The stresses of modern life have conditioned the mind and body into states of chronic stress. When you perceive stress your body responds via your hormone glands, releasing two primary stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. These two hormones have a widespread impact on every system and organ in your body. Specifically they lead to an increase in blood sugar levels and a decrease in DHEA levels. This combined effect leads to muscle loss, fat gain, depression, anxiety and immune suppression.
In addition to developing your ability to cope with stress through targeted mind-body strategies, healthy nutrition plays a vital role in managing stress. Food and good nutrition provide much needed energy, vitamins and minerals to counter the negative effects of stress while offering a protective barrier for future stresses. Carbohydrate rich meals that include kale, collard greens, red pepper, carrot, spinach and broccoli can increase levels of serotonin, a brain chemical known to induce a feeling of calmness and reduce stress-induced depression.
Nutritional ways to relieve stress:
- Limit caffeine and alcohol: These substances may provide temporary relief but in the long term they significantly increase stress. Alcohol actually heightens feelings of depression.
- Eat 4-6 small meals daily: Stress interferes with digestion so smaller meals are digested better than the traditional 3 large ones.
- Eat more cantaloupe, ginger and garlic: These foods thin the blood while the stress response thickens the blood, leaving the body more susceptible to heart-attack or stroke.
- Decrease sugar: Sugar depletes chromium and depresses white blood cell action thereby decreasing the efficacy of your immune system.
- Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Chromium, Potassium, Zinc and Vitamin C are all lost during the stress response. Check your supplement program for sufficient amounts of these vitamins and minerals.
- Anti-stress teas are very effective remedies for combating stress: Especially recipes with chamomile, peppermint and ginger.
STRESS FREE TEA
4 ½ Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Lemon Balm Leaves
1 Tablespoon Peppermint Leaves
1 Teaspoon lemon Juice
Boil the water. Add herbs, stir thoroughly and cover with lid. Set aside and steep 25 minutes. Strain and add lemon juice before refrigerating. Reheat only the amount desired and drink on an empty stomach several times a day.
Be Healthy My Friends,
Chef Grace has a Master's in Holistic Nutrition, Culinary Training and a passion for implementing the synergy of food, health and healing.