily control. By following these simple techniques, you can surely lower your stress.