WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is identified as a feeling of being tense, worried and over loaded. Everyone experiences it, and it is impossible to remove all stress from our lives as some stress is beneficial, which helps us meet certain challenges, however the other stress (distress) is harmful when we become overly stressed and it interferes with our ability to cope with our normal lives. Stressors are any disturbances of the human body including heat or cold, toxins, microorganisms, physical trauma or strong emotional reactions that trigger the stress response. This involves 3 phases called the alarm, resistance and exhaustion phases, which are controlled by the adrenal glands in the hypothalamus. When you are constantly stressed, the hormone cortisol is produced in excessive amounts by the adrenal glands in which in turn causes negative effects to many systems of the body leading to symptoms of stress.
SYMPTOMS OF STRESS
Headaches, other aches and pains, Sleep disturbance, insomnia, Upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhoea, Anxiety, Anger, irritability, Depression, Fatigue, Feeling overwhelmed and out of control, moody, tearful, Difficulty concentrating, Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, High blood pressure, Weakened immune system, Heart disease.
NUTRIENTS ASSISTING IN REDUCING STRESS
Vitamin C- Found in Kiwi, guava, capsicum, orange, acai juice. Dosage of 250mg/day of fresh fruit and vegetables or 100mg supplement 4 times daily. Vitamin B5- Found in whole grains, legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, salmon, liver, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Dosage of 150mg/day. Vitamin B6- Found in oats, banana, chicken, turkey, red meat, sunflower seeds, chickpeas. Dosage of 25mg/day. Zinc- Found in oysters, beef, lamb, scallops, cashews, amaranth seeds, legumes. Dosage of 25-30mg/day. Magnesium- Found in amaranth seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, quinoa, spinach, chia seeds, chickpeas, avocado, banana. Dosage of 300mg/day. These are important for supporting adrenal function and manufacture of adrenal hormones and thus are depleted during stress also.
BENEFICIAL WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS