Stress is something we all have from time to time. A little bit of stress can be good for us. Test our resolve, appreciate the pieceful times and all that. Saying that its something we all have far too much of these days. Everything from too much artificial light, not enough sunlight and even Gina from work giving you that thing to do last moment.. Bloody Gina.
What is the route of stress?
Scientifically, stress is a disturbance in your bodies homeostasis, which is the stable equilibrium of all of your bodies physiological processes, from oxygen content in your blood to gene regulation in your cells. Stress on your body can be anything from sun exposure to overexercising. To be able to handle this stress, your body releases a small toxin which will trigger different repair mechanisms, the most common one involved in stress being cortisol.
What does cortisol do to your body
When your body is exposed to stress, your hypothalamus releases a hormone CRH which binds to your pituitary gland, stimulating the producing of ACTH. This hormone will then travel into your bloodstream, and bind onto your adrenal glands, which promotes an increase in cortisol production. When this is increased, it stimulates your body into a state of fight or flight, therefore shutting down your non-essential bodily functions. These include functions like metabolism, immunity and reproduction, so for your body to be in this state for too long can be really detrimental. Increase in cortisol will also increase your heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, respiration and muscle tension.
A big issue with stress is how much it affects your reproductive system, especially as a female. Cortisol will inhibit the production of GnRH which suppresses ovulation in females and sexual activity, thus dropping your fertility.
Thats the science bit. Lets get into the actionable hacks you can implement to control your stress.
In a nutshell you want to avoid things that lead to inflammation.
Thus the best diet to reduce chronic stress and inflammation requires nutrient-dense food that have anti-inflammatory properties. It is best to avoid processed foods, trans fats and caffeine amongst other things as they will elevate cortisol levels.
Heres our list of the best foods to Destress your life.