What not to eat and drink at work in order to stay calm and focused.
Living Green magazine reports that a recent survey says that 23 percent of Americans lash out at others due to stress. Prolonged stress can also lead to high blood pressure, depression, isolation, and anxiety, among other detrimental health conditions.
Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian/nutritionist, and author of The Small Change Diet, is quoted by Living Green as saying there are five foods that may be contributing to stress at work and that “making smarter food choices can lead to a happier, healthier, more productive self. The old adage is true: you are what you eat!”
According to Gans, the five no’s are foods high in caffeine, foods rich in sodium, junk foods, fatty foods and alcohol.
Small daily doses of caffeine of 16oz. or less is acceptable, but black coffee and tea are lower in sugar than most soft and sports drinks. They are also rich in antioxidants which can reduce the risk of some diseases and be beneficial to overall health. Caffeine is also a powerful stimulant and if over-consumed, can cause anxiety, irritability, poor concentration and productivity, and increased stress at work.
Sodium rich fries, chips, and deli meats are still lunchtime favorites, says Gans. However, an excess of sodium causes the body to retain fluids leading to hypertension. “Though research is unclear on whether or not stress alone can result in prolonged high blood pressure, sticking to a diet low in fat and sodium can be best.” She suggests that “a simple grilled chicken sandwich with avocado and lots of veggies on whole wheat bread instead of a huge sub weighed down by cheese, meat and high sodium condiments, may help keep blood pressure down.”
As far as junk foods go, “if you find yourself making frequent trips to the office vending machine, you may want to re-consider that afternoon bag of candy.” Packaged sweets and other “quick-fix snacks” may satisfy cravings, but soon leave one feeling lethargic and hungry. Most junk foods are simple carbohydrates with no protein, fiber, vitamins or minerals ― all “the dietary essentials which assist the body in regulating stress levels.” Rather bring your own healthy snacks, which also prevents weight gain.
Fatty foods, she says may increase the unhealthy effects of stress on the heart, like raising blood pressure. These foods aren’t just pizza, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, but large daily amounts of 100 percent whole fat dairy. So no more adding full-fat cream to your coffee!
Regarding alcohol, the problem lies in hangovers. “Hangovers may kill your chance at productivity and subsequently increase your stress. Partaking in a glass of wine or beer at a business lunch also may not benefit you.” According to a study, many people drink regularly, and sometimes, while in the presence of colleagues. Alcohol also increases stress.
A good way to reduce stress is to use RESPeRATE ― a clinically proven, FDA-cleared, non-drug and non-invasive treatment for people with hypertension or stress. By interactively guiding users through unique breathing exercises that relax constricted blood vessels, RESPeRATE lowers blood pressure and simultaneously reduces stress with no side effects.