Times are tough and it is during these periods that people look out for instant stress relievers. Junk food, smoking, alcohol can be some of the common substances that people may lean towards during a challenging situation. And the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to live in unprecedented times, which can easily trigger stress and anxiety.
“Depression is a state of low after a high. Avoid foods that give you temporary euphoria because after that there will be a steep fall in energy levels, which will set in depression-like feelings. Instead, it is good to stick to natural foods that do not give a sudden kick followed by a sudden depression,” suggests Nikhil Chaudhary, dietician, lifestyle and wellness coach.
Whenever we feel low, our body tends to be drawn towards high-sugar foods that give us a feeling of reward. Even tobacco in cigarettes and caffeine in coffee gives a high, which is a temporary release from stress.
To cope with such situations, some key pointers are:
* Don’t stay hungry – Hunger fuels the fire and you will end up eating more junk food. It will lead to an episode of binge eating.
* Refrain from sugary, junk and packaged foods – These foods only give you temporary happiness and when the energy levels fall, you feel miserable and either end up eating more such items or fall into depression. To avoid the vicious cycle that can lead to addiction, it is good to avoid it altogether.
* Stay hydrated with mineral water – Staying hydrated will eliminate your craving for coffee, tea, alcohol and colas. Go for mineral water over RO water. One way to mineralise water is by adding fruits and vegetables in RO water. Another way is to add one teaspoon of soda and magnesium sulphate salt for 30 litres of water.
* Exercise – Exercise increases your level of happiness by stimulation of certain hormones. It is a good idea to look after your body and inculcate healthy habits like yoga, strength training, running or any other form of exercise.
* Fruits and vegetables – Vegetables must be the most important part of your diet, period! Fruits are good but when we speak of natural foods, vegetables top the list. Fruits can be taken as natural desserts too.
* Snack on nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of good fats. This makes us feel full, improves brain health and the nervous system, and most importantly helps you avoid snacking on fried and junk snacks.
Stay home, stay safe and eat well to stay happy.