Health Watch - Food and Feelings: Eating for Stress

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how what you eat can affect how you feel. Some people deal with stress by eating, especially with comfort food that’s sweet or starchy. But the right kinds of foods may help your body fight stress.

Stress can be bad for your body, and people who are constantly under stress are more vulnerable to illness. Bernadette Latson, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the best way to manage stress, especially for people who spend all day in an office, is to take regular exercise breaks. The right foods can also help. Oatmeal boosts levels of calming brain chemicals, while foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower levels of stress hormones. To relieve tension and anxiety at bedtime, try a glass of skim milk. Foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges, help boost the immune system while also lowering stress hormone levels.  


July 2011

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