As humans we have an inbuilt system known as the fight or flight mechanism which helps us respond to the threat of being attacked. But in this modern age, the Sabre tooth tigers manifest themselves as one of modern day society’s biggest issues: Stress.
Stress is something that most of us experience in our daily lives, be it work related, relationship issues, financial worries; the list is endless. Often these stresses can be constant and when left unchecked this can lead to a cascade of negative effects on the body which include mood swings, feeling tired even after a full night’s sleep, anxiety, and lethargy.
Luckily, there are many things that we can do to lower stress levels. Elizabeth Montgomery is a London-based holistic nutritionist, and she believes that a holistic approach is always best to ensure that the many different forms of stress are constantly kept in check.
Belle About Town asked Elizabeth for her top tips for reducing stress building up in our bodies. Here’s what she said…
Increase your protein intake
Eating protein rich meals and snacks at regular intervals is essential when it comes to balancing blood sugar levels which helps take stress off the delicate adrenal glands. Quality protein sources include: beans (especially lentils, black beans and kidney beans for adrenal health), soaked nuts, seeds, raw nut/seed butter, fermented hemp or rice protein powder (great for smoothies), algae in the form of chlorella or spirulina, goats cheese or yogurt.
Add some Omega 3 Fats to your diet
Adequate intake of omega 3 fats are very important for stress reduction. Research has shown that EPA and DHA (key components of omega 3 fats) play an important role in helping to support adrenal health and brain behaviour. Rich food sources include: mackerel, sardines, sprouted chia and flax seeds. Supplements include: fish oil, krill oil and vegan based algae oil.
In order to support the adrenal glands, the body must be kept well hydrated throughout the day. It’s important to drink between 6-8 glasses of pure filtered water daily. Decrease, or eliminate, all caffeinated and alcoholic drinks (big adrenal stressors), and reach for green vegetable only juices (fruit juices spike blood sugar levels), and calming herbal teas instead.
The gut/mind connection is of great importance when it comes to keeping stress at bay. Research has revealed that healthy bowel flora can greatly assist in reducing anxiety, and is the heart of the human immune system response. Therefore, regular consumption of fermented foods is paramount in order to introduce probiotics (meaning pro-life) to the gut on a regular basis. Popular fermented foods include: raw unpasteurised sauerkraut, dill pickles, coconut and goats yogurt, miso soup or kombucha drinks.
Supplement your way to good health
A full spectrum B-complex supplement is important for adrenal and nervous system support. Magnesium, citrate or body oil form (best taken at night), is a critical anti-stress mineral and is prized for its relaxing properties. Daily regular intake of vitamin C supplementation in food state form is also essential for rejuvenating adrenal health.
- Elizabeth Montgomery is a London-based Holistic Nutritional Therapist who has been studying and exploring; nutrition, eastern medicine, astrology and medicine way healing practices for many years. To arrange a private consultation see http://www.holisticnutrition.co.uk/