Stress is like a shadow that we can get rid of, but don’t because it is such an integrated emotion in our daily lives, that we don’t realize that it is harming us. What can be nick-named the modern-day serial killer, stress, comes in many forms, from paying bills, working with people you don’t like, meeting deadlines, taking care of family, traffic noises, and even the negative thoughts we have in our minds.
But stress is not just a collection of various problems, but a problem in itself, which we need to solve before it manifests into something more serious than the occasional headache or indigestion. Unfortunately for us, the body is not equipped to know the difference between physical and emotional distress, so it reacts with a fight-or-flight response because our genes perceive the feeling of stress to seem like life-or-death situations. So, imagine how overwhelmed your body must be and what it must be going through each time you stress out? It’s as if your entire system is prepared for war or survival, almost all day or at every given moment.
When no cell gets to relax, they slowly weaken and succumb to the overpowering nature of stress and start damaging your body in some of these ways:
-Tiredness and soreness
-Frequent flus and colds
-Weakens your immune system functions
-Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks
-Deteriorating brain functions
Being able to take stress in your stride and cope with it without letting it get to you is great, and even makes you mentally stronger and more resilient.
However, here are 7 nutritional ideas to cope with stress, keep your mood positive, and protect your body from getting damaged by stress-inducing issues:
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1. Lemon And Other Natural Fruit Juices
Naturally heavy in folic acid, orange and lemon juices can help protect a pregnant woman’s child from spinal cord issues, balances moods, and builds the body’s resistance to stress. It also naturally boosts metabolism and helps a person combat mental issues such as, depression, schizophrenia, that all occur when the body and mind have faced stress for prolonged periods of time.
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Rich in vitamin C, it is not just a mood booster, but also provides your body the needed ammo to fight and protect you from various illnesses, damages to tissues, and helps control cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for controlling other stress hormones. One needs to have about 1000 mg of vitamin C a day, which can be derived from fruits like papaya, berries, citrus fruits, and more. Papaya’s vitamin A content also enables cell repair, recovery, and helps them cope with stressing stimuli.
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With a natural abundance of healthy plant-sourced omega 3 fatty-acids, they are very good at protecting your heart from mental stress and help break down those saturated fats from your blood, that threaten to clog your arteries. Omega 3 fatty-acids, also aid in cortisol reduction and lesser the blow of an inflammatory hormone called cytokine, which causes the body to negatively react to stress, thereby keeping you calm when dealing with stressful situations.
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As the go-to power source for Popeye himself, spinach, and other dark leafy green veggies, are rich in iron and magnesium, which help regulate and bring down those high blood pressure levels, which generally spike when you’re stressed. Try juicing up about 3 cups of spinach to get about 40% of your daily required magnesium intake.
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5. Sunflower Seeds
As a potent source of vitamin E, sunflower seeds are a not just a delicious snack but just 100 grams of sunflower seeds gives you more than twice the amount of vitamin E you need per day. This essential vitamin helps protect your body stress-inducing illnesses, protects your body’s tissues and the proteins responsible for tissue renewal, and enables smooth cell-to-cell transmissions, especially in response to stress.
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The cocoa in chocolate helps the body release endorphins which make people feel happy, relaxed, and calm. It also contains sedative like effects such as, anandamide, which binds to the same receptor locations as the THC (hallucinogenic ingredient) in cannabis, but is of course not as powerful. The theobromine ingredient of chocolate gives a similar kick to that of caffeine. These are the overall stress-busting and calming ingredients of chocolate.
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7. Keep Alcohol And Sugars Away
Booze may seem like a natural relaxant, and it is to a certain extent until we sober up. But, too much of alcohol makes the body become hyperglycemic, making the person feel perpetually drowsy or sleepy after their blood sugars have been spiked and then suddenly brought back down. This then causes headaches and improper sleep that night and the day after. Likewise, high sugar diets can also cause similar blood sugar increases, which results in unstable mood swings, insomnia, and even possible diabetes risk. The effects of both alcohol and too much sugar keeps the body from having its best defenses ready to fight stress.