Wondering what has possibly gone wrong with your digestive system, especially because it’s been a while since you binged on junk food? Your state of mind could be the one to blame. According to a latest study performed by researchers at the Brigham Young University (BYU), stress could be as harmful for your gut as greasy junk food.
For the study, published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, the researchers looked at the mice’s gut microbiota —the group of bacteria that live in digestive tracts that some research has linked to our metabolic health.
A stress test was performed on the mice. Scientists discovered that the gut microbiome of female mice actually changed to resemble that of an obese mouse. This transition could point on the impact of stress on metabolism, just as diet. The same microbiome shift was not seen in male mice but they did become more anxious and less physically active, said the researchers.
Previous studies have also pointed that levels of the stress hormone cortisol correlated to a larger waist circumference and higher body mass index. Stress and anxiety are becoming synonymous to our daily lives. Stress does not only affect one’s peace of mind but could also play a role in promoting weight gain, especially around your mid-riff. Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta lists some suggestions which can come in handy to cut down on the bulge due to stress.
1. You have to monitor your eating habits and keep eating at regular intervals of time. As the sugar levels go down, the levels of cortisol go up. You must include high fibre foods, leafy vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Whole grains have a very positive impact in maintaining satiety. Also, remember to have enough proteins. Most of our Indian meals are high on carbohydrates, which may make you lose out on the adequate protein intake.
2. Make sure to load up on vitamin C. It is known to boost the adrenal gland, which regulates the secretion of cortisol.
3. It is essential to be hydrated at all times. Have nimbu paani, chaas, nariyal paani, or just plain water, but make sure you keep yourself hydrated to prevent overeating because your body can confuse thirst with hunger.
4. Eight hours of good quality sleep is needed daily. People might argue that it is not essential, but sleep deprivation may aggravate stress and anxiety.
5. Learn to delegate your work. You cannot take care of everything alone. Therefore, fretting about it is only going to add to your stress. So stop, breathe, relax, and plan.