While we know that exercise can relieve stress, balancing your diet to improve tension and stress is another facet to achieving overall good health.

When our immune system is out of balance, we are more vulnerable to everyday stresses and tension. However, if our daily diet consists of foods that strengthen the immune system, we are more able to survive the effects of stress and tension we face on a daily basis.

What kind of balanced diet should we engage in? Remember your mom telling you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? She was right. Without eating a proper breakfast, we tend to stop at a coffee shop and choose a sugary delight. Instead, why not opt for a bowl of oatmeal with a glass of water. Substitute caffeine with chamomile tea, which is a wonderful stress reducer.

If you don’t have time to sit down and have a nourishing breakfast, try a vegetable smoothie. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, this is much better than coffee and toast.

Sugar contributes to stress. You may notice that a while after eating a sugary snack or a bar of chocolate, you feel fatigued. While the sugar may help in the short term, you are just adding wood to the fire in the long run. Conversely, snacking on protein is much healthier for you and helps to maintain blood sugar levels as well. Popcorn is another snack which can get you through the 3 o’clock yearning for something sweet.

It’s a good idea to avoid salt as it can increase blood pressure which, when confronted with a stressful situation, can increase the tension twofold. Foods such as hot dogs have a high salt content.

Another tip is to stay away from foods that contain fat. Instead, opt for vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, chicken, beans, and leafy green vegetables. These are not only healthy for you, but contain antioxidants that are beneficial in reducing free radicals in your body. For example, you can choose turkey burgers which are much leaner than regular beefburgers.

Instead of going out to lunch, you can make lunch at home and bring it to the office. Cut up some carrots, celery, and add some cottage cheese or tuna in water. Or, you can make a nutritious salad with pieces of chicken and lemon vinaigrette. Also, drink plenty of water each day. This serves to keep you sated and hydrated at the same time.

Balancing your diet to improve tension stress is as important as exercise. You will not only feel good, but your energy level will be constant and productivity will increase.

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