“When I’m stressed out, I want to eat, why?”
Have you ever been innocently driving down the street when someone comes out of nowhere and almost blindsided you, or perhaps you were walking home at night and felt someone was following you? What reactions occurred? Probably your heart raced, you were shaken up and afterwards felt fatigued, right? And you most likely felt hungry. Yeah, why was that?
It all has to do with how our bodies react to stress. We live with stress as an everyday occurrence, some good, some bad. After a particular pressure-filled workday, you come home agitated. Man, that co-worker really ticked you off! You might want to fix yourself a stiff drink or raid the pantry for some something sweet. Stop, don’t self-destruct!
Under stress, a proper diet is extremely important and here’s why:
- When the body is stressed, insulin levels rise, waiting for that “flight or fight” syndrome.
- Digestion shuts down, your heart rate increases.
- Blood is sent to the major organs. Fats and sugars are then released from stores in your body and your cholesterol and heart rate levels rise.
- Harmful toxic chemicals are released throughout your body. Beware, stressed people are more cancer prone. So exercise or at least take a bubble bath to compensate.
- Also your thymus (the gland that regulates your immune system) shrinks under stress so watch out for colds and flu! Incorporate powerful nutrient dense foods like oranges, cantaloupe, greens, grapes, berries, garlic, onions, yogurt as defensive protection.
When the crisis passes, so does your insulin and with it a great deal of B vitamins and valuable nutrients. Your brain then tells you to eat something to retrieve your energy level. It’s physiology.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, God states that when you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. Here’s how:
Want to react better after a hectic day? Enjoy high quality protein foods such as cottage cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, cheese. These foods contain tyrosine, an amino acid (chemical building blocks in food that are used as a source of energy) that has been shown to improve performance in stressful situations. Researches believe that tyrosine raises brain concentrations of dopamine, a neurotransmitter (neuro= brain and transmitter = transfer) crucial to cognitive function and you’ll avoid that “brain fog” people feel after a crisis.
Feeling anxious? God said,“Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6. Snack on selenium based foods, nuts, oats, wheat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans or rice. Have a nice egg frittata, tuna salad or chicken/bean burrito for dinner. Selenium is a fat based nutrient, so don’t overdo it on the Brazil nuts.
Stressed out as a student? The University of Virgina discovered that the act of learning deplete gray matter reserves of glucose. The brain feeds primarily on glucose, a sugar and its main source of food. When students were given a glucose boost from sugar sweetened lemonade, memory increased by 35%. Foods that are high in zinc release dopamine and enhance mental clarity. High zinc food include crab, oysters, shrimp, turkey, peanut butter, wheat germ and dark chocolate. See, no wonder you’re craving chocolate when you’re stressed – your body is trying to tell you something! (And you thought it was only because you had no willpower!)
God created our defense mechanisms so intricately that I can’t believe that some believe this complicated body of ours just happened through mud clumps, crystals or other nonsense! Honestly, would a mud clump know how to create a bacterial flagellum?