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Question: How can I support my body during this holiday season, especially with all the
Answer: The holiday season is a difficult time of year for many people both emotionally and physically. The stress of travel, family and various other factors can be hard on the body. Although stress may not be possible to completely eliminate, there are some ways of protecting and caring for ourselves that might help ease the impact that causes these stressors.
The most obvious is cutting back on caffeine, sugar and getting restful sleep. Many people lose amounts of the hormone melatonin in the brain as they get older. This can also be a contributing factor to sleeplessness. Amino acids are also especially important during times of stress. Any type of stress causes a breakdown of the proteins in amino acids. They can be found in various food sources and in supplement form.
GABA is particularly helpful because it helps calm the nervous system and also can help improve proper sleep patterns. Finally, taking any time to yourself to relax, meditate or do any type of calming activity that you enjoy can make even the most stressful situations a bit more bearable and less toxic emotionally and physically.
Additionally there are several other ways to combat the additional pressure. My favorite is the three-bite rule. Those of us trying to not overload an already stressed system during the season may try to abstain from sweets all together — sometimes finding ourselves locked in a closet with a chocolate cake splurging to satisfy the constant denial of craving.
Don’t deny your taste of Grandma’s apple tart, but limit yourself to three normal-size bites. The first bite satisfies the craving, the second the taste buds and the third the tummy.
During stress the Adrenal glands become overloaded and cause nutrients to be diverted to that system causing depletion to the rest of the body. Vitamins and minerals can support the Adrenal system allowing nutrients to again support the entire body. Eating foods high in Zinc or using a Zinc supplement, can support the immune system, which can be severely weakened by stress.
Magnesium can support much needed rest, and potassium is very important to balance electrolytes. I use a mineral-rich supplement in my first line of my own anti-stress nutritional program. For the second step in my anti-stress program, I use certain vitamins. Vitamins C, E, and Beta Carotene, fight free radicals, known to produce unhealthy cells in times of stress. B and C vitamins work to support the weakness in the Adrenal glands mentioned above. B Vitamins are best taken in the morning to support energy, while the minerals will support restful sleep taken at night. These additions to your regimen can help fortify, and a nutrient-rich diet is also essential.
Please send Nutrition Questions to the Mind/Body Nourishment Center, Nancy Squire-Evans firstname.lastname@example.org and Loren Levitt, Mind/Body Nourishment Center, email@example.com.
Have a happy, safe and healthy holidays. This article is meant to be suggestive only, so please consult your medical doctor before starting any new supplements or additions to your existing regimen.