“All disease begins in the gut” – Hippocrates
Stress management is “as serious as a heart attack”
We must think of our body as a whole rather than consisting of individual parts. Like an orchestra, the parts work together. Studies have shown there is a gut-brain connection. Gut inflammation leads to digestive issues, which in turn produce brain inflammation, stress, anxiety, and depression-resulting in disease states.
Studies have shown that 95% of all health problems are either caused by or worsened by stress. Stress affects the mind, body and spirit. If our body is nutrient deficient, then it cannot have a healthy stress response.
Our adrenal glands produce cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Elevated cortisol leads to the body’s releasing of more insulin. This causes food cravings, which make it difficult to stop eating sugars and carbs. This behavior may ultimately result in obesity. Constant stress impacts our overall health, mood, sleep, and even relaxation.
Our gut is where 80% of our immune system is located, as well as where serotonin (a brain neurotransmitter) is produced. An imbalance in gut bacteria can induce intestinal barrier defects that trigger a plethora of systemic diseases (such as autoimmune disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.). This information confirms that what we eat plays a major role in how we feel both mentally and physically.
Foods to Avoid to Reduce Stress
- Sugars (tax the adrenal glands) and refined carbs.
- Energy drinks.
- Caffeine – has been shown to increase cortisol production.
- Alcohol reduces sleep quality and stress tolerance.
- Artificial and natural sweeteners.
- Stimulant drug use.
- Aspirin or other NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Eating to Reduce Stress
- Eat 3 to 9 cups of organic vegetables per day. They contain vitamins, minerals and enzymes to support a healthy body for well-being. Eat a variety of vegetables of different colors (Rainbow).
- Eat 1 to 2 handfuls of organic nuts and berries per day. Nuts contain healthy fats, zinc, selenium and berries contain antioxidants.
- Eat 2-3 palm size organic quality meats or fish per day.
- Herbs – cilantro, lemons and limes (improves digestion by increasing acid production). Turmeric, ginger, oregano and etc.
- Pre and probiotics weekly.
- Eat 2 to 4x per day. Fast only if stress response is healed.
- Eat slowly, calmly, and sitting. Body needs to know it is time to eat, digest and assimilate nutrients.