Teenagers take note! Bottling up your emotions and causes for stress may take a severe toll on your health, which can further affect your immunity too, says a new study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. The study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in the US set out to explore whether the strategies adopted by adolescents to deal with chronic stress caused by families affected various metabolic and immune processes in the body.
The findings revealed that teenagers who suppressed emotions tended to have more inflammation when their immune cells were exposed to a bacterial stimulus in the lab, even in the presence of anti-inflammatory signals.On the other hand, teens who tried to think of the stressor in a more positive way had better metabolic measures, like blood pressure and waist-to-hip ratio.
"The results could lend support to the idea that reappraising a situation during times of stress could be beneficial," said Emily Jones, graduate student in biobehavioural health at Penn State.
"For a mild stressor, this could be as simple as reframing a bad situation by thinking about it as a challenge or an opportunity for growth," she added.
The study examined 261 adolescents aged between 13 and 16. The researchers believe that the findings may prove instrumental for therapists to work better with children and adolescents who live in stressful environments.
"These changes are not something that will detrimentally impact anyone's health within a week or two, but that over years or decades could make a difference," said Hannah Schreier, Assistant Professor from the varsity.
"That may be how small changes in metabolic or inflammatory outcomes may become associated with poorer health or a greater chance of developing a chronic disease later in life." Schreier said.
Eating well, getting a good sleep and indulging in some form of physical activity may help combat stress naturally. Here are some foods that are known to combat stress naturally, that you could include in your diet too!
Berries like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which could help bring down stress naturally.
Bananas are packed with tryptophan an amino acid that converts into serotonin. This compound has soothing effects on your brain. Bananas are rich in vitamin C, and antioxidant that is known to help repair cell damage caused due to stress.
Coconut is packed with medium chain which helps keep you energized and lively. The scent of the coconut is also known to reduce anxiety and slow down fast heart rate.
Oatmeal is a serotonin enhancer, also known as the happiness hormone. A bowl of oats in the morning topped with fresh fruits is a good way to keep stress at bay.
Add these foods to your diet and see the effects yourself. Make sure you ask your doctor before making any major alteration to your diet.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
(With inputs IANS)