Nutrition and Stress Managementby holistic-optimal-nutrition on Aug. 06, 2013, under Uncategorized
There is no doubt that each and every one of us know what stress is and experience it on a weekly basis, if not daily. We constantly hear physicians informing us that we need to keep our stress levels down. Unfortunately, few physicians will really explain to you how chronic stress effects are bodies and the ramifications that it can potentially have.
Let’s start off by understanding exactly what stress is. Stress is the body’s reaction to a perceived threat. This could be an isolated and acute incident or a chronic daily issue. Stress activates a fight or flight response and allows the body to deal with the issue at hand. Daily emotional stress, such as fear, anxiety, financial issues, relationship issues or being overly concerned about what other individuals think, can cause chronic long-term stress.
In addition, to moderate exercise, a balanced whole food and plant based diet are essential to keeping chronic stress managed. Keeping to a diet high in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes are nutritious and filling. This will help with the cravings that typically come along with high levels of stress. These foods are also much slower to digest and will keep from becoming insulin resistant. This is a symptom that often comes along with high cortisol levels.
Foods that are critical to reduce or avoid altogether are caffeine, sugar and alcohol. High levels of caffeine will work as a stimulant which will give you the opposite effect if you are focusing on relaxation. They also work in conjunction with your sleep habits, which are also essential in your body keeping your immune systems intact.
Alcohol should also be limited or avoided. Any relaxation effect it has is short term and will interact with your body’s ability to relax later. Per the American Heart Association, moderate intake is considered to be no more than a 5 ounce glass for women and 2 glasses for men.
Stress is nearly impossible to eliminate from our lives altogether. Life is always throwing us curve balls, therefore maintaining a top notch diet, as well as a light to moderate exercise program will assist our bodies in repairing the damage brought about by chronic stress.
Diet alone is not the end to stress, it is simply an additional tool to the many others available to us such as therapy, herbal remedies, family support and alternative supplements that can start the healing process.
Always remember to focus on yourself and know your limitations as well as what your body needs to thrive. Your body will appreciate the balance and thank you for it in more ways than one. Contact a Holistic Nutritionist such as myself today. Check out http://empoweredbynutrition.com/
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