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Nutrition for Stress Support

Nutrition for Stress Support

You have probably heard this before, but it’s worth repeating; research suggests that 60-90% of illness is stress-related.

The sheer wear and tear of stress damages the cardiovascular system, suppress the immune system, impedes the digestive system, depletes your adrenals(which disrupts hormonal balance), and impairs your ability to rest and relax – not to mention the myriad psychological and emotional manifestations. High stress levels place your entire well-being at risk not only damaging your physical health, but wreaking havoc on your emotional and mental equilibrium as well, thus narrowing  your ability to think clearly and objectively and function effectively, let alone enjoy life.

Stress is our response to life situations. Stress are at least for most of us- unavoidable. It’s how we deal with them and how we ride our way through stressful times that is important. These nutritional guidelines will support you in stressful times.

Have smaller more frequent meals. Smaller meals aid digestion and absorption of nutrients and help balance blood sugar levels, therefore balancing emotions, energy, mental clarity and focus.

Never skip meals. Under high stress, the body needs to maintain a higher level of performance, and that requires continual fuel in th form of good quality foods.

Avoid eating large meals in the evening, or eating too late at night. An early, light dinner will allow you to sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Avoid refined carbohydrates (bread, biscuits, pasta’s, pastries, etc). These foods provide only short -lived energy bursts with little to no nutrient value. They also disrupt blood sugar balance, which leads to mood swings. High intake in the long term can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalance and fatigue problems.

Increase you intake of vegetables for their rich nutrient contents. Dark green vegetables are particularly good because they are high in magnesium, which is necessary for the healthy function of the nervous, muscular relaxation and replenishment of adrenal glands.

Reduce stimulants and relaxants like coffee, black tea, energy drinks and alcohol. Yes, they can provide short-term relief however, they also reduce the effectiveness of the adrenal glands, reduce absorption of nutrients, make you dehydrated and can lead to digestive complaints.

Stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Dehydration can lead to symptoms such as headaches, indecisiveness, lack of mental clarity, cramps, fatigue and more. It is a good idea to drink water that has electrolytes for better absorption.

Eat simply and without too many ingredients.

Nourish the nerves and mind with nuts and seeds, especially walnuts and almonds, as they are rich in minerals and essential fatty acids, and nourish the brain and nervous system.

Nourish kidney and adrenal energy in the form of eggs, fish, seafood, and lamb – or soy products for vegetarians- is recommended to replenish the adrenals and rebuild physical health  from the ravages of excessive chronic stress.

Supplements can be helpful. Try B-vitamin complex for energy, mental clarity and adrenal support; Magnesium for muscle relaxation, nervous system functioning, metabolism and adrenal gland fatigue; Vitamin C for immune defense, digestive support, to reduce inflammation and adrenal gland support.  Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3s, evening primrose , and DHA can support the hormonal balance and healthy nervous system and brain function.

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