What to eat when you’re stressed out

Scott Keatley, RD, contributes to the article by explaining the relationship between stress and stomach pain, a condition he refers to as functional abdominal pain. This pain is tied to the gut-brain axis, where stress activates the fight-or-flight response, causing the release of cortisol which can alter gastrointestinal motility and blood flow, leading to various symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, and nausea, among others. Keatley also discusses how chronic stress can disrupt gut flora, further aggravating stomach issues. He notes that stress may increase gut sensitivity to inflammation, thus intensifying pain perception. Although there isn't a specific diet that universally alleviates stress-induced stomach pain, Keatley mentions that certain foods can be beneficial, including high-fiber fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids.