Getting into a heated argument at work or home does not only spoil your mood, it can have far more bad outcomes on your physical and mental well-being.
When you are angry or stressed your body reacts to it by activating the “fight-and-flight” stress response of your sympathetic nervous system, which leads to an increase in the cortisol levels.
This can make you feel irritated, distracted, impulsive and you might even start emotional eating.
Emotional eating or overindulging in unhealthy foods is common when you are angry. But this does not satisfy your physical need; it only helps to calm you mentally, which is certainly not a healthy practice.
We do not really think clearly when we are angry and for the same reason, we must refrain from performing many tasks in that temper; the list also includes eating our meal. Lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho, recently took to his Instagram handle and shared a video where he talked at length about the ill-effects of eating food when you are angry.
When we are upset,angry or anxious, it impacts our entire internal system. Luke says, “Our body is not designed to digest and absorb food when we are in stress.”
We have two nervous systems: Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous system. Both function differently. When we are angry, the sympathetic nervous system gets activated and as a result of this the digestion process shuts down.
Moreover, our blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol level increases. This makes it difficult for the body to digest the food and absorb the nutrients.
However, when we are calm our Parasympathetic nervous system works. The cortisol level and blood pressure decrease and our body starts digesting and absorbing foods easily.
The common complications
Luke said that eating while you are angry can lead to stomach related complications like bloating, acid reflux and diarrhea. The symptoms can be worse for people suffering from IBS and colitis.
“You don’t have the right kind of bacteria to break down the food you eat and even swallowing becomes difficult due to contraction of muscles. Our body will not be able to digest the food and absorb the nutrients,” he added.
Another reason to avoid it is because you are more prone to overeating. Our gut and brain communicate with each other all the time. But when we are angry, the communication is blocked. So, the brain does not get the signal from the gut when the stomach is full.
The third and most important reason is that our intestine barrier, which prevents the gut bacteria from entering the bloodstream gets weak. “Due to this, the bacteria enters the bloodstream and leads to various health complications like autoimmune conditions, diarrhea and colitis,” he explained.
What can you do
Eating your meal when you are angry is not good for anyone, especially for people suffering from stomach related complications.
If you are upset with something, take time to first calm down; relax for a while and take a few deep breaths. When you get normal then have your meal. Chew your food properly to avoid stomach-related issues.
Luke also advised not to perform any intense task after having your food. “When we eat our meal, our blood pressure spikes. This is why it is advised to relax after having your meal and avoid exercising and taking shower,” he said.