Chemical Stress and Health
Stress can be good or bad. Stressors can have positive or negative impact on cell function. They may be physical, chemical, and psychological. Good stress like exercise, or setting challenges builds stress resistance that is beneficial. Bad stress such as poor nutrition, anxiety and worry can become overwhelming and is considered chronic stress. Our focus today is on chemical stressors.
Chemical stressors on our body include alcohol, tobacco, drugs, environmental toxins, and food additives and preservatives. Food can either enhance or suppress the immune system. Most foods today contain additives and preservatives that tax the immune system. Excess grains, sugars, trans and hydrogenated fats, alcohol, caffeine, and salt weaken the stress response. Grains, sugar, and hydrogenated oils cause inflammation. Caffeine triggers the sympathetic nervous system. Salt increases blood pressure. Stress depletes the body’s essential nutrients.
Psychological stress only compounds the problem. Emotional stress can create poor eating habits like over/under eating, excessive dieting, and over consuming alcohol, caffeine, sugar, salt, and bad fat.
To combat chemical stress develop good habits around food:
· Eat real food, mostly plants.
· Avoid processed food.
· Avoid food with additives and preservatives.
· Don’t binge or eat late at night.
· Enjoy meals with friends and family.
We also have to consider other toxins in our environment. Air and water quality are compromised in many environments. We spend a lot of time indoors breathing recycled air and in traffic breathing exhaust. We drink and bath in polluted water, and wash our skin and home with harsh cleaning products. For green cleaning recipes check out http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/recipes/.