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Beat Stress Naturally With Nutrition

Stress – we know it’s not good for us, but for many it’s an unavoidable part of life. Stress can be emotional, physical, social or environmental, and may be as simple as trying to juggle family, work and finances, or feeling “under the pump.”

Prolonged stress can impact on immunity, digestive function, hormonal balance and places extra strain on organ function. If left untreated, stress can lead to weight gain, hair loss, adrenal burnout, and chronic disease. It can also affect our mental health.

When dealing with stress, diet is very important. Eat the wrong foods and you may be compounding the problem, while a few key dietary changes can help improve your resistance to stress, and help to ward off illness.

The first thing to consider is which foods are going to negatively affect your wellbeing:

Sugar – although it may give you a quick boost of energy, it can cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate and leave you feeling more tired in the long run.

Caffeine – Coffee, tea and energy drinks deplete your body of water soluble nutrients, including all-important B vitamins and magnesium, but worse still, they contribute to burnout by placing extra strain on the adrenal glands.

Processed foods – when you are stressed or just plain busy, your body has a greater need for all kinds of nutrients. Processed foods are stripped of most of their vitamins and minerals, making them a poor choice.

So which foods help with stress?

Foods high in B vitamins help to nourish the nervous system, stabilize blood sugar and improve brain function. B vitamins are found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast, meat and legumes.

Magnesium helps to calm the nervous system and improve sleep patterns. Magnesium is found in nuts, whole grains and cocoa (no wonder we crave chocolate!).

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for brain and nervous system function. A good quality fish oil supplement (or flaxseed oil is you are vegetarian) can help to ensure your levels stay topped up.

Food can also be your medicine. Oats are known in herbal medicine as a nerve tonic, and are loaded with B vitamins and magnesium. If you feel you need something to help calm you down, chamomile, passionflower and lemon balm tea are all effective, relaxing herbal teas.

And remember, taking time out on a health retreat can be like pressing a “reset” button for stressed and burnt out individuals. Consider taking time out from your busy schedule and looking after your body to help prevent having to deal with illness later on.

Byron Bay Detox Retreats provide a safe and nurturing environment where one can relax, unwind and restore balance of body and mind.


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