Learn the impact to our bodies of everyday stress we're under and poor nutrition habits.

Why are nutrition and stress linked?

When our brains send us into the fight-flight state, it has a direct effect on our digestive system. Our bodies get the sensation of immediate danger, so they focus on taking care of vital organs, like the heart, to make sure we have the energy to get out of harm's way as quick as possible. This means we stop digesting food, our bodies don't get the vitamins and nutrients they need and we can't recover quickly. Some of our normal bodily functions needed to make this happen can shut down when we're stressed, making it harder to breakdown food.
  • Gastrointestinal tract freezes up – Stress slows down blood flow to our digestive organs – impacting our ability to digest food we've eaten and as a result, can cause a great deal of discomfort.
  • Stress alters the body's production of digestive juices – Starting in the mouth, stress can slow down saliva production, as well as important digestive juices and enzymes further down the digestive tract. These juices are necessary for coating and breaking down food to unlock its nutrition. On the flip side, an increase in stomach acid production is common, and can result in uncomfortable heartburn.
Under periods of chronic stress, the fight-flight state often lasts much longer, sometimes weeks or months. During this period, our bodies fail to get the nutrients they need, and we may experience many long and short term health issues.
  • Acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Unwanted weight gain
  • Undesired weight loss
  • Weakness/fatigue
The everyday stress we're under can also lead to poor nutrition habits – like making less healthy food choices, binge eating and comfort eating. It causes us to do things even when we're not eating that can lead to poor eating habits down the road, like a night out of drinking or relying on caffeine to get through a busy work day. This kind of behavior reduces our appetite and means we miss out on nutrients that give our bodies the energy to deal with stress and function well.

Learn more - how to make good nutrition easy

Resilience Toolbox

Carol Hester

An Oasis for the Soul

"Turning Point is free and it's priceless. If I have a freaky moment, I know I have the skills to stop and get my thoughts back on track. My life is so much more enjoyable. How do you attach a value to that?"