We generally use the word « stress » when we feel that we are overloaded and when we have to face the pressures affecting us. Everything which is a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress. Some of the strains of everyday life undermine our mental and physical health and can lead to negative stress and anxiety.
If not controlled, stress can lead to serious health problems, such as hypertension and depression. If you’re just a little stressed, I invite you to discover five food groups that, if you consume them daily, can help you to better manage and fight stress in a natural manner. If your stress has become greater, dietary supplements may benefit you. I will show you which ones.
A deficiency in B vitamins such as thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin (vitamin B8), folic acid (vitamin B9) and cobalamin (vitamin B12) can lead to nervousness, irritability, fatigue and anxiety.
The B vitamin group aids the functioning of the nervous system involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Low levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) are directly related to stress, especially chronic stress. However, B3, B6 and B9 vitamins play an important anti stress role in stimulating the production of serotonin. Vitamin B5 is needed to synthesize hormones such as adrenaline and produce choline, which reduces cortisol, the « stress hormone ». Vitamin B6 facilitates the production of taurine which also reduces the stress.
B vitamins improve energy levels and are often recommended to reduce the acute stress associated with surgery and injuries.
The food groups rich in B vitamins include: liver, turkey, eggs, tuna, salmon, beans, lentils, wheat bran, oats, whole grains, bananas, the avocado, potato, spinach, peppers and turnip greens.
Note: According to Professor Samuel Campbell, high doses of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin, may be combined with vitamin B complex to help combat stress. Vitamin C helps reduce stress because it rapidly reduces cortisol, a primary stress hormone which increases the level of sugar in the blood.
We know that increased anxiety is a major reason why addicts and alcoholics tend to relapse. A study conducted in 2008 with the co-operation of addicts has demonstrated the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on anxiety and stress. The extracted fatty fish oils are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, of which the two main ones are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
When these patients received a high dose of eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA (greater than 2 grams of EPA per day), there was a statistically significant reduction in anxiety compared to those who received a placebo.
In other clinical studies with healthy people who showed no signs of clinical depression or anxiety, high consumption of EPA improved their ability to manage stress. These people seemed much happier with taking these supplements.
The food groups rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: salmon, cod, mackerel, herring, sardines and green algae.
Potassium is one of the most abundant minerals in our body. Our body’s supply of potassium is rapidly depleted during periods of stress.
Potassium is very important for people who suffer from anxiety and stress. Potassium deficiency, called hypokalemia, can trigger muscle weakness, fatigue, leg cramps, nervous disorders, insomnia, mood changes, irregular heartbeat, etc.
Potassium can help regulate stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Several studies, mostly conducted on laboratory animals, indicate that diets high in potassium have a protective effect against the appearance of stress symptoms.
The food groups rich in potassium include: citrus, banana, avocado, oats, wholemeal bread , salmon, tuna, squid flakes, the veal cutlet, shoulder to lamb, whole milk, mushrooms, dried apricots, walnuts, pistachios, white beans, lentils, curly endive, beets, radishes, artichokes, rhubarb, celery, apples potatoes, sweet potatoes and coconut water.
Chronic magnesium deficiency is known to cause a wide range of nervous symptoms, including anxiety, panic attacks, apprehension, arousal, nervousness, insomnia, fast heartbeat, palpitations and disturbances in the heart rhythm (arrhythmias).
Studies indicate that the hormone adrenaline exhausts and depletes the stores of magnesium in the body, especially when the body undergoes prolonged stress. Magnesium plays an essential role in the release and recapture of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system associated with positive emotions and mood. Serotonin is involved in the modulation of aggression, anger, mood, body temperature, sleep, appetite and metabolism.
When magnesium levels are low, the brain receives less serotonin. Low serotonin levels can cause mood disorders, anxiety and depression. It is therefore vital to maintain adequate levels of magnesium in the body.
The magnesium-rich food group include: pumpkin seeds, cocoa, soybeans, wheat germ, chickpeas, beans, peanuts, hazelnuts, lentils, quinoa, snails, mackerel and oysters.
Selenium is an essential trace element, meaning that it is necessary for good health, but only in small quantities. Selenium is used by the body to synthesize selenoproteins, which serve antioxidant functions, regulate our thyroid and strengthens immunity. In most developed countries, selenium deficiency is rare, but can contribute to health problems such as hypothyroidism and a weakened immune system.
A selenium supplementation may have beneficial effects on symptoms of anxiety and can help improve your mood and relieve stress.
The food groups rich in selenium include: beef liver, pig’s kidney, seafood (mussels, oysters , whelks, crabs and lobsters), octopus, bran (wheat, rice or oat bran), canned tuna, anchovies, pickled herring and brazil nuts.
Author : Alexis ROGER
You will find lots of information on:
…… and much more advice, information and guidance to help you be a confident Reiki giver, either to yourself or someone else.
You will also receive a specially designed certificate signed by me and confirming that you are able to give hands on Reiki to people and animals. This is something you can be proud of and you will want to display your certificates on the wall.
Your second certificate confirms that you’ve had guidance on how to use Reiki techniques to help lower stress in yourself, and other people.