New research reported on by NPR’s blog “the salt” indicates that while healthy eating is beneficial, stress can essentially cancel out all of those benefits. The study examined women who ate different types of diets each day and reported their levels of stress. One meal was a highly saturated fat meal and the other was plant based. Researchers studied the women’s bodies and how they responded in inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by an array of foods, but is especially consequential of foods with high amounts of saturated fat. Without the presence of stress, women’s inflammation went down when they ate the plant based meal and went up when they ate the high saturated fat one. However, when women were stressed and ate the healthy meal, the reading on her body revealed inflammation almost identical to eating the meal high in saturated fat. Stress, more than food choice, increased inflammation. Despite the anti-inflammatory meal, the women’s body still responded to inflammation because of the stress. Notably, the stress women were reporting on wasn’t drastic. Instead, it was the everyday stress of life which is due to come up.
Worryingly, as stress can be a daily occurrence, even with a healthy diet, it can still do damage to the body. Stress can decrease the body’s response time to trauma or wounds, taking longer to heal, the article points out.
Diet and exercise are the not-so-secret recipe for good health. Though the study found that diet might have little influence over stress, exercise has been proven tenfold to do so. In addition to diet and exercise, frequent social interaction is recommended to combat stress. Isolation can cause depression which can slow the metabolism as well as reduce energy, willingness, and motivation. Continuing to eat a healthy diet while incorporating enjoyable exercise and social activities will help combat the harmful side effects of stress while greatly enhancing overall wellbeing.
Enlightened Solutions offers a completely organic diet as well as educational sessions on nutrition, cooking skills, and stress management- all as part of our integrative programming for treating addiction and dual-diagnosis disorders. We believe in the healing power of living a holistically healthy lifestyle. Changing lives from the inside out, Enlightened Solutions offers men and women a compassionate, comfortable, caring environment for healing. For more information call 833-801-5483.