Stress is a normal part of life and comes in many forms; from within, from our environment, from our body and even from what we eat and put into our bodies. Our body’s response to stress is a coping mechanism, it activates our nervous system and pumps out hormones like adrenalin and cortisol, which help us to react quickly to a stressful situation if we need to, called the fight or flight response. Blood rushes to our muscles, heart rate and blood pressure increase; muscles tense and we’re on high alert. Although stress can be helpful, to save our lives or simply to help us finish a task quickly to meet a deadline, long-term chronic stress with no little or no break or respite in between can have dire consequences on our physical and mental health.
Not a day goes by in my clinical practice where I don’t see stress as the major cause or a contributor to someone’s declining health. Up to 90% of doctors visits are said to be stress-related complaints. In the short-term, acute stress phase, it is common for appetite to disappear because of our revved up psychological state. If this continues long-term however, the adrenal glands release cortisol, which messes with our sugar-managing hormone, insulin and ramps up our appetite. Cravings for high fat and high sugar foods are also common, as well as behaviours that may increase our intake of calories like drinking more alcohol. All in all, a recipe for sure-fire weight gain and the health consequences that goes along with it.
Chronic, long-term stress can also affect us by:
- Depleting nutrients more rapidly due to increased metabolism
- Causing chronic gut and digestion issues – as blood rushes to muscles as a stress response, it moves away from the gut
- Disrupting sleep
- Causing headaches
- Increasing blood pressure and thickening of arteries
- Suppressing the immune system
- Playing a part in diabetes, depression and even some cancers.
Dealing with chronic stress for many people can be quite a journey that may take many years. However, supporting the body nutritionally through this journey by reducing and slowing down the physical damage of stress can be enormously beneficial. A nutritional supplement such as Nuzest Good Green Stuff is a super high quality, nutritional powerhouse based on the most recent evidence based science. It will help us whilst in a chronic stressful state by:
- Supporting the nervous system and adrenal glands using specific herbs and adaptogens like Panax Ginseng extract
- Supporting the immune system with powerful antioxidants and herbs such as Rhodiola Rosea
- Reducing gut issues – it’s easy to absorb with high levels of non-dairy pre- and probiotics and herbs such as apple pectin, slippery elm, milk thistle and ginger rhizome to support the elimination of waste
- Filling in any nutritional gaps, like a nutritional insurance policy particularly if diet is incomplete
- Helping to manage appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods with the addition of pea protein isolate and nutrients for management of blood sugar levels
This may in turn:
- Reduce the risk of diabetes
- Reduce blood pressure and thickening of arteries
- Improve depression and anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Slow down the effects of aging
Regardless of the level of stress you experience, ultimately your coping mechanisms will determine the severity and duration of the stress state. On a day-to-day level we all experience some level of stress and using as a consistent base, a combination of meditation, exercise as well as excellent nutrition and herbal support can help to reduce the damage to our health that stress may cause over time.