Top Foods That Cause Stress

We all have that batch of chocolates hidden in the pantry just to help us at the end of a rough day. People turn towards food while battling stress. Food triggers the reward centers in the brain and the most effective ones are those that are sweet, fatty and salty. Unfortunately, these are the foods that are taking a toll in your digestion, metabolism and ultimately your mood. Have no idea what we are talking about? Keep reading…

1. Refined sugar

Sugar is a positive mood’s worst enemy unless it’s taken in a controlled manner, like a small piece of chocolate once in a while. Sugary foods hold little to no nutritional value and they lead to fluctuating blood sugar and insulin levels. These lead to poor concentration, bad mood and irritability. If you’ve eaten a bit too much during the holidays, chances are you’ve experienced some mood swings along the way as well.

2. High sodium

We need sodium, but in moderate amounts. Sodium is a water magnet. If you take too much sodium, you’ll retain more fluid. This stresses your heart to work harder, increasing your blood pressure. High sodium foods also cause bloating and puffiness that can be quite unpleasant.

3. Energy drinks

If you’re turning towards energy drinks for a quick pick-me-up, you might as well stick to a cup of Joe instead. Energy drinks and other highly caffeinated beverages feed stress and make it a bigger mess. The combination of caffeine and sugar makes you jittery, taxing the body and adding more stress. Energy drinks also affect your sleep and cause irritability afterwards.

4. Processed junk

Processed crap is loaded with sodium, fat, artificial additives and sugar. They’re comfort foods we typically turn towards however, they actually aggravate stress levels. They contain very little nutrients, lots of calories and they directly increase cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.

5. Sugar free candies and gum

Artificially sweetened candies are just as bad as sugar-sweetened ones. They worsen digestive problems and thus, exacerbate stress. This can lead to grumpiness, bloating and general discomfort with your body.

6. Spicy foods

Who doesn’t love spicy food? If you’re experiencing digestive problems that may be contributing to your stress, it’s important that you stay away from spicy foods to alleviate discomfort. Folks who are easily stressed cannot process food as effectively as others. Stress stunts your metabolism and makes it more difficult for the body to digest food. This causes food to remain in the stomach for longer, leading to acid reflux.

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