Stress is a complex reaction of the body’s response to any work pressure. It does not really have a single cause, rather it is the result of several factors that include anxiety, fear, hunger and fasting etc. In recent days there is a growing tendency among people to eat fast food like burgers, french fries and patties which are obviously junk food. This amounts to worsening the situation as it results in additional stress because of the ill effects of chemicals used in these foods. Consuming too much sugar or caffeine will also contribute towards increasing stress levels leading to exaggerated responses towards minor situations. Research shows that eating sugar-rich junk food like burgers, French fries etc make people aggressive and they become impatient easily when facing small issues (like a traffic jam). It is always advisable to consume healthy food and a balanced diet including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat proteins instead of junk food. This will help in maintaining good health and keep stress at bay.
Benefits of Healthy foods
1) Healthy foods improve mood and cognitive function. Consumption of unhealthy food like sugary drinks or processed foods can lead to mood swings and feelings of anxiety or depression. On the other hand, intake of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables helps in boosting mood and cognitive function. This is because these foods are high in antioxidants and other nutrients which help in improving brain function.
2) Healthy foods help in reducing inflammation. Inflammation is known to be one of the key drivers of stress. Consumption of unhealthy foods like processed foods and sugary drinks can promote inflammation in the body. On the other hand, intake of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables helps in reducing inflammation. This is because these foods are high in antioxidants and other nutrients which help in reducing inflammation.
3) Healthy foods improve sleep quality. Poor sleep quality is known to be a major contributor to stress levels. Consumption of unhealthy foods like processed foods and sugary drinks can lead to poor sleep quality. On the other hand, intake of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables helps in improving sleep quality. This is because these foods are high in antioxidants and other nutrients which help in reducing stress and promote good sleep.
4) Healthy foods help in healthy digestion. An unhealthy diet can lead to a poor digestive system. This may result in slowing down the metabolic rate which further causes additional stress leading to fatigue, weakness etc. On the other hand, intake of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables helps in maintaining healthy digestive function which helps in improving metabolism and reduces stress levels.
5) Healthy foods are a rich source of antioxidants that help the body fight against harmful free radicals caused by anxiety or mental stress. Free radicals are known to cause chronic diseases including cancer, cardio-vascular disorders etc., which not only increase stress but also trigger infections leading to more complications. Intake of healthy food will reduce the risk for these diseases along with reducing stress.
Therefore, it is clear that consuming healthy foods helps in reducing stress levels and improving overall health. So, make a habit of eating healthy foods and stay away from processed foods and sugary drinks to live a stress-free life.