From work to deadlines to family issues to just life in general, stress is that one common thing that we all have to go through, and ironically, in the period of time that we are currently in, many are experiencing stress at the same time.
So how do we manage stress? Well, there are a variety of ways that help us manage it which range from mindfulness to meditation, to exercise and sleep. A popular way that many deal with stress is through food! While it’s natural to crave quick energy and mood-boosters like lollies and biscuits, many of these foods actually end up having the opposite effect.
Foods to be avoided when stressed
- Refined Sugar: Refined sugar in lollies, pastries, soft drink, chocolate, ice cream and biscuits do give us a quick boost of energy, but this is followed by a sugar ‘low’. This is all to do with how sugar affects our blood sugar levels.Instead of those sweet treats, opt for fruit salad, a healthy, homemade fruit-sweetened muffin, or even a few squares of dark chocolate (ideally 85 percent or greater).
- ‘White carbs’: As with sugar, simple carbohydrates like chips, pies and white flour, bread and pasta can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, followed by a period of low energy and a subsequent craving for more energy hits. Rather than opening a bag of potato chips, choose slow-releasing carbohydrate snacks like whole grain crackers with natural peanut butter, wholemeal toast with avocado, or hummus with veggie sticks.
- Caffeine: We all know what can happen when we have one too many cups of coffee — the jitters, heart palpitations and trouble sleeping. Particularly when our stress levels are already high, stimulants like coffee or energy drinks can leave us feeling worse than before. In times of stress, reduce caffeine intake and try coffee-like chicory tea (available at health food shops) or fruit-infused water.