What to Eat when you are Stressed out?
Stress and diet have a very interactive relationship. Not only is your digestive system affected by stress, diet has the mighty power to improve your stress levels or to make them worse. Diet can even be a causative factor of your stress levels.
So what is stress?
Stress is a non-specific response of the body, a syndrome, characterised by a group of symptoms which consistently occur together. Stress can have physical, mental or emotional origin. No matter which one you are starting out with, stress will eventually affect all of them.
It is probably common sense that overindulgence of junk food does nothing for your immune system. Junk lacks nourishment and makes it harder for the body to digest and expel toxins, and function properly. This puts the body under a lot of physical stress.
Ayurveda has additional concepts:
– Tamasic food includes junk food and any processed foods, i.e. canned, processed, frozen, reheated foods; incompatible foods; foods eaten in excess as well as foods eaten at the wrong time; and foods which are incompatible with one’s own digestive capacity and body bio-energy type. So, dietary advice is personalised and although personalised medicine is new to modern medicine, it is well established in Ayurveda, the traditional system of Indian medicine. Individuals with balanced body bio-energies are less susceptible to disease than individuals with abnormal ones. In fact, imbalances or disturbed interactions between body bio-energies are considered a major cause of disease. Stress is a perfect example of how the body bio-energies get disturbed initially and eventually manifest in long-term, chronic lifestyle-related diseases.
– Ama is a type of toxin, also referred to as an endotoxin. It occurs from half- digested, unmetabolised food products circulating in the body, acting as toxins. Ama builds up in individuals whose digestion is either weak or overloaded with the wrong foods. Since one’s digestive powers are in part determined by one’s genotype, individuals with strong digestive powers can eat larger quantities and richer foods without forming ama. In contrast, individuals with weak digestive powers produce ama more easily. The right diet and lifestyle choices can also compensate, at least in part, for a weaker digestive system. Overall, a weakened digestive capacity is the root cause of ama, which is a major risk factor for disease. As many diseases arise from toxins, the first stage of any disease is also sometimes called the ama stage.
Combat stress with food and increase your anti-oxygen content in the body.