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Eat to beat Stress ~

Eating to reduce stress to live Happily

Eating to reduce stress to live Happily

 Hi Folks,

Was chatting with my friends the other day after playing  Tai Chi ~ Qigong.
Our discussion was about how this time of the year gets stressful with holiday shopping, busy traffic  on top of the daily stress we may encounter at work or home. What came out of the talk was how can we naturally help our body deal with stress.
This does NOT  have to be you !

This does NOT have to be you !

Well, that lead to our discussing the role of our adrenal glands in handling our body’s stress and adrenal foods.
You see folks, the adrenal glands are small and sit just above the kidneys. These little glands are responsible for your body’s response to stress. They create, release, and regulate hormones—like cortisol and adrenaline—that help you cope with stress.

The adrenal glands evolved to help us deal with danger, life-threatening situations, and times when we need to be quicker, sharper, stronger, and faster. They are a large part of the fight or flight response that prepares muscles to move quickly and violently while shutting down unnecessary bodily functions. Heart and lung actions accelerate, digestion slows, tear and saliva production shuts down, and energy nutrients are released for quick use.

Our modern lifestyle has altered when and how often stress factors affect us. We are not very likely to be hunted by a tiger on our morning commute, wrestle a rival for dominance during a board meeting, or chase down a mammoth for lunch. But this doesn’t mean that the adrenal glands are less active.

Our bodies were designed to deal with short bursts of stress like those described above. Unfortunately, we’ve modernized stress, making it more constant, and the body has a hard time distinguishing between life-threatening stress and any other kind of stress. The frustration of traffic during our commute, the presentation during the board meeting, the short lunch where we rush to down something, the responsibilities, the financial strains, and the deadlines all pile up and your body acts like it is in imminent danger, no matter the source of stress or whether it is physical or emotional.

Modern stress is not the short and occasional thing our bodies are prepared for. It is frequent, prolonged, and often very intense. This overstimulates the adrenal glands, leaving them unable to meet our needs and resulting in adrenal fatigue. Adding to the stresses of our lives are infections, trauma, poor diet, anxiety, depression, and prescription drugs. These all can make it harder for your adrenal glands to keep up. So what are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

  • Fatigue, even after adequate sleep
  • Craving salty and sweet foods
  • Unexplained pain in back or neck
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Low stamina
  • Difficulty waking
  • Normal energy levels arriving in the evening
  • Impaired immune system
  • Consistently low blood pressure
  • Blood pressure drops initially when standing
  • Foggy feeling, impaired memory, difficulty focusing
  • Sensitivity to cold

There are many more symptoms, but these are the more commonly recognized. You can easily test yourself for adrenal fatigue by checking your blood pressure while lying down and then immediately upon standing. If it drops by quite a few points, your adrenal glands may be struggling. Here are a few things that can help.

Reduce Stress – Take some time and let some of your stress go. Breathing exercises help and so does yoga, meditation, or tai chi.

Sleep – Get enough sleep each night and take a few naps during the day when you can. This will let your body recover, catch up, and rebuild stores.

Avoid Sugar – Refined sugar and processed foods make adrenal fatigue worse as they cause sugar spikes that burn through cortisol.

Good Fats – Most hormones are composed of good fats that your body needs. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats, but eat healthy fats like those found in seeds, nuts, and avocados. Chia seeds are a great option.

Potassium Rich Foods – The adrenal glands produce aldosterone, which helps control mineral balance in the body. Potassium and salt levels can get imbalanced if the adrenal glands aren’t doing well. Go for seaweed and sea vegetables, sunflower seeds, almonds, parsley, avocado, garlic, and brazil nuts.

Light on Fruit – Fruits contain a lot of natural sugars that can still cause some bumps in blood sugar levels. Stick with fruits that aren’t super sugary and that contain a good amount of fiber and water to balance things out. Think papaya, mango, plums, pears, kiwi, apples, cherries, and a small amount of grapes.

Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C – Vegetables and dark greens are a great source for some of the vitamins that will help your body heal, recover, and get back to normal. Carrots, broccoli, kale, parsley, oranges, turnip greens, and asparagus are a good place to get all three of these.

Magnesium – Magnesium is used in thousands of processes within the body and plays a part in the formation and function of hundreds of enzymes. Magnesium is important to muscles, sleep, and controlling the release of stress hormones. Magnesium is found in sunflower seeds, nuts, brown rice, wild rice, lentils, and peaches.

Sea Salt – Many people suffering from adrenal fatigue also crave salt. Our modern diet contains way too much sodium. It is a good idea to avoid high sodium foods, but give yourself the salt your body needs to re-balance fluids. Choose a good natural sea salt with minerals and add it to your food as needed.

Protein – You need healthy protein to rebuild enzymes. Lean more toward plant-based protein sources and maybe some deep sea fish, but avoid animal protein as it can put more stress on your adrenal glands and kidneys. Go for seeds, nuts, whole grains, hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocado, legumes, and lentils.

Whole Grains – Avoid processed grains and anything made with sugar and white flour. Stick with complex carbs that are paired with fiber. This will release energy slowly all day, so your stamina stays up and you get less tired. Whole grains, brown rice, wild rice, barley, oats, and quinoa are a good source of good carbs.

So here’s to nourishing our bodies to handle daily stress and live Boundryless Lives !!

Enjoy Adrenal foods to reduce stress and increase enjoying loving life

Enjoy Adrenal foods to reduce stress and increase enjoying loving life

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