When you’re under stress, your diet often suffers. If you’re working too hard, you may miss meals completely, or restrict yourself to fast food.
If this is your situation, supplements can help, especially supplements with stress-reducing chemicals like serotonin. Serotonin helps induce calm.
Serotonin levels are often naturally higher in the morning, but decrease in the late afternoon. You can help your body by tailoring your diet accordingly.
A late afternoon snack is a good idea. Baked, rather than fried, potato chips help stimulate serotonin production. Pretzels, too, are low in fat but healthy.
Stress is related to diet in other ways. It doesn’t merely reduce helpful neuro-transmitters but encourages counter-productive habits, as well. Some people take to eating excessive amounts, particularly of high fat foods, in order to compensate for the symptoms of stress. Some studies suggest, however, that high fat foods tend to slow down or inhibit serotonin levels.
Moderation in intake is wise for other reasons, too. Just as inadequate exercise leads to poor fitness, excessive caloric intake amplifies the damage. As you become flabby and overweight, body image can suffer, leading to a downward spiral in self-image. The result is increased stress and often depression.
Breaking that vicious cycle requires effort, but it carries double rewards. As you become more fit, you reduce the physical effects of stress-induced biochemicals. You also improve your body, helping create a body image that elevates your mood. That kind of investment in your well-being is well worth the effort required to break the cycle.
Eating at regular times is helpful. When people are stressed, they’ll often skip meals because of the depressive effect stress has on appetite. Often, too, stress is work related and less time is available for meals at scheduled times. That behavior has a compounding effect. Here again, you need to break the cycle by making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re not eating proper meals, make sure you take supplements, preferably those which contain serotonin.
[tags]stress, diet, supplements[/tags]