Stress is foreign to the homeostasis of the human body and it reacts back to it by a physiological response to maintain the equilibrium lost. The term stress refers to various physical, emotional and physiological responses to stimuli. There are different ways people react to stress and one most vital one is eating. Stress eating is one of the biggest concerns as it hampers the metabolism of the person.
Stress response is a cascade of adaptive responses and expressed through two interacting pathways, first is the period of acute stress where adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones are released by a sympathetic adrenal medullary system. When you have a short term stress, it can decrease your appetite, the nervous system signals the adrenal gland to stop the kidney to supply epinephrine hormone which functions by triggering the body’s flight-or-fight response that can put eating on hold.
The second is the neuroendocrine system which releases hormones from a remote target gland. Stress triggers the release of the corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) from the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus which in turn triggers the synthesis of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary. ACTH consequently triggers the production of glucocorticoids (GCs) such as cortisol or corticosterone in the adrenal cortex. Long term stress leads to the release of hormones called cortisol by adrenal gland, cortisol increases appetite, and motivation to eat, and this can persist.
Insulin on the other hand works in contrast to glucocorticoids, it is secreted in proportion to weight, crosses the blood brain barrier and reduces the food intake, by acting on specific receptors on hypothalamus. Insulin works by dampening the ACTH and GC response to stress and helps in energy balance and storage.
The hunger hormone “ghrelin” is a predominant hormone for stress eating. During normal conditions, it stimulates the food intake and fat storage, it circulates in the bloodstream and acts on hypothalamus. Ghrelin during stress maybe play a role with the other GC hormones to induce overeating of “Comfort food” that is food of high sugar and fat content which then once ingested, they have a feedback effect of dampening the stress related responses and emotions, hence these are comfort food and this also contributes to people's stress induced cravings
Some foods that can help you coping up stress are,
· The B vitamins are necessary, when in stress the body tends to use B vitamins, but sugary foods and alcohol might drain these resources
· Comfort food in other terms can mean a bowl of warm oatmeal can help in inducing serotonin the calming hormone to combat stress
· Stress can cause high blood pressure- to reduce that taking avocados for potassium and guacamole made has high fat content, a great alternative during stress eating.
Carbohydrates also stimulate the brain to make more serotonin. For a feel good chemical, a complex carbohydrate diet like cereals, breads, pastas are good for slow digestion, low glycaemic index and also stabilizes blood sugar. Carbohydrates at night can release serotonin and help in better sleep, also for good less stress sleep, light meals like yogurt, fruits and glass of warm milk will help. Oranges, a provider of vitamin C, almonds, a provider of Vitamin E combat stress hormones by strengthening the immune system. Studies also say hormone levels come back to normal quickly when there is more Vitamin C
Crunchy vegetables can help ease stress like munching carrots or celery sticks helps to release a clenched jaw and helps to ward of tensions
All green leafy vegetables are a good source of magnesium, When there is less magnesium it might trigger headache and fatigue leading to stress,
Omega - 3 fatty acids found in fish and tuna prevent stress hormones and help in heart diseases.
Drinking green tea or black tea will help you recover quickly from stressful events because of its antioxidants and soothing properties
Overall, the latter point would be, the type of food we consume each day can play a role to maintain the proper homeostasis of an individual and eventually helps to bring down stress, lead a healthy, zestful life. However, while consuming the legit diet, start integrating organic food and food products into your daily routine food habit to ensure lesser exposure to pesticides and for the fall in risk of cancer and heart disease significantly.
To be continued.............
Treillis Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd