A nutrient-rich diet is essential in achieving good health and keeping stress in check. Some foods and drinks are powerful stimulants and hence cause stress in the body. Overstimulation can make the liver work overtime, disturb blood sugar levels and tax the body in the long-term.

Avoid the following stress-inducing foods, or eat them in moderation, to keep the body on the right path.

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, some teas, chocolate and sugary sodas. Caffeine activates the adrenal glands and causes the body to release the stress hormone adrenaline. Stress hormones interfere with the body’s metabolism, causing weight gain.

Alcohol, which many people use to relax and combat stress, actually causes stress in the body by releasing adrenaline. Drinking alcohol can increase nervous tension, irritability and insomnia. Excess alcohol also stresses the liver, hindering it from adequately filtering toxins from the body.

Sugar gives the body a short-term boost of energy, but in the process, exhausts the adrenal glands. Too much sugar intake can cause irritability, poor concentration and depression.

Salt increases the blood pressure and can cause emotional instability.

Fatty foods such as saturated fats in animal products, dairy, fried foods and junk foods put unnecessary stress on the cardiovascular system.

Red meat elevates the level of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, causing increased levels of anxiety and stress.

Dairy products and cow’s milk can cause allergic responses in the body due to proteins that are difficult for humans to digest.

Processed foods such as white bread and flour stress the body by making digestion difficult.

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