In recent times, many of us are facing stress because of the Pandemic. Covid-19 has affected people, ruined lives, affected schools, jobs, and livelihood. This sudden upside-down of our lives could be the possible cause of the extreme stress worldwide.
To begin with, let’s understand the types of stress: Eustress and Distress. Eustress is basically the level of stress that is good for you and is one of the best attributes to attain one’s peak performance and face a minor crisis. However, Eustress has the potential to convert into Distress. Distress can cause wear and tear to our bodies.
EFFECT OF SHORT TERM AND CHRONIC STRESS
Short-term stress can lead to headaches, upset stomach, flu, cold, low mood, a decrease of motivation, arousal, and a never relaxing appetite. It increases craving for sugary “comfort food’, which encourages people to overeat and eventually results in weight gain. In general, stress affects extensively from our reproductive, digestive, cognitive systems to the immune system. According to the National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH), chronic stress can increase the chances of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, respiratory and heart problems, depression, and anxiety.
STRESS EATING AND HORMONES
While facing stress, our diet can be affected in a few different ways. Some people binge-eat on junk food that is high in sugar, salt, and fat, these types of foods are also called ‘comfort foods.’ It is also termed as ‘stress eating’ and it happens because stress triggers the adrenal gland to unleash a hormone called cortisol, which plays a huge part in increasing the appetite and motivation to eat. These sugary foods help to lessen the stress emotion and basically counteract stress.
However, some people often find themselves not eating for long hours or even days. This takes place when our nervous system sends a signal to the adrenal gland to pump the adrenaline hormone (also called epinephrine), this hormone triggers the bodies’ fight-or-flight response, a physiological state which temporarily puts eating on hold.
“The food we eat is the central-most contributing factor towards developing a strong and holistic immune system,” says Rishi Sakhuja, CEO, FruitBox & Co. r
FEW ARE THE LIST OF FOODS TO EAT WHEN FEELING STRESSED
WARM, SOOTHING FOODS
A food’s nutrient quality plays an important role in overcoming stress. an online nutrition coach and the owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Kentucky, says that a calming, warm cup of tea or any warm drink could give a soothing effect, regardless of the flavor. Though certain herbs have been shown to have a relaxing effect. For example, a study published on March 13, suggests that Chamomile may reduce anxiety by helping rewire the body’s stress response, and increasing the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.
Dark chocolate could be significant in light of the fact that it’s flavorful, yet in addition on account of its synthetic creation. It is wealthy in cell reinforcements which can bring down the degrees of stress chemicals in the body. However, the serving size should be remembered as the calories add up rapidly. Adhere to a 1-oz serving or less of no less than 60% cacao dark chocolate day by day.
Banana is a potassium-rich food, containing the mood-boosting chemical- dopamine, along with magnesium whose levels go down during stressful times. Bananas are furthermore a rich source of certain B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, which helps the nervous system run correctly, and can decrease stress and fatigue
It is extremely important to stay hydrated no matter the situation! Even being mildly hydrated can increase the cortisol levels in the body. Though drinking enough water will not take away the stressor completely but it will give you more energy to handle the stressful situation.
Milk and other dairies with calcium and added vitamin D can help muscles relax and stabilize mood. A December 2012 study in Nutrition Research and Practice found that Korean women who consumed the least calcium reporting feeling the most depressed.
ORANGES AND OTHER VITAMIN-C RICH FOODS.
Vitamin C lowers your cortisol levels, as well as lowers your blood pressure. A glass of orange juice every few days can be helpful but resist the urge to turn to orange juice every time you are feeling stressed because orange juice does contain lots of sugar.
For lowering stress, Salads can be the best choice one can make to eat at lunchtime. Leafy-green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, as well as other raw fruits and veggies, are stress-busting powerhouses. Leafy greens are a rich source of magnesium, and they can help regulate cortisol and blood pressure in the body. They also contain a chemical called Folate, which plays an important role in producing the feel-good chemical, Dopamine.
TIPS FOR DEALING WITH STRESS
- Take care of yourself
- Eat healthy
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of sleep
- Give yourself a break to pace things down
- Talk to others: Share your problems and how you are feeling with a Friend, Counselor, Parents, or Therapist.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Substance abuse can create additional problems and lead to increase in stress levels.
- Take a break
- If news, events, situations, and overall happenings are overwhelming and stressful, normalize taking a break. Give yourself time to cope up and feel at peace. It will energize you.
- Recognize when you need help
- Talking to a professional- a therapist, counsellor, social worker, or a psychologist, is always the better option. They provide you with accurate solutions which are best for you to give you clarity and set you back at pace.