No one is immune to all stress. A little stress can be a good motivator towards meeting a goal, like finishing your holiday shopping, or getting the kids to that concert on time!
But, stress overload is a serious health problem in America today, especially around this time of year. In fact, when it’s on a continuing basis, it can be disastrous to your health.
Statistics show that up to 95% of visits to health care professionals are stress-related! Medical experts agree. The more “stressed out” you become, the more vulnerable you are to colds, flu, ulcers, allergies, even heart attacks and high blood pressure. Stress especially drains our energy, targeting organs like the adrenal glands and wiping out their stores. Long term stress invariably leads to severe fatigue from adrenal exhaustion, and regularly results in depression.
Stress shows up in how you look, too. You can see the effects of stress as blemishes appearing around the chin, peeling, brittle nails, and dull, lifeless hair. Stress can even make your hair fall out!
I recommend a Healthy Healing “Adrenal Boosting” diet to strengthen your glands against the effects of stress. It’s the best way I know to fight stress at the deepest body level for long term results.
Most people experience benefits within 2 to 3 weeks. The first improvement sign is usually more energy during the day and better sleep at night. This program works best in conjunction with natural beauty enhancers to revitalize stressed-out holiday hair, skin and nails.
Is An Adrenal Boosting Diet Right For You?
Check out these warning signs of adrenal exhaustion:
1: poor memory and low energy
2: nervous moistness of hands and soles of feet
3: brittle, peeling nails and extremely dry skin
4: heart palpitations and panic attacks
5: chronic low back pain
6: hypoglycemia and cravings for salt or sweets
7: severe reactions to odors or certain foods
8: recurring yeast and fungal infections
If you have two or more of these signs, consider my ADRENAL BOOSTING diet for LONG TERM stress protection.
1) Poor nutrition is a major contributor to stress reactions and the premature aging of your face! Eat small meals low in sugar and fats so your body doesn’t work overtime on digestion. Especially eat fresh foods, fish, brown rice, legumes and whole grains for stabilizing nutrients.
2) Put sea greens like nori, dulse and kelp at the top of your list of adrenal enhancing foods. Sea greens are a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins like D, A and K which help your body make steroidal hormones like estrogen and DHEA in the adrenal glands. Sea greens are also loaded with minerals and essential fatty acids that improve skin texture and tone, and strengthen nails and hair.
3) Add more potassium-rich foods like potatoes, salmon, seafood and avocados to your diet. Potassium helps reduce stress-related high blood pressure, and regulates blood sugar. Intake should be about 3 to 5 grams daily. Cut down on high sodium foods which dehydrate the body. Drink plenty of water, too because dehydration can cause dry, sullen skin, and dark under-eye circles and sunken eyes.
4) Avoid stimulants like hard liquor, tobacco and excess caffeine which tax your adrenals.
5) Avoid trans-fats from fried foods, red meats and highly processed foods. These foods are high in chemicals that overburden the body’s elimination systems.
6) Make an adrenal boosting mix: flax seed, bran, miso broth and honey. Take some each morning to feed adrenals. Or, take 2 teaspoons each nutritional yeast and wheat germ daily in fruit juice.
Adrenal nutrients: essential fatty acids, amino acids, pantothenic acid, vitamins E, A, C, fat soluble vitamins D and K, bioflavonoids, the minerals zinc, selenium, potassium, manganese, chromium and magnesium.
Adrenal Bodywork Tip: Take a HOT SEAWEED soak once a week for a noticeable adrenal energy boost.
Anti-Stress Foods for Energy on The Run:
-Crunch away stress with high texture foods like celery, carrots and apples. These foods are also naturally low in calories for weight control, and great for gum and teeth health.
-Try a teaspoon of green superfood powder like barley grass, chlorella or green kamut in apple juice or orange juice to fight mid-afternoon energy slumps with super green nutrition. Works well to prevent binging on sugary snack foods, too.
-Chronic stress increases the body’s protein needs. Keep high protein nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter on hand. Dab a teaspoonful on apple slices or celery sticks before an end-of-day workout at the gym. Hormone-free turkey, chicken or seafood are other good high protein options to fight stress.
Here are a few sixty SECOND TENSION RELIEVERS for extra stressful situations.
-Deep breathe. When you’re stressed, your breathing becomes shallow. But, deep breathing activates relaxation centers in the brain, reducing overall body stress and increasing creative mental energy. Try this simple exercise for quick stress relief and rejuvenation.
Filling a Balloon:
1: Breathe in through the nose and imagine that the in-coming breath is filling a balloon in your belly, then continues up your torso and fills your entire upper body with air.
2: After you are completely filled up with air, exhale, let go and feel the balloon emptying. Do a few of these deep breaths. Relaxation is just a breath away.
Note: For heart palpitations or panic attacks (common in menopausal women), keep a bottle of hawthorn extract or a hawthorn/ajuna/passionflowers extract available. These herbs have been used by herbalists for centuries to stabilize heartbeat and calm the mind. The newest research on the Ayurvedic herb arjuna and hawthorn shows good results for improving quality of life for patients with congestive heart failure.
Copyright 2002 Traditional Wisdom, Inc.
For more information, see Linda Page’s book Healthy Healing – A Guide To Self-Healing For Everyone and Stress and Energy. For sea greens and herbal information, visit Dr. Page on the web: www.healthyhealing.com
Page, Linda, N.D., Ph.D. Healthy Healing 11th Edition: A Guide To Self-Healing For Everyone. Traditional Wisdom, Inc. 2000, 2001.
Page, Linda, N.D., Ph.D. Stress & Energy: Reduce Your Stress & Boost your Energy. Traditional Wisdom, Inc. 1999.
Schimdt U, et al. Efficacy of hawthorn (Crataegus) preparation LI 132 in 78 patients with chronic congestive heart failure defined as NYHA functional class 2. Phytomedicine 1994;1:17-24.
Bragg, Paul C., N.D., Ph.D. & Patricia Bragg, N.D., Ph.D. Super Power Breathing For Energy. Health Science, 1999.
Photo. Geraldine Dukes