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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Stress and Nutrition

1.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the relationship between food and emotions; to explain the stress response; to discuss the effects of stress on nutrition and health; to define mindful eating and methods of eating mindfully; and to examine elements of nutrition that support a healthy immune system.
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Most individuals enjoy sitting down and eating a delicious meal. Food provides an opportunity to socialize and, if the food is nutritious, it also supports a healthy body and mind. However, when individuals are stressed, they are not able to utilize the nutrients they eat as effectively as when they are relaxed. If stress causes an individual to eat food that is not nutritious, health issues can result. Nutrition, stress, and the immune system are closely related.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the relationship between food and emotions.
  • Describe the domino theory as it relates to nutrition and stress.
  • Discuss the effects of stress on digestion, metabolism, and health.
  • List the three steps and seven skills of mindful eating.
  • Describe aspects of nutrition and eating that support a healthy immune system.

Many individuals take great pleasure in sitting down to a good meal. Food provides many nutrients, but food also provides emotional joy. Eating “comfort food” (eating to relax or satisfy other emotional needs) is a popular way to relieve stress. Indeed, nutrition and stress are inextricably linked.

In the United States, the quantity of available food is the envy of the world. Yet our food quality is not as admirable given the amount of processed, high-sugar food we eat—food that also contains herbicides, pesticides, hormones, additives, antibiotics and other less-than-healthy elements. These toxins become stored in the body (“bioaccumulate”) and compromise/stress the immune system, leading to a host of health-related problems. When emotional stress is also present, any health-related problems are magnified (Seaward, 2012). In addition, many Americans rush through their meals; drive through fast food restaurants on their way to or from work; buy prepackaged, processed meals because they are too busy to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals; and do not eat in a mindful way.

Nutrition, or more accurately food, serves as a pacifier for most of us. It is a stress reliever and social activity. For example, when they gather for family reunions, individuals eat and often drink more than they normally would. They eat when they are frightened (think about how many people eat popcorn in a movie theater watching a scary movie), they eat out of boredom, and they eat to calm their nerves. Eating has become more than a means of physical survival. It is a popular relaxation technique. Yet, for many people, eating as a coping technique is often abused. “Food and mood go together like peanut butter and jelly” (Seaward, 2012, p. 523).

Nutrition, stress, and the immune system are also closely related. The stress response causes individuals to eat less-than-optimal food, and poor food choices stress the body. This cycle can lead to health issues ranging from mild (such as more colds or allergies) to severe (heart disease and cancer).

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Occupational Therapy Process

Course Expires:

October 07, 2019

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.