Taking care of your health will help you to cope with the stress that we all face from time to time... or all the time.
Although we can’t always control our external environment, we do get a say when it comes to our response – particularly to stress. And it’s our response that has the greatest impact on health.
When we experience a stressful situation, the “fight or flight” hormone (called cortisol) is released from the adrenal glands and travels to the blood stream, starting a cascade of reactions. Once the stressful situation has passed, cortisol also tells the body go back to its normal “peacetime” functioning.
It’s normal for your cortisol levels to fluctuate throughout the day, but when you are chronically stressed – even at a subtle level – your cortisol response can get stuck in the “on” position.
While we need cortisol to function, there are some significant drawbacks to having constant or excessive amounts:
Drawback #1: Inability to lose weight (or weight gain)
Cortisol triggers cravings and fat storage. You can eat the most pristine diet but if you are overweight and chronically stressed, weight loss will be inhibited by cortisol. When cortisol levels are high, the body actually resists weight loss. It’s getting the message “Hey, times are hard! Store fat, we might need it!”. This fat is usually stored around the abdomen which has more cortisol receptors than other areas of the body.
Drawback #2: Elevated blood sugar levels
When your body loses its sensitivity to insulin health condition such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity can often follow.
Drawback #3: Reduced brain function
Even low levels of stress impact brain tissue over time, which can result in decreased in cognitive function.
Drawback #4: Impaired immunity
Your immune system also takes a hit when you have high levels of cortisol streaming through your system. Cortisol triggers inflammation in the body which can lead to a host of serious health issues.
Feeling stressed? Fortunately we don’t have to look any further than your kitchen cupboards – there are many proactive steps you can take to stay healthy and happy.
Here are some things to watch out for:
And here are some nutrients you want:
We don’t live in a stress-free zen bubble. However, we can look at our food as fuel to get us through the challenges that life sometimes presents to us.
It’s never too late to create new habits and make new choices!
“Stress is an inside job” was written by Nutritionist & Orthomolecular Practitioner Tricia Pearson. Thanks for reading!
Tricia Pearson is a Certified Nutritionist specializing in cancer and diabetes. Check out Tricia's services and find out how to harvest the best of your health.
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