14 easy tips to help support your body in times of stress

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Stress. We all experience it, some more than others. It's an unavoidable part of life. Sometimes it can get a bit much. Ongoing chronic stress can make us sick, so what can we do to support the body in times of stress?

What You'll Need

  • Protein sources: grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, turkey, Sockeye or Wild Alaskan salmon, nuts, seeds
  • Probiotic and fermented foods: Greek yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir (fermented cow/goats milk), miso soup, kombucha tea, pickled vegetables, fermented soy (such as natto/tempeh), sour dough, aged cheeses and kimchi (cabbage)
  • Prebiotic foods: onions, garlic, leek, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, porridge oats, root vegetables, cabbage, organic apples, oat/wheat and rice bran.
  • Herbal teas listed below
  • Meditation/chillout/classical music. Headphones and ipod.
  • Epsom salts
  • Multivitamin and mineral that includes B complex, vitamin C, magnesium
  • Good quality fish/krill oil supplement

What You'll Do

  • Keep your blood sugar balanced by following my sugar craving tips, particularly on diet. Peaks and troughs in your blood sugar put added stress on your body and encourage the production of the stress hormone cortisol
  • Ensure you get 7-8 hours sleep a night. Lack of sleep is a stressor on the body. See my insomnia tips if you are having problems sleeping
  • Take adrenal support nutritional supplements such as a good quality multivitamin and mineral and a B vitamin complex with magnesium. Your body burns through a lot of nutrients when stressed, B vitamins are particularly important and give you energy. Magnesium can reduce anxiety and calm you down
  • Ensure your supplement regime includes 1mg vitamin C, your adrenals need vitamin C to function and you'll be overworking your adrenals when stressed. A good quality OMEGA 3 supplement is also important because our stress hormones are derived from cholesterol so you need this fatty acid to build up your cholesterol stores
  • Switch running/HIIT/heavy cardio for yoga, brisk walking and/or Tai Chi. Fast-paced exercise will raise your stress levels further
  • Avoid stressful situations and stressful people. Not always an easy one. If there is someone in your life that triggers your stress hormones on a regular basis it might be worth having a think about your interactions with that person
  • Practice mindfulness meditation for at least 20 minutes a day, it induces calmness and clarity if done regularly
  • Avoid scary movies that make you jump. Your central nervous system does not know the difference between a real stressor and a fake one. It reacts as if it were real, kicking your stress response into action.
  • Take an Epsom salts bath this will relax you
  • Get outside in nature away from your computer and phone, be at one with nature!
  • Make sure you take regular breaks from work for your body to recover
  • Listen to relaxing chillout or classical music
  • Drink herbal teas with a calming effect such as camomile, kava, valerian root, peppermint, rooibos, green, lemon balm or mint
  • Avoid caffeine, it can increase cortisol levels
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