CAN NUTRITION HANDLE STRESS? LET’S DISCOVER IT
Stress, stressful, stressed. How many times do we hear these words. Sometimes we don’t even know why we are using those words. Is it real? How is affecting us? Why are we stressed? What can we do to avoid or to get rid of stress? What are the consequences of its presence in our lives? Too many questions I presume. I am supposed to give answers here and not asking questions. Can you feel the tension in the air? Must be high voltage 😊.
IS THERE AN ANSWER FOR ALL THOSE QUESTIONS?
We need a definition first. Well, a proper definition does not exist. There are many but those are not universally agreed. We can give a general idea of it. Whenever we have no control on our emotions, feelings or actions we meet stress.
This bring us to our first consideration. Stress is not necessarily equal to negativity. Sometimes a stressful situation awakes us. It gives us that amount of energy needed to overcome a task. Think about it. Have you ever seen a professional singer or an athlete before their performances? They are stressed. Extremely stressed. But is that loss of control on their emotions that boosts the performances.
SO WHAT WILL BE STRESS FOR ME?
Obviously stress in our life is something else. It is the sensation of feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances. Having the sensation to be cornered. We can’t see the light out of the tunnel. The more we go into it the worse the situation seems to appear.
It is an awful situation but can we do something? We need to. Your life is yours and you deserve to have a good one. Don’t let anything nor anybody ruin the serenity of it. For many years, I’ve been immoderately stressed. Main reason I was too impulsive. I wasn’t reflective enough and I dragged myself in a terrible situation. I was covered in debts. The result was awful. I didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, I was always low in morale and angry with everybody. I thought that was simply my character. It wasn’t.
It changed suddenly. Almost 2 years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic disease and I could not see the end of the tunnel. It was just few months after I got married. The situation was just building up. I started to poorly perform in the office. And that increased my stress level. But I had 2 allies with me. My wife and my dog. I had to live for them. I had to sort out my life for them. And for myself too!
HOW CAN I GET RID OF MY STRESS?
What can you really do to reduce your stress level and bring it to the positive side, where is not negativity anymore but a spring ready to snap to the top floor!? Well I started to think about what I was doing wrong. Why are my finances so bad? Is it possible to improve my health and how?
I found some of the answers and you must do the same. Every situation is different and everybody will react diversely to identical circumstances.
One key point is to be surrounded by great people. May be friends, wife, family. Anybody. Just hang yourself on people you trust. There is more that can meet the eye with valuable people.
Than you must change your attitude towards life. You have one single life and you must enjoy it. Never think too much. Only once, but wisely. If you have a loan, don’t ask for a second one. It is patience that must drive you. If something goes wrong and you feel like “crushed by the weight of the world” don’t be silly and ask for aid. People who care about you will help
WHAT ABOUT HEALTH?
And then health. What to do about your health? I have a chronic disease which immune depressed me. There is no cure. How can I do? Food is the key. And there is why this blog is here. If you have something health related don’t think food can’t help. You will discover very soon how food can positively affect your well-being. I started to study nutrition for this reason. It happened fast. I was surfing on the internet looking for something to eat that could positively help my immune system. And I discovered there was no real “magic spell” to do that. But only a series of actions that one after the other would have given me a proper help. And so, I started to increase the amount of raw fruit and vegetables. I reduced the amount of added sodium in my food. I eliminated processed food and I replaced sucrose (normal table sugar) with sweeteners. I use Stevia and there will be a dedicated article on that. But any other natural sweetener will do its job.
IS FOOD SO IMPORTANT?
Food it is the most powerful tool we have in our life and we just don’t realize that. We are too occupied to think about aspects of life that are less important. This is not helpful. I will show you a better path where food can be tasty, delicious and at the same time healthy.
There are some general rules to follow. You will find this list also in the article” the best diet”
- Prefer raw fruit and vegetables
- Use wholegrain cereals
- Reduce to a minimum quantity processed food (better avoid it completely)
- Replace sucrose (table sugar) with healthy sweeteners alternative (Stevia, Xylitol, etc.)
- Drink plenty of water (2 liters per day would be ideal)
- Don’t concentrate too much on quantities at the beginning but think about quality
- Prefer cooking methods which are healthy (oven, steam, etc.) to i.e. deep fried or BBQ cooked food
- Have a general weekly plan (how many times and when to cook meat, fish, legumes, etc.)
- Use good fats like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Butter and eliminate completely the bad ones (lard, animal fats, Margarine and similar)
- Reduce alcohol intake (I personally drink once a week and my intake it is about 2 pints of beer)
- Avoid carbonated drinks and prefer the home-made juice (there will be an article later in the blog about it)
- Exercise a bit. A daily walk will increase your metabolism and keep you healthier and fit
Remember also there is no good or bad food but only good or bad habits.
A LITTLE EXPERIMENT
My wife and I made an experiment recently. For a week, we left our healthy eating habits and just eat the way we used to do before. I don’t mean eating or drinking only junk, but just eating and drinking without paying attention to it.
Well after a week we gained about 2 kg each, we ended to argue about everything and we felt stressed and tired all the times. The induced reduction in terms of food fibers intake drove us to constipation and a general feeling of being bloat and a sense of lethargy.
I can’t show you the way we were feeling but only describing the situation. I assure you we noticed the difference.
A COUPLE OF INTERESTING READINGS
Here a couple of advice in terms of nice readings that can help you to understand the problem and how nutrition can really help you.
The first one is a book called World’s Healthiest Foods: The Essential Guide to the Healthiest Way of Eating. Really interesting and not very expensive. It can be found to Amazon UK shop.
A more specific reading about stress (which is not only food related) can be The Stress Cure: How to resolve stress, build resilience and boost your energy. Link for this book again from Amazon UK. Here there is a more detailed analysis on stress, the reasons, and ways to face the problem.
In a next article called “The Best Diet” I will go deep into all these suggestions and give you the best way to eat and how to find motivation to face the changes in your nutrition and show you how this can positively impact your life
See you soon and remember,
Eat well, Live well and Smile!