Healthy Eating to Decrease Stress

Overview

You can handle stress better when you are as healthy as possible, so eating nutritiously is a good defense against stress. These tips focus on using nutrition to reduce the symptoms of stress.

  • Avoid or limit caffeine.

    Coffee, tea, some sodas, and chocolate contain caffeine. Caffeine causes you to feel "wound up," which can make stressful situations seem more intense. If you drink a lot of caffeine, reduce the amount gradually. If you stop using caffeine suddenly, It can cause headaches and make it hard to concentrate.

  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

    If you are feeling very stressed, you might be turning to alcohol for relief more often than you realize. It may help you feel better for a time, but it won't get rid of stress. If you drink, limit yourself to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

  • Make mealtimes calm and relaxed.

    Try not to skip meals or eat on the run. Skipping meals can make stress-related symptoms worse. You may get a headache or a tight, tense feeling in your stomach. Eating on the run can cause indigestion. Use mealtime to relax, enjoy the flavor of your meal, and reflect on your day.

  • Avoid using food as a way to relieve stress.

    Some people turn to food to comfort themselves when they are under stress. This can lead to overeating and guilt. If this is a problem for you, try to replace eating with other actions that relieve stress, such as taking a walk, playing with a pet, or taking a bath.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.