Food and stress: what is the connexion?

14 January 2021

Food and stress: what is the connexion?

Food and stress: what is the connexion?

Food these days is more than a way to nourish the body. It’s also a form of pleasure, socialization, relaxation, escape from emotions and problems (“emotional hunger”), among other social meanings that we give it.

Stress, on the other hand, is part of most people's daily lives, regardless of their origin. The main causes are: poor diet, professional or personal pressure, low self-esteem, smoking, among others.  One of the hormones involved in this process is cortisol. The increased production of cortisol caused by stress, leads the body to "ask" more foods high in fat and sugars to relieve the emotional state.

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Stress can also lead to changes in eating habits, that is, people with stress tend to chew food badly and skip meals (without schedules), thus the absorption of nutrients is compromised.

Understanding how stress affects food is the first step to improving health, this may be possible with self-knowledge and mindfuleating techniques, in order to adopt healthy eating practices and eliminate the harmful effects of stress.

In addition, it’s advised:
- Regular practice of physical activity: increases the feeling of well-being and self-esteem, improves cardiovascular and respiratory functions and is a way of distracting attention from daily problems;

- Replacement of vitamins and minerals: in addition to replacing existing deficiencies of vitamins and minerals that may be compromised, it improves and stimulates energy functioning as well as all mechanisms related to appetite.

Thus, we can say that food and nutrition are closely linked, as bad eating habits such as excessive intake of sugar, salt, fat and caffeine aggravate the situation, making the body more prone to stress. However, it’s possible to face the effects of stress, namely through proper nutrition. 

Do you need help? Schedule your free online consultation with one of our Sports Nutrition specialists, on the exclusive Rocksprint Counseling service.

By Adriana Martins, Nutritionist

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