Stress Reduction with These Nutritional Tricks (cont.)

Caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates the bowels and bladder, and it seems to increase your energy level for the short term. But what goes up must come down, and in people sensitive to caffeine, it can come crashing down.

Larry Christensen, PhD, a researcher with the University of South Alabama, found in recent studies that when people who are sensitive to caffeine eliminated it from their diets, their moods and energy levels improved significantly.

Don't know if you are one of the caffeine-sensitive people? Try avoiding caffeine for a few weeks and see if there's a difference in the way you feel. It can be hard to go cold turkey, so taper off your intake a cup at a time until you're down to none.

5. Don't Be a Breakfast-Skipper

When people eat breakfast, they tend to have more consistent moods and are less likely to suffer food cravings later in the day.

6. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals

This will provide your body with a consistent supply of energy throughout the day and help you avoid feeling tired or overly hungry.

7. Don't Expect Alcohol to Help

Alcohol is not a healthy or effective way to relax or relieve stress. Though many people believe the opposite is true, alcohol is actually a depressant. And overdrinking only adds to the stress in your life.

SOURCES: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 1995, Supplement, Vol. 95, Number 9. Reproduction Nutrition Development, May-June 2004, Family Practice News, Aug. 1, 2004.

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