Stress takes a big toll on our lives. As a mother, you are constantly on the move and usually don’t have much time to yourself as it is, so there is no way you put much thought into your diet. We all already talked about foods that reduce stress, but have you ever stopped to think about foods that cause stress and anxiety?
Yes, think about that for a moment!
Just like there is are foods that can improve your health and mood, helping you manage your stress, there are also foods that make you anxious or depressed. Do you really need that?
It is important to eat a well-balanced diet complete with foods that will keep us mothers energized, motivated, and focused. But before you get nervous and start throwing away the wrong items let’s take a look at the list of the foods that may be causing added stress and anxiety.
Foods that Cause Stress and Anxiety
One of the biggest culprits of stress is our blood sugar. We function at our best when it is between 75 to 95 (ng/dl). The more time your body stays out of this range the more likely you are to become stressed. When you eat large quantities of sugar your body produces large amounts of insulin to process the sugar. This causes your body to release adrenaline to help compensate. A study done on lab rat in 2008 showed they were more likely to have anxiety after a diet of bingeing on sucrose. Also, a study from Emory University showed that adolescents who consumed a diet high in fructose had increased anxiety-like behavior.
A go-to for a lot of us sleepy moms, Caffeine is found in many beverages from coffee to tea to soda. Caffeine is known as a mood booster because it increases alertness, decreases fatigue, and gives some a quick boost of energy. However, there are side effects to take into consideration.
Caffeine is a stimulate our nervous system and studies have shown that caffeine can raise your blood pressure and cause a rapid heartbeat. Drinking too much caffeine can cause headaches and lead to sleep deprivation. Your body gets used to the amount of caffeine you consume so you have to increase the amount of caffeine you consume to get the boost you are looking for. This leads to large quantities of sugar consumption. A 2003 study showed that people with a genetic difference are more likely to develop anxiety after consuming caffeine.
3. Salty Foods
Salty food items, probably hiding in all of our pantries right now. It is one of the go-to “comfort foods” people crave when they stress and for reason. Salt increases the levels of the hormone oxytocin in our bodies which scientist believe is the same hormone we release when we are in love.
Sodium depletes your body of potassium and potassium is an essential mineral in our bodies that helps ensure we have strength and stamina when necessary. Salt increases blood pressure putting a strain on our hearts which can lead to anxiety.
Another go-to item for many when they are stressed actually has the opposite effect. Alcohol changes the levels of serotonin( a hormone that regulates anxiety, happiness, and mood) in the brain. People often drink to relax and ease stressful situations but this leads to dependence. Chronic consumption of alcohol can lead to anxiety.
Sometimes we consume food in the moment and get a temporary relief from stress but the end result is worse. Dependency on foods to relieve stress isn’t a cure. Working on a healthy diet that keeps your hormones in balance and identifying what stresses you will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.
Temporary fixes never solve the problem it is always best to reach for results that last a lifetime and keep you in shape and functioning fully. As a parent, you can’t afford any shortcut and plus you have little ones who copy everything you do, so make the right choices for yourself and your family.
Are you shocked by any of the items on that list? Do you think I missed any?
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