Stress, anxiety and nerves can have a very negative effect not only on our health, but particularly on our weight. In fact, when we are stressed, nervous or anxious activates the autonomic nervous system, which among other aspects controls the different muscles involved in digestion.
For this reason, it is very common that while some people when they are nervous or stressed feel a lower appetite and seem to be in a constant feeling of satiety, to others that appetite increases in a voracious way, so they tend to calm the nerves eating .
But the usual thing is not to eat more, opting for healthy foods. On the contrary: you eat more, but the nerves tend to influence that the foods chosen are highly caloric, either very rich in sugars or fats (pastries, cookies, hamburgers or pizzas, salty snacks ...).
Our health, both physical and mental, depends to a great extent on the type of food that each one follows. Hence, the importance of diet in the treatment and prevention of stress derives mainly. That is, there are foods whose nutritional composition can greatly help in the control - and reduction - of the symptoms that appear when we are stressed.
Among other aspects, the nervous system is especially vulnerable in the absence of a food routine certainly adequate, that stimulates the proper functioning of different and diverse nerve cells. In order to maintain a healthy mental health , it is necessary to maintain a balanced diet, rich in meat, grilled or cooked fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and nuts.
Not in vain, recent research has shown that diet can be a very important factor when a person can act in one way or another in a situation of stress. Put another way: a balanced diet helps not only to maintain good physical health, but to a certain extent, we can respond better to the different situations that day by day offers us.
Why can stress make us fatter more easily?
If at any time you have suffered a period or period of stress that has lasted more or less in time, it is quite likely that you have verified in your own flesh how the scale has varied enormously, and more possibly, negatively, increasing your weight .
The truth is that although some people stress and nerves can cause their stomach to "close", the most usual thing is that the opposite happens: that is, to calm this nervous tension and that feeling of anguish, we tend to eat more by choosing foods with a higher content of sugars and fats (and therefore in calories).
There are different reasons that explain why stress can make us fat, and also easier:
- Increased cortisol segregation: Or, which is the same, our body tends to store a greater amount of fat. Why? When we feel stressed or anxious, our body secretes cortisol, a hormone that sends different signals to the body to release glucose into the blood. However, since we do not really need to use that extra volume of glucose, we end up storing it in the form of fats, especially in areas such as the waist and abdomen.
- We eat more: In many occasions when it comes to relieving that tension and that anguish, it is very common for our appetite to increase in a voracious manner and we eat more, choosing unhealthy foods for it. If on the one hand we tend to eat more, and on the other, we also choose foods with a high caloric content, it is evident that we tend to gain weight, especially if we do not burn it by practicing physical exercise.
- Greater swelling: Believe it or not, stress can also be a cause of constipation. This is especially due to the foods that we choose when we are stressed. As we have mentioned, it is more usual to opt for more caloric foods, leaving aside healthier options such as fruits and vegetables. In addition, we tend to drink less liquids (particularly water). As a result, the blood supply to the intestinal tract is reduced.
The best nutrition against stress: very suitable beneficial foods
Foods high in vitamin C
As different scientific studies have shown, in situations of stress and anxiety the needs of vitamin C by our body increase considerably. In addition, it has been shown that this vitamin is able to reduce the negative effects of stress on both physical and mental health.
Therefore, in times of stress, it is best to follow a diet rich in foods with vitamin C, such as citrus, pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, kale, broccoli and guava, among others.
Foods rich in carbohydrates
Although demonizados in many diets (many of them in fact little nutritious and little adapted), the certain thing is that the hydrates of carbon are fundamental for our organism, and essential in any diet varied, healthy and balanced.
It is essential to avoid compulsive eating when we are stressed, since maintaining a diet rich in carbohydrates is the best way to ensure the adequate supply of glucose to the brain.
It is advisable to consume between 5 to 6 servings of carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates, which are found in foods such as whole grains, legumes and potatoes.
Foods rich in B vitamins
In times of stress, with the vitamins of group B occurs almost the same as with vitamin C: our body consumes them more quickly, so that during these times refers a greater contribution of these nutrients. In addition, we must take into account something fundamental: they are essential when it comes to maintaining our nervous system in an optimal state.
The best foods? Highlights include whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, brewer's yeast, eggs and wheat germ.