Six quick foodie fixes to get us out of the stress trap

By Alana Compton

When you’re feeling stressed and tired, the last thing you need is more things to do or think about. But life happens and it’s your reaction to each challenging situation that matters. So, when the going gets tough if you can increase your energy levels, achieve a calmer state of mind and build up a greater resilience, then you’ll be better equipped to deal with the challenges that cause you stress and anxiety.

The right diet and nutrients can make all the difference.

There is a very real link between our stress hormones and our blood sugar, so the right diet can make a really big difference to the way we handle stress. The extra cortisol pumping around our bodies when we under stress, makes our cells more resistant to insulin (the hormone that clears glucose from your blood after a meal and stores it away.) The result is that our blood sugar goes up and so does our insulin levels; in the long term this can give us diabetes. We are also more likely to have headaches, find it difficult to concentrate, and feel generally moody and irritable.

Here’s how to eat yourself calm!

Tip 1: Cut down on the refined (mainly white and processed) carbohydrates that release their glucose fast – foods such as cakes, biscuits, and sugary snack



Tip 2: Eat foods that keep your blood sugar more stable – whole-grains rather than refined grains (mainly processed like white four and rice) and vegetables.

Tip 3: Eat protein with every meal – eggs, meat, fish, diary foods etc. as protein slows down the release of sugars in carbohydrates giving you more energy and helping you feel fuller for longer.

Tip 4: Eat three meals a day and don’t skip breakfast. This helps to keep your blood sugar even. Blood sugar dips either from not eating, or as a rebound after eating something too sweet or starchy or adrenalin release – hence stress. Don’t stress your body: give it quality food, throughout the day.

Tip 5: Snack pre-emptively – if you know you have an energy dip before lunch and around 4pm, have a snack mid-morning and again mid-afternoon. Avoid sugar loaded treats and opt for energy sustaining fresh fruit, nuts, an oatcake with some cottage-cheese or nut butter etc.

Tip 6: Swap coffee or regular tea for green tea. You will still get a caffeine kick, and green tea also contains a calming substance called theanine which can make you feel more alert without feeling wired.


Alana is a registered nutritionist with the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), an accredited therapist with The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and a master Certified Weight Loss Coach.

Contact her at www.nutrition4you.org.uk / email: alanacompton@nutrition4you.org.uk