It’s a viscous cycle. Ongoing stress makes everything else your body tries to do harder, including providing immune support. But we needn’t give in to our circumstances or scary headlines without taking some simple steps to help combat stress.
None of us can escape some stress, especially in times like these. But even small steps taken daily can help to counteract the effects of that stress, helping to keep the body and mind in a healthy balance.
When we’re stressed, we want comfort food, but those calorie-dense, nutrient-light edibles only add to the negative effects of stress in the body. Instead, choose whole foods and complex carbs, with lots of vegetables. When you just have to have something sweet, turn to fruits. Try nuts for snacks instead of candy bars.
Staying well-hydrated is also important to a body’s balance. Choose cool, clean water instead of sugary drinks or coffee. Besides helping you maintain body temperature, water plays a key role in transporting nutrients, supporting circulation and more. Dehydration reduces energy and increases the negative effects of stress.
Even a ten-minute, brisk walk can make a difference. Under your doctor’s supervision, try to work up to at least a thirty-minute walk each day. YouTube has a plethora of videos for indoor walking if you can’t walk outside.
If nothing else, get up and move! Sitting is being labeled as the new smoking. Try to get up and walk around for at least a full minute every hour of the day to help your body. Sweat is a good thing. It helps the body push out toxins, while exercising increases feel-good hormones. Exercise is a win-win!
Spending a part of each day doing the things you love most is very important to fighting stress. Indulge in a hobby, read a good book, or listen to music you love. Take a few minutes each day to sit in the quiet and breathe deeply. Clear your mind of all its troubling thoughts and concentrate on your breath, on a positive saying, on your loved ones, or prayer.
Sufficient sleep is essential to your best, balanced health. During sleep, the body takes time to do some much-needed repair work. Unfortunately, stress, the blue light of electronics (including your television), and bad habits like too much caffeine consumption can all reduce our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. But the body needs sleep just like it needs nutrients, water, and exercise.
Supplement for Nutrient Deficiencies
Because our food choices don’t always provide us with the nutrients we need, getting the nutrients to help us fight stress can be helpful. Adaptogens are herbs believed to help the body with the stress response. The B vitamins and vitamin C are also important to the body, especially when stress is present. Low magnesium, a hard-working mineral in the body, can make any condition worse, including stress.
An immune system challenged by stress can find support from nutrients like zinc and vitamin D, as well as certain herbs and mushrooms. Did you know that some 70% of your immune system relies on your gut? Probiotic supplements can play an important role in supporting that gut health.
A balanced body can be ready for the challenges all of us face, especially in times like these. At Betsy’s Health Foods, we strive to have the product knowledge to help you choose the right supplements for your current needs. Our family-owned store has been taking your health to heart since 1993. We appreciate your choice to shop local.
BetsyHealth Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before starting a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition, including being pregnant or nursing, or take a prescription or over-the-counter medication.