Overfed & Undernourished - Part 2
Last time I spoke of how we are eating more and getting less. Today I'll share how this and our increasing stress leads to disease, ill-health, and weight gain.
With the busy lives we lead, how many of us can say we don’t suffer from some sort of stress daily, which leads to less sleep, more eating and less nourishing, correct?
This combination of unhealthy habits not only leads to mental and emotional issues, it can cause physical damage in the form of disease, ill-health, weight gain and even obesity.
A little or a lot
Our bodies are equipped to deal with a little stress, and a little stress can actually be good for us. This is our bodies way of responding to harmful situations, such as acute illness (e.g. cold, flu) cuts, burns, etc.
A chemical reaction occurs when your body is exposed to any of these real or perceived stressors as a means of protection and to prevent injury, it is what we know as “fight or flight”.
Fight or flight is our way of survival and back in the cave man days, literally this mechanism would kick in when our ancestors were in "real" or "perceived" danger and threatened by things such as sabre tooth tigers or extreme weather.
Sabre Tooth Tiger
Nowadays, our sabre tooth tiger, whether real or perceived is in the form of work, busy schedules and not taking care of ourselves, which causes way too much stress. And of course too much stress is not good for our body, mind or spirit. (Click the link above for an in-depth article on just how it affects us this way).
The short and sweet version is this: Stress can generate many symptoms and disease, mediated by changes in immune function, hormonal response, and biochemical reactions, which then influences body functions in the GI tract, and the cardiovascular, neurological or muscular system.
Basically this means long-term stress can lead to depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalance, skin and GI problems, and of course OBESITY, just to name a few.
Too much Stress
I could go into a lot greater detail about how stress affects our bodies, but hopefully you understand the connection, and that we need to learn how to control our stress rather than let it feed our ill-health and our waist line.
Just think about this for moment:
3 of the most prevalent and chronic diseases in North America are Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer, not only do they cause 2 out of 3 deaths, they are highly preventable.
5 golden rules to preventing chronic disease: I realize that nonE of these are probably new to any of you.
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight (BMI between 19-24)
- Eat whole foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce sugar and fatty food consumption
By not feeding your body the right nutrients, or even worse, feeding it the wrong foods, like sugar, unhealthy fats, processed and pre-packaged foods can lead to these and other chronic diseases, illness and obesity.
As I stated before, your body requires certain nutrients to perform optimally, we are all unique, so by learning to listen to and understand the relationship between your body and it’s connection with whole foods, you will not only look and feel better, but will live a healthier life.
This is just one of the ways that we can begin to reduce the amount of stress. Make sure you look out for Part 3 of Overfed and Undernourished, and I'll go even more in-depth on how to begin to take steps towards living a healthier lifestyle.
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