0 Comments / Posted by Sherry Brescia

Most people are very well aware that chronic, ongoing stress is not a good thing. 

But unfortunately, it turns out that it’s even more harmful than we originally thought. 

Here’s what I mean:

Stress—the ultimate destroyer

Stress takes its toll on you in several ways—here are four of the most significant:

1- Inflammation

Stress can trigger inflammation, which is a leading factor behind many chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, arthritis, back pain, premature aging, and our top two killers--heart disease and cancer.

2- Elevated cortisol

When you are under stress, your adrenal glands produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol.  Adrenaline increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and carbohydrate metabolism, and cortisol directs energy to your brain and muscles.

Once the stress passes, your adrenaline level drops quickly, but cortisol remains high to refuel your body—and it does so by increasing your appetite.

If your stress is temporary and short-lived, this is fine, but the problem arises when you have chronic, ongoing stress because cortisol levels stay high.

This can cause you to "stress eat”—especially sugars and refined carbs—because the cortisol is repeatedly telling you to refuel. 

Plus elevated cortisol can lead to depressed immune function, low thyroid function and problems with blood sugar control (increasing your risk of Type 2 diabetes).

3- Gastritis

Chronic stress can also lead to an inflammation of the stomach called gastritis.

Its symptoms are similar to acid reflux and can include heartburn, bloating, nausea, vomiting, dark stools and poor digestion.

4- Gut problems and impaired immune function

Stress causes harmful changes to your friendly gut flora, which in turn weakens your immune functioning.

It also causes your gut to become hypersensitive, which can trigger food allergies and sensitivities.

In addition, stress causes the protective barrier inside your intestines to become less effective at defending your body against dangerous bacteria and pathogens.

So you are much more susceptible to viruses, infections and food-borne illness when under chronic stress.

But wait! There’s more!

Normally, having a healthy nutritious diet can go a long way in shielding you against the harmful effects of inflammation. 

But lo and behold, recent studies have shown that stress can even undo the protective effects of a healthy diet!

This is because stress leads to decreased nutrient absorption, decreased oxygen and blood flow to your GI tract, and reduced digestive enzyme output.

So when you’re stressed, even if you’re eating the best foods in the world, your body is not digesting and receiving the nutrients it so desperately needs…and this opens the door for inflammation to go on the warpath inside of you.

How to fight back

First and foremost, it's important to reduce and eliminate as much stress from your life as you can.  Regular exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, counseling, prayer, acupuncture and even adopting a pet can help. 

And if your job or a relationship is a source of constant stress, well, it may be time for a major change.  Do what you need to do—your health and life are worth it!

But stress will inevitably rear its ugly head from time to time, so it's also essential to give your body the support it needs:

Get enough sleep

Make sure you are getting at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.  Proper rest is crucial for your mind and body to regenerate. 

Even if you’re very stressed out and can’t fall asleep right away, just lying in your bed in a dark room is helpful and encourages melatonin production.

Support sound digestion

Efficient digestion is vital for proper nutrient absorption and can help eradicate the symptoms of stress-induced gastritis and other GI problems. 

Make your meals easier on your system by avoiding the combination of animal proteins (like meat) and starches (like potatoes, rice or pasta) in the same meal.  Instead pair meats OR starches with vegetables and tossed salads. 

I guarantee you’ll be shocked at the difference in your digestion.

If you need more guidance on smart food combining, check out my Great Taste No Pain health system.

Support your friendly gut flora

Stress takes a tremendous toll on your gut microbes, so it’s essential to help repopulate your supply of beneficial, illness-fighting bacteria with a top-quality, full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield.

Also, incorporate fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha into your diet. 

Counteract inflammation with Nature’s anti-inflammatory

One of the best ways to keep inflammation low is to embrace the power of Nature’s own anti-inflammatory—Omega-3 essential fatty acids!

In addition to eating fatty fish like salmon, an outstanding fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can provide a therapeutic dose of these crucial nutrients.

Don’t let stress take a toll on your health for one minute longer. 

Fight back and help create a healthier you!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

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