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Stress relieving food for people with chronic conditions

Stress has become inevitable in our day to day lives. It could be due to financial troubles, troubles with relationships or with our work. The brain single-handedly uses up 20 percent of the body’s total energy reserves. In order to relieve ourselves of stress, we indulge in stress-eating.

Momentarily, it might satiate your craving to eat something delicious, but this satisfaction is only short lived. Stress eating does not actually help relieve stress in the long run because you are bound to feel guilty about all the unhealthy fats you have been consuming. It might be a temporary fix for the brain to feel ok, but it can be harmful to your body as it may lead to high cholesterol in the blood and completely sabotage your fitness goals.

Stress can have an adverse effect on your sugar levels. Therefore, it is important that you consume foods that are suitable for both your stress levels and sugar levels. Contrary to popular belief, there can be a healthy way around stress-eating. There are healthy food alternatives that can also lower the levels of stress and boost your mood significantly. 

Best foods to reduce stress for people with diabetes-

  • Leafy vegetables
    Green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach might not be on your list of favourite food items but will definitely uplift your mood and also strengthen your immunity. They contain folate, which is responsible for releasing dopamine (a pleasure-inducing hormone) from the brain. Green leafy vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins and are very low in calories.
  • Dark Chocolate
    Dark chocolate is one of the most effective stress-busting foods. It is rich in cacao, which helps release pleasure-inducing dopamine and happiness hormones from the brain, which immediately releases stress and enables you to relax. They also contribute to the relaxation of blood vessels and lowers your blood pressure. Moreover, dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants. However, be sure to buy dark chocolate that has more than 70 percent cacao content.
  • Chamomile tea
    “Chamomile has been proven to improve and enhance sleep quality. Adequate sleep is a significant stress reliever and helps optimise immune function, which can be weakened by stress.
    Swap your regular milk tea or masala tea with a cup of chamomile tea before bed if you’re really looking for a way to relax. This tea is a healthy way to get a good night’s sleep while you’re at it.

Foods that cause stress and should be avoided by diabetic people-

  • Caffeine
    Many of us suffer from insomnia due to  high consumption of tea, coffee, and colas. Unfortunately, caffeine remains in our systems longer than we realise. Reducing or completely cutting off caffeine can help you with both sleeping problems and jitters. 
  • High-fat foods
    Fatty foods such as cheese or animal meat dishes can thicken our blood and subsequently make us feel lethargic. Inactivity can cause high levels of stress. Even one high-fat meal can increase your risk of a heart attack, especially if you have diabetes.
  • Flour
    White flour is processed and stripped of its fibre-rich layers, i.e., its wheat germ and bran. And, that is why white flour is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. R
    eplace white flour with whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and organic brown rice.

The food that you consume, single- handedly affects almost all your body’s processes. Therefore, it becomes imperative that we consume the right food and in the right quantity. Food can play an important role in increasing or decreasing your stress levels and can correspondingly have an impact on your sugar levels. 

Learning how to manage stress is essential for everyone, but it’s especially important when you have diabetes, as your body’s stress response can make your diabetes worse. Increased stress leads to increased production of the hormone cortisol, which causes your body to produce more glucose and fat, which can adversely affect your blood glucose levels. 

Maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular physical exercise along with a healthy diet to live a happy and stress-free life. 

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