WebMD defines stress as “… the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.” WebMD has also linked heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches/migraines, depression/anxiety, Alzheimer’s, accelerated aging, and premature DEATH to stress. If you have a job or kids then you know how intense the feelings of stress can be. Within one minute it takes over your entire body. I have my own personal story with stress that I experienced a few years ago. My husband was deployed and I moved back in with my parents and my 1 year old son. I was working and getting a master’s degree. I was so stressed out from taking care of my son (who was a difficult baby), trying to make a living, worrying about my husband, trying to do well in school, AND caring for my relationships with friends and families. As we women and mothers tend to do, I took on way too much! I didn’t realize how stressed out I was until I had found myself under 100 pounds and continuously sick. I started to lose my hair and that’s when I decided to see a doctor. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease a few weeks later. This was a huge wake up call for me to change the way I was taking care of myself. To make a long story short, I allowed myself time to heal, I ate the right foods for my body, and within weeks I was feeling better. Fast forward to about 6 months later, my husband had returned safely and life went back to normal. To my doctor’s surprise, as my stress decreased, I was no longer sensitive to gluten. I now try to maintain a diet high in plant foods with the least amount of processed foods. I also try to decrease my stress levels through meditation, exercise, hobbies, etc.
Are you dealing with health issues that could be caused by stress? Take a hard look at your life and how you are feeling. What can you change for a better future? Try meditation, check out my video at the end of THIS post. Or just breathe. Many people go through their day without taking 1 full breath. Stop and breathe deeply.
Here is a list of foods that have been said to reduce stress levels due to their high content of folate, B-vitamins, antioxidants, omegas, Vitamin C, and calcium (soothes nervous system). Did you know that when under stress your body uses up B-Vitamins and vitamin C first? That’s why you often get sick when you are super stressed. No vitamin C=lowered immunity. Make sure you are replenishing your vitamin C when you are stressed.
- Asparagus (NOW in season!)
- Herbal tea (especially Camomile)
- Cacao (raw chocolate)
- Leafy greens
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds