CNP, B.Sc, M.Ed.
I. Foods that help combat and support stress
1- Eat a Rainbow of whole foods and use the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen
2- Protein: Fatty fish like Salmon or Turkey
3- Citrus and Vitamin C containing foods such as:
orange, grapefruit, sweet red pepper, kiwi, orange, strawberries, broccoli One of the least stable vitamins easily destroyed by cooking and during storage. Used up in the body within four hours - frequent supplementation recommended.
II. Vitamins/ Minerals and Supplements that support stress
a) Adrenal Support
What are Adrenals?
What does it do?
Why is there an imbalance?
ALL B-vitamins are essential for effectively managing stress. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 help to maintain a healthy nervous system. This is partly where stress relief comes in - a strong nervous system is essential to being able to effectively fight the symptoms of stress
Vitamin B1 – thiamine
• stabilise your mood
• keep your nervous system healthy
• boost memory and concentration
Vitamin B1-rich foods include nuts and seeds, fish, soybeans and yeast extract.
Vitamin B2 – riboflavin
• calm the nervous system
• regulate mood and energy
•metabolise fats and carbohydrates
You can find B2 in eggs, salmon, milk, yoghurt, mushrooms and spinach.
Vitamin B3 – niacin
• stabilise your mood; low B3 levels can lead to stress, irritability, low mood
• nerve health
• control blood sugar levels and digestion
Find it in fish, meat, seeds, peanuts and green peas.
Vitamin B6 – pyridoxine
• make neurotransmitters, such as mood-boosting serotonin
• support your immune system during times of anxiety
• support adrenal function
Find it in bananas, chickpeas, wheat germ and lentils.
Vitamin B9 – folate or folic acid
• support proper brain function
• improve mood
• prevent birth defects during pregnancy, such as spina bifida
Find it in broccoli, spinach, chickpeas, lentils and beans.
Vitamin B12 – cyanocobalamin
• brain function and development
• melatonin and serotonin production, essential for mood and sleep
• make DNA
*** NEED IT FOR PROPER DIGESTION***
Find it in eggs, milk, cheese, milk products, fish, shellfish. B12 is also added to some soy (never for thyroid issues) and rice milk products.
Dopamine: Dopamine regulates your reward and pleasure centers. This important brain chemical is also important for memory and motor skills
Adrenaline and noradrenaline: These hormones are responsible for the fight-or-flight response to stressful situations.
Thyroid hormones: Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland and primarily responsible for regulating metabolism
• supports and stimulates adrenal function
• helps thyroid hormone production
• aids in cholesterol metabolism end increases its elimination
• stimulates the immune function
LifeStyle options that can help manage stress
b) Outdoor and walking ( forest bathing )
Association of Nature and Forest therapy ( dozens of studies )
Forest bathing seems to significantly alleviate the root cause of a multitude of ailments: stress. Excess stress can play a role in headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, and arthritis, among many other ailments.
Forest bathing catalyzes increased parasympathetic nervous system activity which prompts rest, conserves energy, and slows down the heart rate while increasing intestinal and gland activity. Lower cortisol concentrations are also a signal that the body’s stress-response system is being triggered less. When this system is triggered, cortisol and other stress hormones are released into the body. Overexposure to these chemicals in response to chronic stress can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.
The average concentration of salivary cortisol, a stress hormone, in people who gazed on forest scenery for 20 minutes was 13.4 percent lower than that of people in urban settings.
*** A 2012 study in America demonstrated a 50% increase in creative problem solving by a group who spent four days in nature, disconnected from their electronic devices. The meditative nature of Forest Bathing cuts out the multiple distractions of modern life and frees up your mind***
First, find a spot. Make sure you have left your phone and camera behind. You aregoing to be walking aimlessly and slowly. You don’t need any devices.
The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses. Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet. Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the natural aromatherapy of phytoncides. Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths. Place your hands on the trunk of a tree. Dip your fingers or toes in a stream. Lie on the ground. Drink in the flavor of the forest and release your sense of joy and calm. This is your sixth sense, a state of mind. Now you have connected with nature. You have crossed the bridge to happiness.
c. time to yourself, body and mind work through breath
* 10 minutes of meditation/ quiet time
* try the CALM app