Stress Busting Solutions That Reduce Fatigue
Stress is a natural reaction to life, but prolonged periods of stress can have adverse effects on your health.
With hectic schedules and the many “to-do’s” on your list you may experience stress, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, studies have shown that stress can actually improve productivity, attention and other mental functions. However, prolonged periods of high stress can lead to unwanted weight gain and negative effects on your overall health.
The Stress-Cortisol Connection
Cortisol is a hormone that your body produces when you are under stress. When you body goes through a stress response it produces other compounds including adrenaline that accompany the flight or flight response. But just like you don’t want an adrenaline rush to last for extended periods of time, you don’t want you body to overproduce cortisol. This hormone can increase blood glucose levels leading to unwanted weight gain, and ultimately an energy slump that may result in fatigue.
How To Reduce Stress
Eat to Slash Stress: There are certain foods that can help cut stress levels.
Leafy greens like spinach are a good source of minerals involved in the regulation of the body’s production of cortisol including magnesium. Toss leafy greens with a squeeze of citrus to clean the greens, and add an extra dose of vitamin C to maximize health benefits.
Beans contain compounds called phosphatidylserine, located within cellular membranes that help to counteract the effects of cortisol. White beans and soy beans are a good source of this important nutrient.
Seeds & Nuts provide omega-3 essential fatty acids that offer a variety of health benefits. Not only do these healthy fats support cognitive function, joint health and natural beauty they have also been shown to help reduce cortisol levels in the body and even cut down stress levels. You can find these healthy fats in supplement form, but they are also available in seeds such as flax, hemp and chia along with most of your favorite nuts including peanuts, walnuts and cashews.
Fresh Herbs like basil can help fight stress. While they add tons of flavor to your favorite foods many of them also offer adaptogenic properties that can help reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Grow holy basil in your window garden and reap all the benefits of this tasty herb. It makes a great tea and tosses in with salads easily.
Mushrooms contain good amounts of zinc. This mineral is also found in leafy green vegetables, seeds & nuts, wheat germ and seafood and has been shown to help reduce the production of cortisol. Fight stress off with a diet that includes these foods to keep zinc levels up. Since stress can also deplete vitamin D levels in your body, adding these tasty caps to your diet can keep levels of this important nutrient present in your body and help eliminate symptoms of stress.
Other Stress Reduction Techniques
Breathe! Think of it this way – traffic jams are going to happen, but if you respond to this kind of situation with a stress response you’ll only make things worse. So practice breathing to help reduce the effects of stress no matter what happens.
Be Happy. The hormones that are produced when you are happy include serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones are just as powerful as cortisol, and may help reduce the stress response. So find what makes you happy and do it as often as you can.
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