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Stress Management Tip 'Nutrition and Stress

A lot of research today is showing that having a good nutritional diet has a direct impact on a person's ability to manage stress. A body that is well nourished and healthy is far more resilient to stressful conditions than a poorly nourished body.

In order to function properly, you body requires a certain amount of energy from carbohydrates, protein and fats. Like the term "balanced diet" suggests, there is no single food that provides all the essential nutrients. Rather you should be eating a variety of foods during the day to ensure that your body is receiving the necessary nutrients.

A healthy nutritious diet typically includes fresh fruit, whole grains, vegetables, lean meat and fish. Foods that contain high levels of fat, salt, sugar and alcohol should be taken in moderation. A healthy diet enhances the immune system and helps to maintain a reasonable energy level which is essential for dealing with stress.

As certain foods are helpful in dealing with stress, other types of food are known to have a detrimental effect and quite possibly add extra levels of stress particularly when consumed in large amounts. For example, too much caffeine, i.e. coffee or tea, can increase anxiety and cause inability to sleep. Large amounts of alcohol may initially cause you to feel sleepy but will ultimately disrupt sleep. Nicotine, while not a food, raises the heart rate and is quite simply bad for the body. Finally too much sugar may give an initial burst of energy but can cause an energy dip as the naturally occurring insulin is generated within the body.

As you can see the impact of these food types, do not only add to your stress levels, but also can affect your ability to deal with stress.

In short, if you follow the suggested tips below, your ability to deal with stress will be maximised while the impact of any ongoing stress will be reduced.

- Never start the day with out breakfast.
- Eat slowly rather than rush.
- Eat small frequent meals and snacks.
- Include a variety of foods in your diet as described earlier.
- Avoid saturated fats.
- Minimise your intake of salt and sugar.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Avoid excessive caffeine based drinks such as coffee and tea.
- Drink plenty of water.

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