Th­ese foods help im­prove your mood via your gut

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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