COLUMBUS, Ga. – A new study finds that stress in women offsets the benefits of eating healthy. It found a powerful link between their food and their stress levels the previous day.
Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center fed 58 women 2 different meals.
“One was a meal that was high in saturated fat, another was high oleic sunflower oil, that’s a healthier oil, obviously, than saturated fat,”said Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the lead researcher on the project.
After women ate the meal with saturated fat, blood tests showed their inflammation levels were higher. After the healthier meal, they were lower. Then researchers added stress into the equation.
In this study healthier types of fat had no benefit for women who were stressed. Their inflammation markers remained elevated.
“If we can’t resolve the stress and the stress physical response, then that’s what takes a toll on our health and can lead to increased risk for chronic diseases that are associated with chronic stress,” said Dr. Martha Belury of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
One way to reduce stress. Exercise. Carlos Moffett is a certified personal trainer in Columbus.
He says exercise is important because it releases endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has other tips to reduce stress:
- Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
- Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
- Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.