Stressed? Anxious? Feeling tired and a bit overwhelmed?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions than you might be a normal person in 2022. Life is complicated right now to say the least, but we’re marching on towards the promise of a better tomorrow. That’s a positive attitude to have — although putting that into practice can be pretty stressful.
Of course it’s easy to say, “now don’t stress,” or “don’t be anxious,” yet we know the truth is that for many of us, those reactions are chemically charged and not 100 percent under our control. A contributing factor to our stress that is under our control is the food we eat. Healthline provides some insight into how sugar may be helping to fuel stress and anxiety.
Stress and Immune Aging
Stress plays an important role in our lives. It’s our brains’ natural response to being overstimulated, and it can help keep us alert. But too much stress and anxiety can have a serious impact on our immune system.
There are two types of stress: physical and psychological. Heightened levels of both kind of stress can make it difficult for the T-cells in our immune system to defend against infection, making us weaker and more susceptible to getting sick.
The weaker our immune system, the more “older” it gets. We run the risk of having an older immune system that moves too slow to protect the rest of our bodies.
Sugar and Stress
Sugar, and its impact on the body, can elevate both types of stress. Sugar releases dopamine in our brain, so for the few seconds we consume it, we feel joy and happiness. However, that effect leaves our natural dopamine reserves empty, leaving us feeling sad and depressed, making it easier to feel more physiological stress than normal.
Physically, sugar can raise our blood pressure and add to our body weight. This puts more strain on our bodies, increasing physical levels of stress.
Managing the Sweet and the Sour
There is no permanent cure for stress and anxiety. The best thing we can do is manage the symptoms. One thing we can do is govern our sugar intake. Natural sugars, like in the recipes offered by Healthline, help satisfy our cravings, while avoiding all the negative health risks.
As always, moderation is key. Sometimes you just need some sugar, and when that’s the case, make sure not to overindulge and better manage stress in retirement.
Follow the Council for Retirement Security, and its blog, for updates on all things to help have a healthy, prosperous retirement.