Beat Bloating, Indigestion and Stress!

For most of us, stress and food go hand-in-hand. Food can give us the feelings of power, control and satisfaction that we need in stressful situations. It’s no surprise that when our stress levels go up, our resistance to comfort foods goes down. It is an inverse relationship.

Our favorite foods can actually reduce our stress levels, but moderation is key!! Giving your body the nutrition it needs is a positive step you can take every day toward combating stress. With the right balance of nutrients, you are better prepared to face the challenges of the day. So, let’s change your “emotional eating” into “intuitive eating” TODAY!

Adrenaline, the “fight or flight hormone” is produced during times of intense stress. It gives you a burst of energy, but your blood-sugar level drops after the crisis is past. Sustaining and natural foods are needed to replenish it, not “quick carbs.” Certain foods increase the physical stress on your body by making digestion more difficult, or by denying the brain essential nutrients. Stress itself can cause bad digestion, bloating, cramps or other GI distress. Drinks such as caffeine and alcohol (which is what most people turn to in times of stress) both put a considerable strain on the body. With Nutrition For Body And Mind, we can make a healthy diet plan that is right for you and manageable for you in times of stress.

Avoid Common Problems

Indigestion. This can result from eating in the middle of a stressful situation, as the digestive system is not relaxed. It also can be due to eating on the go, or eating too quickly or while standing…so always sit down to eat and chew your food completly because it is the first step of digestion! Don’t inhale or swallow your foods whole (even if you do feel like you’re starving)! Take a moment to actually ENJOY your meals and snacks and savor the taste!

Bloating. As we all know, bloating is unpleasant and can add to your stress. Culprits are often wheat and dairy products. The same food may effect people in many different ways and that is why each person has such individualized needs. Nutrition For Body And Mind targets YOUR specific needs to guide you to healthful success.

 

IMG_1216Caffeine dependency. Relying on excessive caffeine to keep your body going is a bad idea because it will increase your stress hormones and can lead to insomnia and dehydration, affecting your body’s ability to handle stress. Try getting some more rest and drinking green or herbal tea. My new favorite drink this month is the Ginseng Peppermint Tea from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Please see the link below to buy the tea at a discounted rate through Amazon. ENJOY with a hearty bowl of whole grain oatmeal and blueberries in the morning!
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Tea, Hand-Picked Ginseng Peppermint, 20-Count Tins (Pack of 3)

Hangovers. No one functions well with a hangover, so drinking heavily may lead to trouble the following day, especially if you have a sensitive digestive system! This does not mean that you need to avoid alcohol completely, just be aware of its effects, and get back on track to replenish your body with fresh fruits, vegetables, coconut water and a nice run to get your endorphins on high!

Cravings. It is around the “after lunch siesta time” when there is an increase in hormones or stress when you start to “crave things.” To curb your cravings, include small portions of the craved item into your usual diet, rather than trying to resist it altogether. Because there is only so long until you will cave in and overindulge in the food (likely leading to weight gain over the long term). It’s easy to put the weight on, and hard to take it off! Keep healthy food nearby, and eat more frequently to avoid these drops in blood sugar.

Sugar highs and lows. Although the brain needs glucose (carbohydrates) to enable it to perform effectively, very sugary foods cause your blood sugar level to spike and then plummet, leaving you sleepy and lethargic. This can lead to another sweet craving, and the cycle continues.

 

IMG_8794Put this theory into practice! Your first step is to EAT Breakfast.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is the most often skipped!! It will give you the energy and mental focus to start your day off right and curb your appetite for your lunch and dinner meals or “snacky cravings” mid afternoon and evening.

 

To learn more about breakfast ideas and meal planning to help aid your digestive issues and stress management, schedule a nutrition consultation with Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Nutrition For Body And Mind.