The reason why I can’t keep my Instagram only about food is because I believe that there is something else that is really important for physical health. And that something else is mental health. As you know, stress stimulates the release of cortisol, which puts your body into a ‘flight or fight’ state. This state is vital for us if we need to run away from perceived threat, compete in a sport, or dodge a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, these days, we are swamped in stress provoking situations and therefore the concentration of cortisol in our bodies is way higher than what it should be.  Cortisol regulates a wide range of mechanisms in the body and thus sustained elevated cortisol levels contribute to:

  • Weight gain
  • Swelling
  • Acne/bad skin
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Poor digestion and therefore absorption of food
  • High blood pressure
  • Compromised immune system
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Decrease in muscle mass
  • Blood sugar imbalance
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased libido
  • Mental disorders/illnesses
  • Lack of mental clarity

…and many more things, but the bottom line is that elevated Cortisol can mess up your health. Consequently, if your confused why you’re not seeing any positive changes from eating healthier than you might want to ask yourself how your mental health is doing. This applies to the diets some people adapt to combat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and IBS: if you have negative emotions pumping through you daily then eat whatever you want but you will still struggle to achieve your health goals.

Optimal health is non-existent (just like perfection isn’t) but good health is within our reach as long as we understand that it is so much more than our diet.