Stress Management and Nutrition during COVID-19

Recent Statistics and Origin

Researchers from the University of Tennessee report that signs of stress eating and less physical activity are rising. 2/3 respondents said they are eating more than usual in response to stress. More than 80% said they are eating because they are bored, while 60% report sitting more. Stress is a huge factor in our health outcomes.

So let’s start with the basics. Where does stress derive, and what is happening in our bodies physically when it occurs? When we feel anxious, stress hormones (such as cortisol and adrenaline) are released from our central nervous system. Long-term stress can cause chronic conditions like hypertension, depression, and atrial fibrillation, to name a few. Our coping mechanisms from the recent stress of Covid-19 will determine the direction healthcare goes in the near future.

Nutrient Sources that may help

How do we prevent obesity and other chronic diseases from increasing due to unhealthy coping skills of stress? It is important to discuss stress management with our friends and family members. Let’s face it, we all have a go-to comfort food when we feel stressed. Often times these foods are high in sugar or saturated fats. Luckily, researchers have linked nutrients such as B vitamins and antioxidants to assist with stress management. These nutrients are required for normal brain function. Most food sources for B vitamins and antioxidants include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and meat. There has also been correlation detected between low vitamin D levels during times of stress. This nutrient is found in fatty fishes (salmon, tuna, mackerel etc.), fortified dairy, and soy products.

Other Stress Management Tips

· Choose healthy and balanced meal options. A registered dietitian can provide you an individualized meal plan.

· Incorporate daily physical activity

· Participate in breathing exercises, meditation, or relaxed activities.

· Seek professional help from a licensed counselor if stress becomes chronic, or too much to handle individually.

We’re all in this together! Let’s share this information with our loved ones, and apply it to our lives daily! We can prevent the rise of chronic diseases after COVID-19, if we adopt healthier habits. If you are in need of an individualized meal plan for a successful head start, check out our packages. We will be thrilled to work with you!

Live well,

Whitney & Jasmine

Registered Dietitians

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