This article outlines how stress can affect health. The article points out that stress can:
-Impact your brain: the more often your brain undergoes stress the less ability you have to control how the stress affects you.
-Impact gut bacteria: your digestive tract is full of good bacteria that help fight off sickness and digest foods. Stress can alter the environment of the tract, causing death of some of the good stuff!
-Lead to inflammation: inflammation of your cells is often how the body protects against diseases and intruders. However, sustained high inflammation due to stress can lead to issues with insulin resistance and plaque buildup in arteries.
AND THE BIG ONE
-Make you want junk food: stress can amplify the activation in certain brain areas, which make us motivated to consume calorically-dense food. Thus we look for foods to meet that need, typically high sugar/high fat foods.
This information reminds us how important our mental health is and how vital it is that we find ways to de-stress.
What is your favorite way to relax when feeling stressed?