Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Fresh

Why You Should Never Eat When Stressed

Feeling ungrounded can make you reach for comfort foods, but stuffing your face is not what your body needs right now. Here's what you can do to remain calm and still feel nourished.

60
Author Image
Naturopathic Medical Advisor
SHARE:

Stress eating is a common way many people deal with worry, anxiety and high-pressure situations. It’s an unhealthy habit that can lead to weight gain, unwanted blood sugar fluctuations, and other health risks associated with this behavior. Sure, temporarily indulging in your favorite foods, especially during the holidays, may feel soothing in the moment, but the demands of extra digestion and stress will do more harm than good.

You’ve probably heard about the “fight or flight” and “rest and digest” responses. These are two sides of your autonomic nervous system. When you are stressed or face anything you may perceive as a threat, your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) kicks in. When things are status quo, especially if you have a mindfulness practice such as yoga or meditation, your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) takes over.

From the names alone, you can tell that “rest and digest” is better for digestion. When your body is in “fight or flight” mode, however, it not only inhibits the function of digestive muscles, but also releases less digestive juices. Chronic stress decreases vagal tone, which plays a role in the absorption and metabolism of nutrients. Stress also impacts your gut-brain axis and can, ultimately, lead to inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, and other short- and long-term GI dysfunction.

I know it’s really hard to resist eating your emotions, but it can be helpful to strategize how you eat during these times. Rather than grab an office donut (or two), try these tasty tricks to maximize the absorption of the nutrients you are consuming, so that you have proper fuel to get you through those stressful scenarios.

1. Toss a salad with vinaigrette.

Research continues to show that healthy plant oils can improve your absorption of nutrients. Most recently, a small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that soybean oil may help your body absorb more carotenoids, vitamin A, and vitamin K. However, soy products are often GMO, so I recommend olive oil, which is known for its heart-healthy properties and has been shown to aid in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, too. Try this easy vinaigrette, adding seasonings to suit your taste.


A Basic Vinaigrette

Ingredients
3 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic, apple, coconut, or rice vinegar
1 pinch Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional add-ins:
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (i.e., dill, basil, parsley, and/or thyme) or 1 teaspoon dried herbs
1 teaspoon chopped shallot
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2-1 teaspoon raw honey (or other natural sweetener)

Directions
Whisk ingredients together or shake in a mason jar. Keep refrigerated.

Yield
4 servings

2. Scoop up guac with carrots instead of chips.

Oil isn’t the only fat that helps you absorb more beta carotene. Eating raw carrots with avocado also works, Ohio State University researchers reported in a study supported by the Hass Avocado Board. Beta-carotene absorption increased more than six fold when a small group of men and women ate guacamole with baby carrots. Added bonus: It’s such an easy snack that naturally supports healthy vision, reproduction, and immunity.

3. Chew almonds slowly and thoroughly.

Purdue University researchers asked 13 adults to eat two ounces of almonds for this study. The catch: They chewed the almonds 10, 25, or 40 times. When participants gnawed on the nuts 40 times, their bodies absorbed more healthy fats and vitamin E than when they chewed the nuts 10 or 25 times. This vitamin is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, so try to chew longer when you have almonds. This also applies to any food you eat.

4. Embrace your bad breath.

Zinc is an essential mineral that’s involved in everything from wound healing and protein synthesis to a healthy immune system and proper sense of taste. But the zinc in plant foods, such as whole grains, has a low bioavailability. The solution: Cook your quinoa, amaranth, millet, and other grains with garlic or onions. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, doing so can boost the bioavailability of zinc by 10 to 160 percent. Plus alliums, like garlic, onion, and shallots, are naturally antibacterial and anti-viral.

5. Feed your gut.

Studies continue to find new links between the gut health and overall health. We know that fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and tempeh, act as natural probiotics and improve your gut flora. And not only does a healthy gut naturally absorb more nutrients from your diet, it also leads to better digestion and may even help reduce anxiety.


