According to a new study, people who experience stressful situations are deprived of all the benefits of healthy eating. This means that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just include a balanced meal and regular workouts, but also a stress-free environment.
Balance Between Healthy Meals and a Stress-Free Environment
A team or researchers from the Ohio State University found that people who regularly and consciously eat nutritious morning meals lose all of the benefits of their breakfasts if they are exposed to stressful situations.
The paper details that the effects of stress on the body include a predisposition to heart diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and even diabetes.
Stressful Situations Are the Cause of Inflammation
Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the lead author of the study, declared that inflammation is currently being associated with a number of diseases that are specific to old age.
The sample of volunteers was made up out of women over the age of 53. Their diets were diverse, ranging from diets rich in saturated fats to diets rich in non-saturated fats.
In order to obtain relevant results, all of the women were given the same breakfast; all the while-while being asked about the way in which they spent the day before, the focus being on the amount of stress they had to endure.
A stressful day was one in which the participant was exposed to an amount of stress large enough to have a physiological impact.
According to the results of the study, the women who had a stress-free day before being given the healthy breakfast were healthier than those who were exposed to large amounts of stress.
The difference in health was measured by taking the participants’ blood before and after eating the nutritious breakfast.
The women who were not exposed to stressful situations assimilated the nutrients from their morning meal better than those who had to deal with stress.
The scientists declared that were not able to prove if
“a bad reaction to stress overwhelms the potential benefits of a healthy meal, or if it could be that the stress itself alters the body’s processing of the meal.”
The paper can be consulted in the Nature online journal.
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