Are you feeling overwhelmed lately? With everything going on in our world right it seems like stressed out and overwhelmed is the new normal. Some of the biggest issues that this now creates is the fact that our bodies are not designed to sustain high stress levels for prolonged periods of time. Just like a pot of boiling milk, if it is left unattended for long everything will overflow and force us to push it to the top of the todo list. We NEED to take the time to make our health and happiness a priority or we are all destined to deal with the fall out. Get ready to find out some quick and easy ways to turn down the heat and ease your way to better health.
The Method To The Madness
Stress is actually part of our bodies natural defense. In situations where our lives are in danger the brain will activate the release of Cortisol. Cortisol is one of the hormones that is released in response to stress. While Cortisol is mainly known for its involvement in the body’s response to stress it also serves other purposes. Cortisol assists in the regulation of blood sugar levels, balancing metabolism, reducing inflammation, and even in the formation of memories. Its natural effects on water and salt balance, make it ideal for aiding in the regulation of blood pressure. In women, Cortisol also plays a key role in the development of the fetus during pregnancy. When our levels become out of balance it can present itself in a number of ways.
Highway To The Danger Zone
Some of the signs and symptoms that can indicate excess levels of Cortisol are: feeling overly alert yet exhausted, difficulty falling and or staying asleep, feeling anxious or nervousness, easily irritated, memory lapse, easily distracted, craving sugar, weight gain (especially around the waist), indigestion, GERD and other digestive issues, as well as skin issues such as eczema or psoriasis. The unfortunate reality is that we all display at least one, if not multiple, of these signs and symptoms. Due to our constant exposure to stress from looming deadlines, money woes, and even the foods we eat. We are in a near constant exposure to stressful situations. That’s why I like to approach this constant health hurdle in a number of ways: hormones, nutrition, supplements, mindset, sleep, and of course exercise.
5 Ways To Supplement Your Stress Needs
When it comes to stress we can use all the help we can get. One of my favorite ways to keep things as natural as possible is with nutrition. However, there is a limit to how much our bodies can break down. Often we need additional options to fill in the gaps. Luckily, there are options that make it to the top of the list. The following is a list of my top five favorite supplements to help reduce your stress with ease:
- Ashwagandha Root
Have you heard of Ashwagandha root? Ashwagandha seems to be popping up everywhere as of late. However, Ashwagandha has been used for its medicinal purposes for over 2,500 years. Ashwagandha is a staple supplement found in Ayurvedic medicine due to its array of uses. Some of which include: stress and anxiety reduction, improved fertility in men, improves heart health, reduces brain cell degeneration, strengthens the immune system, increases stamina and endurance, regulation of blood sugar levels, and so much more. Ashwagandha is a great addition to anyone’s vitamin routine. Finding the therapeutic dosage can be difficult which is why it is suggested to start on the lower end and work your way up gradually. Most benefits are linked to a dosage of 500-600mg per day over a period of at least one month.
Learn a little bit about L-Theanine. L-Theanine is a non-protein amino acid typically found in Green tea leaves. It can help improve memory and concentration. L-Theanine has also been shown to aid in the reduction of stress and increasing energy levels. It has even been shown to aid in the lowering of side effects such as jitteriness and anxiety associated with excessive caffeine. When purchased as a supplement L-Theanine is combined with a small amount of caffeine which improves its capability of stabilizing mood while retaining a subtle sense of alertness.
One of the most important minerals for your immune system is hands down Zinc! Zinc can be difficult to acquire in our daily nutrition to the levels needed for our bodies to function at optimal efficiency. Some of the signs that can develop due to a deficiency are: poor neurological function, weak immunity, digestive issues, food allergies, thinning hair, leaky gut and skin issues such as acne or rashes. Zinc is essential for gastrointestinal support, the central nervous system, reproduction, stable metabolism, balancing blood sugar, and the immune system. You can increase these levels by consuming the following: peas, oats, beans, spinach, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and eggs. The daily target amount for men is 11mg and 8mg for adult women. Because it is so difficult to achieve this dosage via nutrition alone it is strongly suggested to take an additional supplement.
Our bodies need more than just vitamins. Minerals play a critical role in our overall health. Magnesium is one of those important minerals that we need to maintain in our bodies. When we are deficient in Magnesium it can result in the following symptoms: anxiety, depression, muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, poor memory, confusion, anger, and rapid pulse. Again, there are ways you can replenish this imbalance with supplements or foods. Some foods to try include: pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, spinach, quinoa, beans, peanuts, dark chocolate, avocados, and oatmeal. Once everything has been balanced out you can expect less pain, reduced headaches, improved mood, PMS relief, and lowered blood pressure.
Did you know Omega 3 fatty acids are chock full of health benefits. However, the human body does not produce them naturally. Some of the benefits that come from taking a daily supplement of Omega 3 are great heart health. It also promotes proper gut, joint, and skin health. Omega 3 has also been shown to encourage heightened memory and regulate a healthy blood pressure level. It can also promote healthy cholesterol levels and even encourage new hair growth. Omega 3 is a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid found in marine animals and in some plant oils. It has been proven to be essential to our health and our ability to function properly.
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 8
- 1 Cup Almond Flour
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 2 Cups Cranberries
- ½ Cups Walnuts Chopped
- 2 Flax Seed Eggs
- ½ Cup Vegan Butter Melted
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pretreat a 9 inch pie pan with non-stick preventative option of choice. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in cranberries and walnuts making sure to evenly coat berries. Next add in butter, eggs, and extract. If you are using frozen cranberries be aware that the mixture will be thicker. Once mixed, spread the batter into the pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out next to clean. Serve warm with either coconut whipped cream or coconut nice-cream.
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!