Research has found that chronic stress causes inflammation and insulin resistance in our bodies, either of which can cause you to gain weight. Over time, chronic stress can lead to a variety of health and emotional problems.
The good news? Reducing the stress in your life can both improve your well-being and work wonders for your waist line. With adequate sleep, proper nutrition and physical activity, you can counter the effects of stress. Adding nutritional supplements and herbs to this equation can help to alleviate the daily stresses that we constantly encounter.
Eleuthero, or Siberian ginseng, is an adaptogen- an herb that helps the body cope with stress. If your feeling worn out or frazzled, a very low dosage, in tincture form, can help calm you and give you a better nights sleep.
Stress can cause a spike in your blood sugar and cinnamon can help. Cinnamon aids your cells in becoming less insulin resistant and lowers blood cholesterol. Try it cooked in a curry dish, sprinkled over chai tea or in supplement form, as an extract.
Tulsi, or holy basil, has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory proprieties and its ability to boost your body’s innate defense against stress. Tulsi can be taken daily, in either tea or capsule form, during periods of stress.
Fish oil reduces the stress hormone cortisone, increasing lean muscle mass and decrease fat. Not only will fish oil lessen you stress response, but it can enhance brain function and fight depression. Make sure the fish oil your taking contains both DHA and EPA.
Chiropractic adjustments help to relieve pressure and tension in your body, reducing pain and inflammation, leaving you more relaxed. As chiropractors, we focus not only on the spine and nervous system, but we address emotional and nutritional areas that may be causing stress. Even your posture can be an unnecessary physical stressor that chiropractic can help correct.
Try yoga! Yoga’s series of postures and controlled breathing exercises are a popular means of stress management and relaxation. Today, yoga classes teaching the art of breathing, meditation and posing are offered nearly everywhere. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety naturally. Don’t be surprised if you also notice an increase in your strength and flexibility!
So, the goal is to live well- not to be stick-thin and happy all the time, but alleviating the chronic stress that may be weighing down your life can lighten your load, physically and mentally. Let’s feel better, and look good doing it.
As always, be sure to see a health-care professional before beginning or discontinuing any type of treatment or health regimen.