Food is a natural source of sustenance, fullness and satisfaction, but there are certain stuff that can be pinpointed as foods that cause stress in our bodies. Certain drinks and snacks contain substances which can negatively affect our internal organs. Below are the top foods that cause stress and may be factors in stressing you out.
Most Common Foods that Cause Stress
Salty snacks are definitely among the most common foods that cause stress. Salt is an essential ingredient in a variety of food products, including bagged snacks, fast food, and condiments. They are commonly used for cooking and improving the taste of any recipe. Salt is also one of the oldest ingredients being used in preserving food. Jerky is a good example of food that is preserved with the use of salt solution. It also acts as an agent that removes moisture from within cell walls.
Most commercial salt contains sodium, and it acts as a retainer of body fluids. It also plays a role in the nervous system of the body, as well as the contraction and relaxation of the muscles. The most important function of sodium is its ability to maintain the balance of fluids in the body.
Higher intake of salt will increase the volume of blood, and this causes hypertension. This will force the heart to pump faster. Higher blood volume also thickens and makes the blood vessels narrow. Hypertension increases the strain of the body, causeing physical and mental stress.
High Cholesterol Meals
Foods rich in cholesterol are also among top foods that cause stress. It’s quite often that you see restaurants and packaged products containing the marketing slogan “Cholesterol free” or “No cholesterol”. Organic food that came from animal sources such as eggs, milk, beef and fish is sure to contain cholesterol. Some ingredients coming from plant sources also contain cholesterol, and can be found in olive oil and certain nuts.
For reference, here are the two kinds of cholesterol:
- High density lipoprotein (HDL) – This is considered as “good cholesterol” due to its natural propensity to provide benefits for the body. A person with a large amount of HDL will have a lower chance of experiencing any heart disease. This is due to how HDL can search and help lower the LDL within the body and they can help keep the walls of the blood vessels clean.
- Low density lipoprotein (LDL) – This is the opposite of HDL and is considered as “bad cholesterol”. High LDL is a contributor to heart diseases. They gather other cells and debris within a certain area to create bumps called a plaque. The bump causes the blood vessel to become narrower, causing hypertension. If the plaque breaks open, it can cause blood clots, thereby resulting in a heart attack.
Foods which were deep-fried or are cooked with a high amount of oil usually contain considerable amounts of LDL cholesterol and can be considered as foods that cause stress. Red meat from beef, pork and poultry has high amount of bad cholesterol as well.
High amounts of LDL cause hypertension in the body and also strain the heart. The constricted blood vessels can also lower the amount of blood that the brain receives. This, along with hypertension, can shoot up your stress levels.
Coffee is usually considered to be synonymous to “energy”. Coffee and chocolate contain a natural ingredient called caffeine which is what hypes up their appeal. Caffeine is considered as a drug by the medical community due to the symptoms an average person would feel if deprived of it. The compound is a stimulant, and it makes the heart beat faster and the brain more alert.
Caffeine is able to do three specific functions within the body:
- It binds itself to adenosine receptors, which is responsible for the feeling of drowsiness. Adenosine decreases the ability of cells to promote sleep, while caffeine increases the speed of the nerve cell’s movement.
- Caffeine increases the production of dopamine within the body. Dopamine is a natural hormone which induces a sense of euphoria in the body of an average individual.
- Caffeine contributes in the production of adrenaline from the adrenal gland. The hormone is responsible in rendering the body fully alert. It affects the individual’s blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Caffeine’s manipulation of the hormones within the body can cause negative effects to an individual. This includes an irregular sleep pattern and insomnia, where a person is not able to receive enough sleep to perform their daily tasks. This would lead to them feeling a tremendous amount of stress.
Coffee, soda and other drinks containing caffeine are foods that cause stress. The symptoms of increased level of adrenaline and awareness under the influence of caffeine can easily affect anyone, and they then succumb to stress.
Remember to consider the food you eat every day and to think if that glazed donuts dipped in piping hot coffee is worth it. Daily exercise, weight loss programs, and stress management can help you become more focused and healthier in life. Be mindful of these tips, avoid foods that cause stress, and you will see yourself function fully as a productive individual.
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