When we’re stressed it affects all other aspects of our health. Our body prioritises making stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) over other functions in the body, for a fight or flight response to the stress.
Over a prolonged period of time stress can have a very negative impact on many areas of our health including: gut health, immune health, female hormones, heart health, weight and moods.
If you are struggling with any stress or anxiety, we can support you - click here to complete our online interactive questionnaire, and book a FREE Health Check in.
Here are some top tips to help you support your body if you have stress or anxiety.
- Eat fresh, unprocessed foods with: plenty of vegetables, wholegrains, quality protein and good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds)
- Eat Omega 3 essential fats – essential for brain health, including memory, moods and cognition. Eg salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies. Vegetarian/vegan sources include: chia seeds , flaxseeds, hemp seeds and walnuts
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates– too much causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels, which makes us less able to deal with stress and has a negative effect on moods and energy levels.
- Have protein with each meal – this helps balance blood sugar levels and provides building blocks for neurotransmitters in the brain, eg serotonin (needed for good moods). Sources include: nuts/ seeds/ eggs/ chicken/ fish/ meat/ beans/ lentils/ tofu.
- Reduce the caffeine (black tea / coffee) – it’s a stimulant and can affect anxiety. Switch to green tea, which has less caffeine in and herbal teas.
- Avoid alcohol – too much can rob the body of vital nutrients and have a negative effect on stress and anxiety levels
Consider a supplement for additional support for stress or anxiety:
- Magnesium is often referred to as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’, it is particularly useful for helping the body relax and is rapidly used up in stress.
- L-Theanine – an amino acid found in green tea, that promotes a feeling of calm and relaxation, without drowsiness.
- Lemon Balm – traditionally been used in herbal medicine as a relaxant.
- Ashwaganda – an adaptogenic herb that helps balance the body’s response to stress and relax the nervous system.
- B vitamins – need to support the nervous system and support energy levels
- Omega 3 – essential for brain health, including moods.
- Probiotics – beneficial bacteria that support gut health. There is a strong link between the gut and the brain, via the nervous system, so these may also be helpful.
- Take time out – find something you enjoy and make time for it regularly. Learn to say no! Get outdoors, close to nature.
- Sleep – make it a priority to get enough sleep. This is vital for rest and repair. When we’re under stress we need more sleep around 8-10 hours
- Exercise – it produces endorphins (in the brain) which make you feel good – don’t overdo it however as excessive amounts can cause stress in the body.
- Use essential oils for example in a diffuser (try a ready-made blend of oils for relaxation/stress.) Add a drop or two of lavender oil to the underside of your pillow at night
- Try a lavender wheat pillow, heated, to put around your shoulders as you sit and watch tv/read a book in bed.
- Have a hot bath with Epsom bath salts to help relaxation. Or even add them to a bowl of hot water to put your feet in.