Stress causes physiological changes in your body like elevated heart rate, your blood pressure may rise, and blood is pumped away from your midsection, going to your arms, legs, and head for quick thinking, fighting, or fleeing.
Chronic stress results in chronic inflammation, which chronically elevates cortisol, which induces insulin resistance and belly fat accumulation.
The stress response also causes a number of detrimental events in your gut, including:
-Decreased nutrient absorption
-Less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism
-Decreased enzymatic output
The condition of your gut flora influences your immune response. If your gut flora is compromised you are more prone to cancer, autoimmune diseases and allergies.
Factors that can negatively influence your gut flora:
-A nutrient deficient diet of processed and fast foods
Being high in valuable probiotics and digestive enzymes makes Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) an ideal food to repopulate the gut with good flora.
Having been born and raised in Austria, sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice were one of my staple foods. But I have only recently become aware of its numerous health benefits. It is rich in vitamins C (apparently Captain James Cook reportedly took it on his sea voyages to prevent scurvy) as well as B2, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber. During the fermentation process vitamin B 12 and lactose acid bacteria are produced. This process continues in the digestive system, killing germs, improving digestion and strengthening intestinal walls. Lactic acid is a gentle laxative that helps the immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Eating sauerkraut can even help to prevent colon cancer (October 2002 issue of the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry).
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