I’ve written quite a bit about stress this past week on Instagram and whenever I dig into this topic, I get lots of questions around what people can do, supplements they can take, etc. to help combat stress. Here’s the deal, stress is often viewed as a thing, but it’s really a response within the body. Taking a supplement or meditating can be helpful, but what about making your body more resilient to stress?
Gabor Mate gives this great description of stress in his book, When The Body Says No:
“Stress is a biological process, a wide-ranging set of events in the body, irrespective of cause or of subjective awareness. Stress consists of the internal alterations—visible or not—that occur when the organism perceives a threat to its existence or well-being.”
While food (or lack there of) can definitely create stress in the body, I think it’s most powerful for reducing it.
Here’s how a balanced nutrition approach can reduce stress:
1. Gives energy to the cells to support metabolic health and energy production in the body.
2. Balances blood sugar.
3. Glucose balanced with the proper nutrients reduces cortisol.
4. Provides essential nutrients needed for functions in the body (think liver, thyroid hormone production, blood sugar, etc.)
5. Takes the body out of the stressed state when done properly.
If you often feel stressed or feel like you don’t handle stress well, looking at your nutrition is one of the most powerful places to start. When I think about symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, PMS, pain/heavy periods, difficulty falling or staying asleep, etc. I think of blood sugar.
When you eat breakfast, eat consistently throughout the day and avoid skipping meals, and include carbs and protein in your meals, you are meeting one of your body’s most basic needs–energy! One of our body’s main goals is to keep our blood sugar balanced. When we don’t have enough glucose (sugar) in the blood, we release cortisol (stress hormone), which leads to compensation. Eventually this can lead to hormone imbalances
So if you’re feeling stressed about not doing enough meditation, supplements, etc. bring yourself back to the basics. That is what is truly most important for your hormones.
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