BEAT STRESS! WHAT TO EAT TO STAY CALM
These foods help improve your mood via your gut
Being busy and having responsibilities and goals can be stimulating and positive — but when stress accumulates and isn’t managed well, it can affect your mental and physical health. Finding ways to understand and manage your stress proactively and constructively are the keys to you learning how to thrive under pressure.
Your body under stress
When you’re stressed, your body responds in a variety of ways. First, your muscles tense up. This reflex is designed to protect you against injury or pain. When stress hormones — adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol — are released, you breathe harder, your heart rate increases and your blood vessels dilate.
Stress triggers a part of the brain called the hypothalamus to signal the nervous system and pituitary gland to release cortisol and another hormone, epinephrine. The result is that your liver produces more glucose. This glucose is to give you extra energy to get away from a worrying situation quickly. It’s released as part of our instinctual ‘fight or flight’ response to danger.
Stress can also affect your digestion, causing diarrhoea, constipation, and changes in which nutrients are absorbed by your intestine. Some people under stress experience changes of appetite, eating more or less than usual.
If it's not managed, chronic stress can be a drain on your body. It can increase your risk of hypertension, heart disease and stroke, and cause erectile dysfunction and impotence in men, and irregular or absent menstrual cycles in women.