Stress and weight gain

Stress has become a lifestyle for many of us now-a-days. When we are stressed our bodies create cortisol (i.e. stress hormone) which stimulates the body to release calories, fat and energy.

Often when people suffer from chronic stress, whether due to work pressure, family pressure, unkind bosses, our systems get flooded with the stress hormone (cortisol) and two fat promoting chain reaction takes place. Initially that cortisol triggers our body to store fat around our belly. Secondly we experience cravings from sugar/fat due to excess stress and cortisol, which is the reason why we tend to eat chocolates or junk food when we are under stress. Can you relate to that? Of course you can.

Here is a list of foods that can help you to relieve stress:

  • Fermented foods:

The healthier gut leads to healthier brain. The good bacteria in your gut has a direct impact on your brain chemistry as your mood regulating signals are transmitted through your vagus nerve. Toxins in gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain where it can lead to mood problems, ADHD, depression, autism, schizophrenia and other mental problems. This should motivate you to eat fermented foods and keep nourshing your gut flora as it is very important for a positive mood. But beware about processed foods and sugar. These are certain foods which you can have- home made idli, dosa, yogurt, curd, etc.

  • Sunlight:

Technically its not a food, but might definitely help you to calm your mood. For this you will have to follow this mantra- Early to bed, Early to Rise makes you healthy, wealthyand wise. Aren’t you familiar with this term? So daily vitamin D dose is a must. The happy hormone i.e. serotonin, which is associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with the reduced sun exposure. You can get some vitamin D from salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms.

  • Pumpkin/sunflower seeds:

These seeds contain magnesium which acts as a precursor for serotonin which is a neurotransmitter and which is known for its role in enhancing your mood/emotions. Magnesium deficiency triggers depression, anxiety and panic attacks. So do have these handful of seeds everyday to enhance your state of mind.

  • Avocados:

Avocados has more amount of folate than any other fruit. They are packed with healthy fats and are rich in glutathione, which blocks the intestinal absorption of cartain fats that can cause oxidative stress (it is a process that creates free radicals which are harmful substances and arev responsible for aging). You can have a one- quarter of it and stick to only one serving.

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