TUCSON, Ariz. — Stress and pressure can lead to overeating, but nutritionists say a healthy diet is a better choice for managing what life throws at you. We looked into how nutrition can play a role in helping you rebound from these tough times.
“At your physical healthiest that’s going to be the condition that supports your best mental wellness as well,” said University of Arizona Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences Ann Skulas-Ray.
Skulas-Ray says in times like these you want to give your yourself what you need. A poor diet is more like giving yourself the flu.
“Think about when you are sick, so you have all this inflammation in your body. Have you ever tried to do your best work under those conditions when your whole body is inflamed? It doesn’t work,” Skulas-Ray said.
She says the first step is to cut down on the junk. Highly processed foods, refined sugars and corn syrup feel good in the moment, but are not a recipe for long-term happiness.
Skulas-Ray says there are a million diets out there, but she says most people can benefit from keeping it simple. Eat more fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish.
“Omega-3s are a good one, because the brain is actually made out of omega-3s," she said. "They are directly responsible for regulating inflammation in the body.”
You also don't have to make drastic life changes overnight. Minor changes over time can go a long way.
“Nobody eats a perfect diet, it's just about small changes you make over time,” she said. “And you should feel good about each incremental improvement.”