It sometimes happens that while we keep a certain diet, strictly, do not lose weight or, worse, fat us, this is especially possible if we go through a stressful period and where the level of cortisol (the hormone of stress) is increased, says nutritionist Lygia Alexandrescu.
According to the specialist, in these situations, an anti-stress diet should be followed, which is to consider the decrease of the level of stress we are subjected to and secondary – the loss of weight.
"It must be understood that everything we ingest – food, liquids, medicines or cigarette smoke – can add or reduce the already existing stress. Unfortunately, stress inhibits the absorption of nutrients in the body and deeply affects the cardiovascular system. Therefore, foods and substances that could add stress to the body should be reduced or even eliminated as an intake. For example, caffeine should be replaced with herbal tea or fresh water with lemon and ginger. Also, the daily intake of alcohol should be reduced to the maximum, and if small amounts are being consumed for clinical purposes, large quantities of water should be consumed (the alcohol dehydrates the body), "explains the nutritionist.
In his opinion, smoking should be limited or even excluded, because nicotine blocks absorption of abundant antioxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables, and their presence in the body induces a rise in serotonin (the good sense hormone), thus improving the condition of spirit.
Lygia Alexandrescu says that another important anti-stress nutrient is zinc, which can be taken from shells, whole bread, nuts and seeds, eggs, lean meats and dairy products.
"During stressful periods, the body may also be deficient in magnesium. This magnesium intake can be taken from vegetables with green, red, grapefruit, fig, grape, carrots, seeds and nuts. Vitamin C is also very important and is abundant in citrus, cabbage, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi. The anti-stress diet should also contain enough amounts of vitamin B – whole grains, yeast, yoghurt, dates, liver, brown rice, rye and oats. Proteins must also be carefully chosen to prevent excessive fat intake and, implicitly, cholesterol – poultry or turkey, fish or soybeans, "says the nutritionist.
At the same time, food fats should be part of this diet, but not in their saturated form.
This is why olive oil, avocados, fresh walnuts (unsalted and uncooked) and sesame seeds are recommended.
According to the nutritionist, the fibers will be taken along with other essential nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables, which should be eaten at least five times a day, and foods rich in refined sugar must be eliminated and sweet appetite washed with natural honey or red grapes.
Also, natural supplements can be used successfully to combat stress: pollen, ginseng and calomil, in the form of tea or capsules. Meals should be made up of small amounts of food and taken five times throughout the day.