This is the time of year that stress tends to creep up. Holiday expectations, year-end work deadlines, family dynamics. This is the season they all rear their ugly heads together. There isn’t always the option to escape and take time for yourself to destress in your favourite way. But you can set your body up for success by giving it the best fuel and nutrition to keep ahead of some of the effects of stress. When in doubt walk away from all the sweets and treats that elves seem to deliver every night to the office and hit up some green – either veg or head out for some exercise.
Avoid the sugar, choose green carbs
It seems everywhere you turn there are holiday treats – whether coffee shops offering intriguing ‘limited time’ liquid sugar bombs or the traditional family baking that lurks on coffee tables and dessert tables all month long. Run away – run away and look for invigorating healthy carbs from green leafy vegetables.
As a vegetable category there isn’t one that is more nutrient dense. For vitamins to minerals to phytonutrients – think kale, collards, spinach, mesclun, mustard greens, etc. These vegetables contain vitamin K and other minerals, ensuring better bone development and the, formation of healthy cells at the same time, they increase physical stamina and energy greatly. Many are high in magnesium which helps regulate stress inducing cortisol. A cup of spinach a day will give you 40 percent of your daily requirements – toss it in your soup, added it to eggs or make a salad.
Focus on healthy fats
As appealing as all those tiny appetizers are, they are not going to help beat your stress. Look away from the deep fried foods and look for those with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Avocados have B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety and stress may be linked to a B vitamin deficiency. Bonus: they’re also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. Almonds are rich in vitamins B2 and E. Both of these nutrients help bolster the immune system during times of stress. All you need is a quarter cup of almonds each day to do the trick.
Drink your stress away – with tea
As your body reacts to stress our mental wellbeing isn’t only affected, our bodies ramp up the stress hormone cortisol. It can lead to weight gain and skin problems. Green tea can pack a one-two punch. We can apply it topically and drink it to reduce stress. The secret of green tea’s success at reducing the impact of stress lies in the natural chemicals called polyphenols that are found in high concentrations in tea. These polyphenols can neutralize inflammation, help to reduce redness and also soothe irritation. Green tea has been consumed and used as a therapeutic relaxation aid and skin remedy in the east for centuries. Try John Masters Organics Green Tea & Rose Hydrating Face Serum. It has natural extracts that help rejuvenate skin.
When energy is floundering focusing on adding more protein can be a way to sustain energy longer. This can be adding a protein supplement to your morning smoothie or looking for the best sources. Also think salmon for its dense Omega 3 fatty acids that help keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling the pressure. Aim for four ounces at least three times a week goes a long way towards protecting your heart when those stress hormones are surging. For a protein supplement consider Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Dark Chocolate and Blackberry. It can be added to hot or cold beverages and can perk up your smoothie or boost your coffee.
Add a vitamin supplement to your routine
Ensuring your body can handle what the world throws at it can be the best defense against stress. A quality multivitamin loaded with beta carotene, Vitamin C, B and E. Garden of Life Vitamin Code is full of raw food-created nutrients which means that is was not only produced below 115º F, but also that these nutrients come with natural cofactors, along with live probiotic and enzymes. You can’t beat that combination for supporting your daily health.