Related: 4 Ways to Boost Your Mood Naturally


 

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

Recipe by Request

Do you need some help in the kitchen? Tell us about your dietary needs and lifestyle for the chance to receive a personalized recipe idea developed by a professional chef.

 

Make a Request

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Mindfulness is about being present within moment to moment awareness. 
Try this walking meditation today and allow every breath to fill your life with more meaning. ✨

Click on our bio link to follow along to this 5 minute mindfulness meditation and ground yourself in the preciousness of the present moment! ✨
.
.
.
.
.
#mondaymindfulness #mondaymotivation #mondaymindset #mondaymorning #mondayvibes #mindfulnessmeditation #walkingmeditation #mindfulwalking  #mantramonday #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #mindbodybalance #winterwonderland #winterwalk #mindfulnesspractice
  • . .

Here are a few easy and basic tips you can start to implement into your practice to first develop the strength for handstands. 
1. Use Uddiyana Bandha in Downward Facing Dog.
2. Hold high plank position using strong legs and core.
3. Start to jump forward from Downward Dog and get your hips up over your shoulders. 
4. Don’t be afraid of falling over. 
5. Feel comfortable to land in a backbend or use the wall for support.
  • Try these quick, simple, and nutritious “Holiday Roasted Rosemary Vegetables.” Bring them to that impromptu Christmas party or enjoy them in your own home. 
They are a great addition to any Hanukah dinner or gathering with  friends or family. 🥕

Click on our bio link for the full recipe created by Amie Valpone @amievalpone 🙏🏽♥️
.
.
.
.
.
.
#holidayseason #holidayrecipes #christmasfood #amievalpone #cleaneatingrecipe #cleandiet #detoxdiet #eatingclean #thehealthyapple #resetyourbody #antiinflammatorydiet #flightinflammationwithfood #eatingcleanrecipes #vegetarianrecipes #veganrecipes #veganfoodlovers #veganfood #vegetarianmeals #healthyrecipes #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #roastedveggies
  • Opportunities are coming your way this month, and with the right mindset and some newfound confidence, you can wrap up 2020 with great success! 💫

Read your full December horoscope 
when you click on our bio link! ✨
.
.
.
.
.
.
#tuesdaytransformation #tuesdaymorning #tuesdaythoughts #astrology #horoscopes #sagitarius 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #astrologicalsign #sagitariusseason #monthlyhoroscopes #astrologyzone #horoscopesigns #monthlyhoroscopes
#sagitarianas #sagittarius♐️
  • Seven science-supported reasons why moderately intense activities—like yoga, walking briskly, or biking around town—will never go out of style and may actually be the best kind of exercise for your body. 🚲
.
From our profile page, click on our bio-link to read the full article. 🧘🏻‍♀️
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#weekendvibes #weekendworkout #weekendwarrior #lowintensitycardio #lifestylefitness #workoutroutine #workoutmotivation #workoutoftheday 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #mindbodyhealth #integrativehealth #loveyourlife #sundayinspiration
  • Though it's often hard to move after a heavy meal, these sweet yoga poses help to relieve the body, restore comfort, and aid in digestion! 
After the feast, give yourself some time to rub your stomach, then, take a deep breath and turn to your yoga practice to care for your digestive health. 
Good digestion is a key part of overall well-being and happiness! 🧘🏻‍♀️ .
Follow the link in our bio to follow this very helpful practice to help you digest. ✨

Happy Thanksgiving! 🙏🏽
.
.
.

Yoga practice created by @christinechenyoga 
Photos by @haileywist .

#thankfulthursdaysonima

#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #nationalgratitudemonth #gratitudechallenge #gratefulheart #gratitudejournal #gratitudeattitude #gratitudedaily #thankfulgratefulblessed #thankfulheart #gratitudepractice #attitudeofgratitude 
#gratefulforlife #gratitudemonth #gratitudemeditation #deepakchopra .
.
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!