We will all experience stress to some degree through our lives, some more than others. We have developed various coping strategies to deal with stress, some effective, some less so. Some of us exercise, while others listen to music. Some people like to take time out for a hobby, or to play with their children. We have to accept that stress is all around us, in our work lives, at home, in our relationships. Some people are innately and genetically better at dealing with stress. Others can teach and train themselves to handle stress more efficiently, what most people don’t realise is the right food choices can dramatically assist the body in better handling stress.
Therefore, we have more control over stress than we might realise; that’s good news!!
We have total control over what we put in our bodies, typically when people are stressed they make bad nutritional choices such as caffeine, alcohol and fast foods. Every cell in the body needs good nutrition to work optimally; stress depletes the body of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It can degrade digestive function and slows the metabolism resulting in you feeling more tried, irritable and angry. Very quickly we can see a vicious circle beginning where we make poor choices which will compound our ability to deal with the stressful situation in the first place.
The hormonal chaos prolonged stress causes can increase your risk of blood sugar problems, high blood pressure, fatigue and weight gain. A well-balanced diet is crucial in combating stress. Stay away from the usual culprit’s caffeine, alcohol, salty foods, fatty foods, sugar, refined and processed foods.
When the body is under stress, it has been proven that he body uses up its resources until they are bare.
The following are the main nutrients that he body will use up under stress:
- B vitamins: These help the body cope with stress (build your metabolism) and control the whole nervous system
- Proteins: Assist in growth and tissue repair
- A vitamins: Essential for normal vision
- C vitamins: Protection of the immune system (antioxidants, diabetes protection etc.). Lowers the amount of cortisol in your body (Stress hormone
- Magnesium: Needed for a variety of tasks such as muscle relaxation, fatty acid formation, making new cells and heartbeat regulation.
Let’s take a look at some stress reducing foods:
Celery– contains nutrients that clam, including niacinimide. It’s an old folk recipe to lower blood pressure.
Sunflower seeds – rich source of potassium, B Vitamins and zinc which play a critical role in the health of the adrenal glands.
Brown rice is a slowly absorbed carbohydrate that can help trigger the release of the body’s feel good chemicals
Cabbage is a good stress busting source of the antioxidants vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene and mineral selenium
Berries – are rich in magnesium and vitamin C. Insufficient vitamin C can weaken your immune system and make you feel generally stressed and run down.
Read more stress busting foods in – “You are what you eat” by Dr Gillian McKeith
I personally used to juice for 8 years after learning just how important a good diet rich in fruits and vegetables is to keep us performing at our top-level. The effects of stress on the body should not be underestimated, I was very fortunate to be introduced to a whole food nutrition supplement which is the essence of 26 fruits, vegetables and berries which I take every day; I have said goodbye to time consuming, messy juicing! For more information visit www.energisejuiceplus.com
Simple steps to much less Stress
I also recommend you take a look at this book by Ann Peckham “Simple steps to much less stress”. A wonderful book full of easy to implement strategies to combat stress. Anne has transformed her own health, reducing her weight, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and all without dieting or medication. And is passionate about helping others to do the same!
Finding ways to reduce the level of stress in your life will open up reserves of energy and determination you may not know you had!