Tuesday, November 2, 2010

De-stressing Through The Holidays

The holidays are coming...eek!  Here are a few ideas on how to breeze through them.

Can Food and Supplements Help You De-stress??

Mental stress is a normal reaction to upheaval, emotional upset or just too many demands on your time. Whether it’s a result from something good, like getting married or a big promotion or from something negative, like a divorce, death in the family or losing a job – stress can wreak havoc on your physical well being.

In the body, chronic stress kicks the hormone cortisol into high gear. Cortisol then triggers a hike in insulin levels. (Wonder why you crave sweets when under stress??) At the same time, blood levels of serotonin drop. Serotonin is the mood regulator manufactured in the brain from tryptophan and those wonderful B vitamins.

The end result? Stress can make you fat and sick. Stress, all by itself, can cause overeating of the not so good foods and exacerbate conditions such as high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic pain and gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome.

SO – What can you do to ease the stress???
The most important thing to do when under stress is remove the stressor from your life. Try to manage stress by adapting or adjusting to the cause of the stress. Some good ideas:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Try meditation or yoga (I just started a yoga class - it's great!)
  • Get the right nutrients in your diet
Taking a good-quality multivitamin/mineral daily just makes sense. Stressed people tend to have poor diets, so a multivitamin/multimineral supplement is a great insurance policy for getting the nutrients you need.

Another great option for stressed out lives is a product from Shaklee aptly called Stress Relief Complex. The primary ingredients are:

  • L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea that helps to promote a relaxed, yet alert mental state;
  • Ashwaganda, an ayurvedic herb that enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress;
  • L-tyrosine, an amino acid used by the body to make norepinephrine
  • Beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol, helps to blunt the response of cortisol.
My favorite supplement for chronic stress is B-Complex. Remember, B-Vitamins help transport and move nutrients throughout the body. They also help to produce serotonin. I like to call the “Bs” the happy vitamins. Come on – get happy and get yourself a bottle of B-Complex!

Just remember this – reduce your stress and you’ll feel (and look) a whole lot better!  And you will enjoy the holidays a whole lot more, too. 

If you would like further information on a natural approach to stress management, please fill out the information form on the upper right of this page, indicating your areas of interest.