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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jill King

Stress and Food

We’ve all got enough on our plates—too much stress shouldn’t be one of them! And when we say plate, we mean that literally. Stressors can be found all around us, even in our food.

That’s why when you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to skip the comfort food and head for something nutritious.

This state of emotional tension can be rooted in anything from work-related pressures to difficult relationships. While stress comes and goes, it is a completely natural feeling. However, it can become unnatural and harmful to your health when you’re dealing with it constantly as it contributes to various diseases and can lead to craving comfort foods—something that can make the cycle of it even worse!

The Cortisol Connection

Also known as “the stress hormone,” cortisol can increase when you’re feeling tense or stressed. As a result, you may be inclined to eat more comfort foods such as ice cream, pasta, or other sugary or high-fat foods. Why? Because intensified levels of cortisol contribute to higher insulin levels.

When this happens, your blood sugar dips, creating carb cravings. In addition to banning bad carbs, try to eat a diet filled with nutrient-dense foods such as leafy, green vegetables. And while a glass of wine may seem like a harmless way to relax and subtract stress, alcohol can also increase cortisol levels.

Reducing stress can not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it also can allow you to enjoy better overall health and a reduced chance of experiencing common ailments and inflammatory diseases.

Combatting Stress Beyond Your Diet

Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress in our daily lives. As exercise boosts the body’s feel-good neurotransmitters, also called endorphins, stress can lessen and your mood can improve dramatically. The best part? You don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap the rewards of exercise. Brisk walking is a terrific, low-impact way to feel better, both mentally and physically.

Another thing you can try when you’re feeling stressed is regular chiropractic adjustments, which are designed to reduce stress by decreasing interference in the nervous system and releasing muscle tension. If you’d like to give it a try, contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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