Due to the pandemic, people’s stress levels are skyrocketing. And though it may be impossible to completely eliminate the causes of stress in life, there sure are things that you can do to somehow manage the problem. Some techniques include getting better sleep, doing physical activities, going off of social media, and practicing mindfulness.
Another important thing that you can do that can greatly help your battle against stress is to modify your eating habits. There are research studies that show that eating certain foods and avoiding specific ones can be connected to experiencing anxiety. Because not many are aware of this, it’s highly possible that the food items that people consume on a regular basis are contributing to the stress and anxiety they are experiencing. With this in mind, you have to remember that the occasional “mood-boosting shake” is probably not going to be the solution you’re looking for.
In this post, The Skinny will take a deep dive into how food affects our mood and impact our stress levels:
Comfort Foods Are Not Doing Their “Job”
There are certain food items and dishes that are often associated with giving someone comfort when they’re feeling down. The most popular among these foods are ice cream, fried chicken, mac n cheese, and potato chips. But how effective are these foods in improving one’s moods and relieving stress?
According to research, people who consume higher amounts of healthy fats and who exercise more tend to have lower levels of anxiety. BMI or body mass index is also associated with anxiety, and it is shown that people who are heavier usually show higher levels of stress.
What you can derive from that is that consuming large amounts of unhealthy and inflammatory fats as well as calorie-dense foods can contribute to anxiety while eating healthy fats and doing exercises regularly can help improve your mood.
Meal Connection Matters
Connection to your food matters just as much as the nutrition you get from it. The problem is that most Americans either eat their meals alone or almost always eat outside. This means meals are rarely cooked at home and shared with family or friends.
Preparing and eating meals with people you love and care about creates positive experiences that can improve your mood and help lessen anxiety. If you want your meals to be more rewarding and your mood to improve, try to lessen your takeouts and make meals more meaningful by sharing them with others. If you live alone, you could do weekend dinners with your family or friends or have virtual lunches!
Focusing on Food Helps
It seems like most people are always in a hurry these days. You might be the same, too, and sadly, one of the things that are always rushed is your food. What else do you do while you’re eating? Many people check their social media, talk on the phone, browse through the TV channels, and more.
The one thing they do not do is focus on the food they eat that they tend to be not in the moment. Very few people actually sit down for a proper meal and connect with their food, savoring the flavors and having an overall positive experience while they eat. It’s one of the reasons that people have a terrible relationship with food. Some who suffer from obesity admit that they often don’t realize they’re already eating excessive portions because they’re not paying attention to their food. This is a habit that’s not good for your physical and mental health.
If you focus on your food from the time you choose them at the market, through the preparation, and while you are eating, you’ll be more conscious about what you put in your body. You get to connect with the food better and find comfort in knowing that you are making healthy choices. You focus on your eating habits, and you’ll feel better about yourself.
As you can see, eating is not all about getting your tummy filled several times a day to get the energy and nutrients you need. The right attitude towards food and the right habits can greatly help ease your anxiety and improve your mood. Healthy eating and nutrition play a significant role in a person’s physical and mental health, so it’s time that we all develop better eating habits.
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