A Gold Coast mum is on a mission to help females manage stress more effectively.
As part of her PhD with the University of Adelaide, local Delia McCabe is invesitgating the role nutrition plays on female stress.”I decided to start my PhD last year when I started feeling like a super stressed wife and mother,” Delia told myGC.
“My research is an investigation into whether there is an association between specific nutrients and the level of stress that women experience. If there are nutrients that can help us manage stress more effectively, I want to share this with women who can benefit and help improve the quality of all our lives.”
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Delia said told myGC she chose to focus on women in her research project as they are more likely to experience depression due to ongoing or chronic stress. “Compared to men, women are 50% more susceptible to depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias and insomnia,” she said.
“To add insult to injury, when females are stressed we crave processed foods, containing fats and sugar, or salt, that offer a quick energy and pleasure ‘hit’ to the brain, leading to weight gain and increased blood sugar ups and down, leading to further mood swings and anxiety.
“Our busy, complex lives are not going to suddenly calm down and change – we need to find ways to manage our stress more effectively so that we can enjoy the quality of life that we deserve with the effort we put in.”
To get the ball rolling on her project, Delia is on the lookout for local women to fill-out a short online questionnaire. “I need 150 women to fill in three surveys each – they are all online surveys with links that I send to them via email addresses. I want to know whether they feel stressed or not, what supplements (if any) they take and what a general daily food intake looks like for them,” she said. “The data will be anonymous so everyone’s privacy is protected.
“I am interested in the experiences of women on the Gold Coast because this is where I live. This is where I see women rushing, working, parenting, shopping, being active, multi-tasking and performing all the roles that can exhaust us. Although this happens all over the world, this is my home, where my friends and I live, and so it feels more personal to me,” she said.
Gold Coast women wanting to participate in the study or find out more information are encouraged to visit the project’s Facebook page – fb.com/FemaleStressandNutrition/ – and send a private message to Delia.