Stress Management

I love this time of year, but it can be overwhelming. On top of your regular schedule; there are a lot of extra ‘to dos’ in your calendar that can leave you feeling stressed out. Just look at the expression on people’s faces when you’re walking around these days – sheer panic.  

Being stressed out over long periods of time is not good for your health. When your body is stressed, your body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode, which causes your adrenal glands to produce hormones to help you cope. For example, if you’re scared, your body produces the hormone adrenaline, which allows you to react quickly to the situation. 

This is a natural reaction, and helpful when experienced in moderation. However, if you’re constantly stressed; your adrenal glands become exhausted, and you start to experience physical symptoms such as: fatigue, insomnia, digestive issues, irritability, headaches, loss of concentration, emotional instability, & depression. Being stressed all the time also depletes your levels of vitamin B’s & C, and weakens your immune system. This is why people tend to get sick during the holidays. 

To cope with these symptoms we turn to alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and sugars & sweets, which only makes things worse. I know the temptation for alcohol and sweets is higher at this time of year, but it’s really important to avoid over-indulging. To help manage your stress & keep your immune system strong; eat a wholesome diet that includes vitamin B & C-rich foods such as: 

Vitamin B-rich foods
Whole Grains (breakfast tomorrow: Dempsters 100% whole grain toast with natural PB & banana)
Sweet potatoes
(these are specifically high in vitamin B5, which is the most helpful for fighting stress, but most fresh veggies & fruit are high in B vitamins)

Vitamin C-rich foods:
Red pepper
Oranges (Clementine’s!)
Lemon (start your day with lemon water)

Zinc also strengthens your immune system and can be found in the following foods:
Lamb Chops
Wheat Germ
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Soybeans (have organic edamame as an appetizer!) 

If you’re feeling really stressed you can also take a B-50 complex, and vitamin C supplement for the next few weeks. Oh yea, and drinks lots of water!! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

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