foods to avoid during stressful times

Doesn’t it seem like stress is everywhere these days? With the current state of affairs around the world, it’s not too surprising there are more stories of people feeling anxious, depressed, or completely stressed out.

During times like these, it’s easy to want to indulge in unhealthy comfort foods and beverages. The problem is these types of foods and beverages only provide temporary relief and can do more damage to our well-being in the long run.

So before you go out to the grocery store and grab a family size bag of potato chips for yourself, consider these five types of food and beverages you’ll want to avoid. 

Refined sugar foods

As easy as it is to grab a candy bar, a cookie, or a slice of cake, it will cause your blood sugar levels to become unstable. Your body will be put under more stress, and in response, release more cortisol. Under normal circumstances, cortisol isn’t bad, but when you produce too much of it, you can develop several health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Worst of all, excessive sugar can lead to even more stress and anxiety. So it’s best to avoid indulging in sweets when you feel stressed out. Instead, consider eating fruit, and if you really want to eat candy, considering eating dark chocolate. 

Excessive amounts of caffeine

For some of us, coffee is our lifeline. Without our two or three cups of coffee, we can’t get through the day. Unfortunately, caffeine is a stimulant, and too much of it can increase our heart rates and blood pressure, leading to more feelings of anxiety and stress.

While you don’t necessarily have to cut out caffeine entirely, you should limit the number of cups you have a day and avoid caffeine during the afternoon. You should also consider beverages with smaller amounts of caffeine compared to caffeine, such as green tea. 

Alcohol

Indulging in alcohol when you’re stressed out is particularly dangerous for many reasons. When you drink alcohol in excessive amounts, you run the risk of damaging vital organs like your kidneys and liver. Drinking alcohol can also worsen feelings of stress and can even develop into alcoholism if you’re not careful.

Instead of alcohol, consider drinking naturally soothing teas like chamomile or peppermint tea. You could also give kombucha a try.

Processed foods

These types of foods are pretty common to come across in any store, but they’re some of the worse when it comes to dealing with stress and even your overall health.

Foods like processed meats, many breakfast cereals, microwaveable dinners, and chips, contain many preservatives and other unnatural substances that can be harmful to your body. Like other items mentioned, these foods more often than not lead to even more stress.

It’s important to take a look at the ingredients of the foods you buy. Next time you’re at the store, considering purchasing foods with fewer ingredients and aren’t heavily processed, such as vegetables and fruits.

Fried foods

As tempting as it is to take the easy option and go to your nearest fast food joint, you won’t be doing your body any favors by indulging in fried foods.

Fried foods are loaded with sodium, which can contribute to a number of diseases, including diabetes and obesity. The best option is to avoid these foods completely when you’re stressed out.

It’s hard to stay calm in stressful situations, and the last thing you might think about is the type of foods or beverages you’re consuming. The problem is consuming unhealthy foods during times of stress accelerates and increases stress. You also run the risk of developing serious health problems if you make this a habit.

Reflecting on how you respond to stress can help you make better health choices and avoid turning to unhealthy foods and beverages. It’s not easy, and it takes time, but it’s worth it.