Foods to Decrease the Stress of Family Caregiving

December 2, 2016

Elderly Care in Suffolk NY

Stress can sometimes get the best of you. People have always led busy lives; however, as a family caregiver, you have most likely doubled your workload in a short period of time. It’s important to remember that, though caring for your loved one is your top priority, caring for yourself must fall in the same category. “You can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself.”—Mary

Stress and Diet

Why do people tend to reach for chips or chocolate when stress levels increase? Stress releases certain hormones in the body called glucocorticoids. These types of hormones cause cravings for high-sugar and high-fat foods. Knowing that your craving for junk food stems from a physiological reaction to stress can help you make better choices.

Healthy Stress Reduction Tips

Now, instead of reaching for the gallon of chocolate chip ice cream, you can slip on your tennis shoes and head out into nature for a walk or a run. Both exercise and nature have been shown to counteract the effects of stress. If your parent needs constant care and you’re unable to spontaneously slip out for 30 minutes, consider the importance of scheduling time for exercise into your caregiving routine. Obtain the services of an elderly care provider or ask family and friends to help out. It’s important to make it a priority.

Food to Reach For

Specific foods are known to counteract stress due to their ability to produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin. Some foods that have this ability include spinach which is very high in folate. Turkey is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid the body converts into serotonin. Blueberries and blackberries are high in the antioxidant anthocyanin which helps the body produce dopamine. Anxiety and depression have also been linked to unhealthy floral in the intestines. To counter this, include yogurt that is rich in live probiotics such as lactobacillus. Be sure that it has no sugar.

Elderly Care Providers

You’re eating the right food and exercising and still feel the effects of stress. If you find yourself worrying and anxious, unable to concentrate and irritable, consider these the first warning signs that stress has gotten the best of you. Realize you may need to take a few days off, maybe even a few days off each week, in order to bring balance back into your life. Knowing an elderly care provider is watching over your parent can give you the peace of mind you need so that you can take time to rejuvenate without worries or cares.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Suffolk, NY, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899.  Call today!


Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Director of Client Services at Star One Home Care
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA is Director of Client Services & Director of Phoenix Nurse Aide Training Center. Before assuming the post in 2012, Patricia was the Director or Nursing & Service Delivery at WRC for 3 years where she was the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.

Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

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