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  • Writer's pictureAmy Salman

Avoid Processed Foods to Reduce Stress

Many people may not realize that when we eat, our levels of cortisol (the body's main stress hormone) will rise. This is an occurrence that is relatively important as it helps our bodies to sort out the good things from the bad so that we know what we can use and which nutrients to absorb.

Unfortunately, this can be bad for us when we are not consuming a proper amount of healthy foods.

When we eat processed foods which are typically ready-to-eat and provide little nutritional value (processed meats, high sugar foods, sugary drinks) levels of cortisol can rise, causing stress levels in the body to rise as well.

By consuming foods that cause our stress levels to rise, whether we are aware of it or not, we are subjecting ourselves to health issues, not only physically, but emotionally.

Have you ever been in a bad mood without fully understanding why? Did you ever notice that you are feeling poorly and then examine the food choices you have made, and realize that it is possibly related to your food choices?

Another thing to look out for is food sensitivities. If you have any sensitivities to foods or food allergies, these things can cause your body to release stress hormones as your immune system is activated in an attempt to fight off the problem. This can leave you feeling moody and irritable and can cause inflammation in your body that you may not be aware of because it is not always physically apparent.

When our bodies are under duress our moods tend to take a hit. Our bodies are very sensitive and more often than not irritability and mood swings are often indicative of serious physical problems.

If you look at the symptoms of many diseases, irritability and mood swings are often early warning signs. Our bodies know when something is off, and when our brains are producing an overabundance of stress hormones it is a sign that we should be paying attention.

Make a point to grocery shop in a smarter way. Prepare shopping lists and meal plans ahead of time. Include healthy options like organic fruits and vegetables, wild caught fish, organic chicken, grass-fed beef, pasture raised eggs, legumes, whole grains and healthy fats. Rather than going through every aisle in the grocery store, consider shopping the perimeter and purchasing a majority of your fresh foods there before heading into the inner aisles. It is much easier to make healthy choices if you are prepared ahead of time.

While processed foods may seem like a convenient choice, consider the future of your health. I always say, you can pay a little extra now at your grocery store or pay later at the doctor's office. Prevention is much easier as it starts by simply making better choices.

When they say that one ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they aren't joking! Avoid stressing your body out with processed foods and enjoy a healthier lifestyle today!

To your health & happiness,




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