Stress has been highlighted as a precursor to many illnesses. Feeling stressed out? Leading chef, Cassandra Austin tells us why stress is killing you.
Did you know too much adrenalin upsets the livers cortisol which can lead to sickness, potential weight gain and a foggy mind?
So what causes high levels of adrenalin and therefore cortisol?
Poor Diet Eating too many carbs can disrupt cortisol and some corticosteroids (a blood pressure-stabilising hormone);
The immune response in your gut is controlled by cortisol. Hence, if you’re stressed, the immune response in your gut suffers, the gut tissue becomes damaged, and good bacteria give way to bad bacteria, causing immune weakening;
Unresolved emotional stress such as worry, anger, guilt, anxiety, fear and depression are all to blame. Do not under estimate the power of getting your head straight, it doesn’t matter how much good food, R&R and exercise you do. If your heads not straight you won’t be either.
Environmental and physical stress such as excessive exercise, exposure to industrial and environmental toxins, chronic or severe allergies;
Overwork, either physical or mental, surgery, late hours, insufficient sleep;
Trauma, injury, temperature extremes, chronic illness, light cycle disruption (shift work) and chronic pain;
Inflammation in your body – Inflammation has been scientifically connected to almost every disease you can think of, from diabetes to cancer, and when chronic, it stresses your system, including your adrenals;
The key hormones produced by the adrenals are adrenaline which fuels the bodies fight or flight response cortisol , a relative of the drugs prednisone and cortisone; DHEA. The ongoing balance between cortisol and DHEA is especially important for creating health daily.
Cortisol in the right amounts enhances your body’s natural resistance and endurance. Cortisol stimulates the liver to convert amino acids into glucose, a primary fuel for energy production. It counters allergies and inflammation, helps regulate mood and maintain emotional stability and stimulates increased production of glycogen in the liver for storage of glucose. Cortisol, again in the right amounts, maintains resistance to the stress of infections, physical trauma, emotional trauma, temperature extremes and so on.
So what can I do to enhance the right balance?
Through foods such as regularly eating or drinking fermented foods or beverages, which dramatically increases the beneficial bacteria in your body, kefir, kombucha tea, miso and kimchee are all good examples (which automatically will help decrease pathogenic bacteria);
Eat a diet low in sugars and carbs, that will for healthy gut flora;
Stress less. Read the factors above and whether the stress causes on the body are emotional or physical their all “baddies”, wellness means a healthy balance of many ailments for a balanced body resulting in health and feeling good.
(Dendrites are an important part of nerve cells. The dendrites are responsible for picking up information from neighbouring neurons, so happy thoughts create healthy bodies).
Reduce inflammation through our foods there are many that counter inflammation such as Asparagus, Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cayenne pepper, Celery, Cherries, Cinnamon, Citrus, Dark chocolate, Dark green veggies, Fresh soy beans, Fish, Flaxseed oil, Flax seeds, Garlic, Ginger, Lean meat, Olive Oil, Omega 3 enriched eggs, Onion, Pineapple, Pomegranates, Salmon, Soy, Green and White Tea, Turmeric, Walnuts and Whole Wheat.
Another helper of inflammation is grounding or earthing, which requires nothing more than taking off your shoes and walking barefoot outside on the beach is fantastic if you are near, it helps dissipate inflammation due to potent anti-inflammatory action.
Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism Many alternative doctors feel the conventional reference ranges are far too broad, and choose to treat people exhibiting sub-clinical thyroid symptoms, it’s your choice conventional medicine or non, it’s a case of horses for courses, don’t discount peri menopause as an underlying reason, I recommend getting your hormones checked via a blood test if you think this is you.
With so many ‘how go’s’ and ‘how not to’s’ these days I think it’s important to feel your way; listen to your gut instincts in your plight to follow your passion and remember you can’t be good for everyone else unless you are good to yourself.
Do what makes you feel ‘absolutely fabulous’.
Cassandra Austin x
Accomplished Chef, Consultant, Recipe developer, Food & Wellness Coach, branched into Diet, Nutrition & Food Psychology, I support women who want sustainable change with a healthy diet and an absolutely fabulous life. Success came at a cost to my mental and physical health, after years of ignoring I found ways to reverse the damage, we all have unique requirements for wellness. Eat, Drink, Laugh, Love, Live your way to balanced wellness.