17 Foods and Supplements to Eliminate Stress
© Radu Florin
New day, new opportunities ahead, isn’t that right? Well, that’s not exactly like that in the mind of someone who struggle with constant stress.
Stress comes in various formats. Some people tend to be more anxious; others are more impulsive.
In my case, I remember that the feeling of weakness was getting worse each day. I didn’t believe in the “new day, new you” concept, I was just wrestling with myself day after day.
Not so long ago, I managed to battle my inner demons and was able to cope with my stress. Finally, I felt good, my health improved, and results were visible. Now you may be wondering, how did you do it?
What is stress and where does it come from?
Normally stress is the body’s reaction to a situation that requires response. All our defense systems are on high alert and our body reacts either physically, emotionally or mentally.
Contrary to popular believe, stress is a normal part of life. Our bodies have been designed to experience stress; nevertheless, there are situations when the individual is unable to find relief and out of the sudden everything seems to be a stressor. As a result, the individual may suffer stress-related illnesses or may become burnt out.
The “fight or flight response”, a healthy response?
The “fight or flight response” is considered a natural response from the body’s autonomic nervous system due to the sudden release of hormones. You might have experienced this feeling in the face of something frightening. Your heart starts beating faster and your body becomes tense. This is usually a healthy reaction and is meant to help us to survive in emergency situations.
Your body looks for ways to avoid a threat; although it is important to note that this response may be triggered by real and imaginary situations.
The issue is that people with stressful lives are living semi-permanently in this kind of hyper-alert state.
The following conditions may be connected to high stress:
- Eating and weight problems
- Fatigue, CFS and adrenal fatigue
- Sexual health
- Some autoimmune diseases
- Weakened immune system
- Various psychological problems including depression and anxiety
- PMS and hormonal imbalances
- Various skin problems such as acne, eczema and even wrinkles
- High blood pressure and Cardiovascular diseases
Natural ways to eliminate stress
A certain amount of stress in unavoidable.
I mean, we’ve all experienced stress in our daily routine, however, the key is to learn how to deal with it effectively so that it won’t affect your health.
Stress may affect not only your mental health but also your digestion and physical health. Being stressed while eating leads to poor digestion and absorption of the nutrients our bodies need. Also, unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, and junk food, may increase your stress levels.
Besides regular exercise, you can add the following foods to your daily routine that will help you eliminate stress:
- Whole unrefined grains aid serotine production which acts as a “good mood hormone”.
- You will be glad to hear that dark chocolate helps but only the 75% or higher cacao percentage. Below this level, milk and sugar are counteracting the good effects. Raw cocoa powder is even better, use it for smoothies and baking.
- Walnuts are a stress superfood as they increase serotonin and decrease cortisol and blood pressure
- Sunflower seeds assist dopamine production.
- Leafy greens have plenty of Magnesium, a natural relaxant.
- Asparagus contains Folic acid which is a mood stabilizer.
- Almonds are high in Vitamin E and Citrus in Vitamin C, both great antioxidants.
Supplements and herbs to help you relax:
- Multivitamin with antioxidants
- Folic acid
- Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex
- Calcium and Potassium.
- Gotu Kola
- Lemon Balm
- Passionflower and Melatonin may help with sleep.
- And my personal favorite, essential lavender oil
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