While we are learning more about nutrition, it is important to balance stress each day as a pathway to health. Chronic stress inhibits a person’s nutritional intake, thus increasing the demand for proper nutrition. The adrenals, kidneys, and nervous system all become tested under difficult circumstances, and chronic stress draws on these systems, which creates deficiencies as the body accounts for them.
During the day, it is important to take a moment to check in, breathe, and balance our emotions. When we allow time for reflection, we provide an opportunity for our nervous systems to pause so that we can return to equilibrium. Being out of balance not only affects our emotions, it also impacts the physiological processes that keep us well including digestion, immune function, circulation, and sleep.
Psychoneuroimmunology is a newer branch of medicine that examines the interactions between psychological states and the effects on the nervous system. A meta-analysis of studies helps put all of this information together and sheds light on the specific processes involved:
- Effects of stress are mediated through hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system
- Stress hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol are largely responsible for specific effects
- Acute stressors tend to strengthen the body’s innate immune response, but adaptive immunity and response speed are decreased
- Chronic stress (ongoing stress with no end in sight) across the board inhibits effective immune responses due to depletion of body resources
Natural Chefs and Nutrition Consultants are trained in allergy, immunity, and therapeutic meal planning, which, when in a healthy state of being, all contribute to balancing our bodies.
These are often more effective when we build practices of awareness into our schedules so that we can properly function as a whole; they can also add to our ability to sleep, rejuvenate, and heal.