by Ami Kunimura, MA, MT-BC   •   February 2020 

What to Eat and What Not To Eat When You’re Stressed


One of the gifts I got my husband for Christmas last year was a bar of dark chocolate with sea salt. A few weeks later, I started a new semester in my PhD program and got back to work and – I ate his entire chocolate bar by myself. These kinds of things happen sometimes.

Stress and eating can go hand in hand. Food can be used to cope with stress and some food can also cause stress on the body. However, other foods can be healing and decrease the body’s stress response.

I’m not here to tell you not to eat when you’re stressed, but to instead consider what foods might help your body rather than make the stress worse.

In this 13-minute video, I cover three ways that diet and nutrition can support stress management. This includes info on specific foods that can help the body recover from stress and specific foods that can put additional stress on your body.


When it comes to diet, it’s not necessary to aim for perfection. Instead, aim for progress over time. Making one small healthy change at a time can be enough. See if this video can give you an idea for just one thing you can focus on this week.

Food and eating can be sensitive topics that leave lots of room for criticism and guilt. Go easy on yourself and give yourself space to learn about what’s best for you.

Remember, when it comes to diet and nutrition, honor your own needs and sensitivities and seek professional advice when needed.


Ami Kunimura, MA, MT-BC is the founder of the Self-Care Institute and the creator and facilitator of Resilience Over Burnout: A Self-Care Program, an in-depth online program that guides professionals out of burnout and stress cycles through research-based self-care practices. Ami has presented on self-care and professional burnout at international events and conferences. Ami (pronounced ah-me) was born in Hawaii and currently lives in Southern California.



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