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Can what you eat stress you out?

Can what you eat stress you out?

Your day would have tested the patience of a Saint; the kids are shouting; your head is pounding; you have knots in places you didn’t know existed. All you want to do is lock yourself in a padded room and escape reality for a few hours. Sound familiar?

The majority of us experience some level of stress on a frequent basis, and it is little surprise given modern day living. 

There will always be people or situations that have the potential to cause stress, however it is the ability to respond differently that make the difference.

As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said “no one can make you feel anything without your permission”

Feeding the body something that can cause emotions to go haywire may feel like an ideal stress solution at the time, however food and drink such as crisps, chocolate, chips, alcohol, caffeine or fizzy drinks will actually contribute to your stress levels. Caffeine, sugar, alcohol and nicotine are the biggest selling products that we buy to manage our moods, yet all of these rob the body of magnesium, the relaxation mineral that calms the nervous system and switches on the relaxation response.

Well-balanced nutrition is extremely pertinent to those of us looking to dealing with stress levels more successfully so get savvy about the foods you feed yourself…..


Caffeine contains theobromine which in turn releases dopamine, the feel good chemical. When drank it also releases a high dose of the hormone adrenaline. We all need a shot of adrenaline now and again and it forms a key part of our survival mechanism. If faced with danger we need adrenaline to make us act quickly.

Taken in moderation, caffeine can increase our level of alertness, which is why that cup of coffee first thing in the morning can play a prominent part of the day. However, too much caffeine has the same damaging effects on our body as long term stress.

Because of its powerful effects, always cut down caffeine slowly, reducing by one cup a day until you are drinking no more than 3 to 4 cups of tea or coffee each day.


In times of stress, many of us seek sanctuary in a glass of wine or a few beers. Alcohol is similar to caffeine in that it is a serious stimulant and also contains high quantities of sugar. Drinking too much, too often can result in insomnia, nervous tension, irritability, reduce the capability of the liver to process toxins – none of which could be considered as a means to manage stress.


Ask most women what they want during times of stress and many would shout”chocolate”!. Foods with a high sugar content are powerful stimulants because they convert to glucose quickly in the body, giving the body a sugar boost yet also sending adrenalin through the roof. The result is a short burst of energy, usually followed by a severe dip in energy levels. Too much sugar in the diet promotes irritability, poor concentration, and even depression.


Foods high in saturated fat covert to fat that gets stored in the body. The body has to work hard to process the fat and break it down, which puts a strain on the body as well as unwanted pounds on those hips. Being overweight or obese increases stress due to emotional and physical reactions.  The more weight a person carries, the more toxic their body.  Not all fats are bad fats, eating healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, hummus, avocados and other similar foods will give you the energy boost you need without sending you sky rocketing or putting on the pounds.

95% of all illness is caused or worsened by stress, so it is about time we got wise about stress.  If stress is affecting you, then book in for a session of hypnotherapy or EFT to learn to manage stress more effectively and calm down the mind and body.

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Comments: 2

  • admin

    May 9, 2012

    Thank you Curt, your comment has just made my day 🙂 I also regularly post relevant and thought provoking links and you tube clips on my face book page. If you click my FB page on the website and ‘like it’ you will be kept up to date.

  • admin

    May 18, 2012

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your comments. I have studied a lot about the effect what we eat and drink has on the body from not only a nutritional point but a mind and body perspective. I work with clients who can be strung out and when we look at their diet, it becomes clear how what they feed themselves contributes to their stress. We live in a 24/7 world and our food is overloaded in unnecessary chemicals, preservatives and sugar. Our body wasn’t designed to take on all these, hence the rise in dis-ease and obesity. My advice would be to read up and become more educated about what you are feeding your body – it is your vehicle for life. Make more informed decisions about what you eat. I don’t expect people to be completely holy, and I enjoy the odd glass of red wine and some chocolate and a skinny latte (although only soya milk as cows milk is chemically made), but I ensure I eat good quality high coco content chocolate, I buy organic food where I can, use products such as Agarve Nector in replace of sugar. I limit my caffeine intake to a few cups a day and give me body what it really needs – water! I support local producers by buying local produce, which is usually GM free and hasn’t been sprayed with toxins and chemicals. I also pay attention to what I put on my face and body – the shelves are packed with products that are jammed with chemicals. You don’t have to be a Saint, but make a choice to educate yourself. Making a few changes to your diet will benefit your mind and body. is a brilliant site for reading up on natural alternatives and what actually goes into our food, toiletries and medicines.

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