eat better to overcome stress and control blood sugar

Eat Better to Overcome Stress and Control Blood Sugar

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Things are tough for pretty much everyone right now. As the Covid-19 pandemic slowly begins to subside, stress levels are incredibly high among Americans. Stress is both psychological and physical, and it has a powerful impact on our health.

Cortisol is the hormone most closely associated with stress. It controls fight-or-flight response, and it helps keep us on our toes in tough situations. Chronically elevated Cortisol is disastrous for long-term health and wellness, however. Hormone Balance is critical to good health. When Cortisol Levels remain too elevated for too long, it saps the body's ability to produce Testosterone, HGH, and other hormones that help us stay healthy and live longer.

Stress Causes Overeating

Stress also influences us to eat poorly. It reduces willpower and leads us to salty and sugary snacks, which supply our immediate needs but aren't high in nutrition. Cortisol compels us to get what we think we need right now. Stress eating is one of the leading contributors to overeating and malnutrition. If you've been having trouble losing weight, or are worried about your blood sugar, relieving stress could help you eat better and get more fit.

Relieving Stress Through Diet

Luckily, there are ways that you can adjust your diet to help relieve stress, and these foods also provide benefits to blood sugar, heart health, and hormone balance. The ideal diet to combat stress has lots of fiber, few simple carbs, and lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Refined flours and sugars are terrible for you because they spike blood sugar and create a drive to recreate that physiological high, which is the essence of a food craving. When blood sugar increases dramatically, this leads directly to a correlated increase in Cortisol.

One of the reasons why diet is so connected to our psychological well-being is because most hormones that influence the brain are produced in the gut. It's estimated that 80% of these hormones are produced by the digestive tract. Along with Cortisol, Serotonin is also produced by the gut. Serotonin is the opposite of Cortisol in some ways—it's associated with happiness and well-being.

Junk food tends to increase Cortisol, while healthy foods are better at boosting Serotonin. Some great options to add to your diet that is good for you and also boost Serotonin include turkey, seeds, nuts, salmon, tofu, pineapples, cheese, and eggs. For best health, one should only eat red meat occasionally, if at all.

A diet high in fiber is also excellent for controlling blood sugar and Cortisol. Fiber slows down the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream. Fiber also supports healthy gut flora, which is clinically proven to keep Cortisol Levels in check.

Simple Steps to Prevent Insulin Resistance and Lower Stress

  • Avoid refined flour and processed sugar to limit cravings and reduce reliance on empty calories
  • Opt for plant-based proteins, limit red meat, and opt for healthy fats
  • Include a wide variety of healthy plant-based foods in your diet, replacing unhealthy carbs with beans/legumes
  • Turmeric, chili peppers, and other spices help control inflammation, boost Serotonin, and lower Cortisol

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