Feeling ‘overheated’ emotionally or physically? Lack of daily movement or what you eat can both contribute to the sense of being warmer than usual. Addressing the behaviors that lead to emotions of anger, depression and stress, all result in negatively heating the body. Headaches, sleepless nights, skin flare-ups, irritability are all examples of how the body heats up as a direct response to stress. Continuing on a declining path will create physical heath conditions: heart attack, stroke, cancer, etc.
Best Exercise for Managing Stress
Walking, swimming, bicycling, yoga and golf are good examples that contribute to relieving or cooling down an individual so that emotional stress is controlled through physical activity. Exercise increases the endorphins within the brain so the blood pumping, energy is restored and you will feel more focused. It can be as simple as a 30 minutes of movement per day!
How Stress Affects Hormones
Choosing to stay on an unenthusiastic cycle alternates both stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and how they function in the body. Adrenaline and cortisol when adversely effected influence changes in our blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stimulating the ghrelin hormone (hunger) that promotes an excessive appetite and depresses the leptin hormone that signals satiety in the stomach! Appetites have now been re-defined.
Foods that Promote Over-Eating
Avoid spices, condiments, drinks , and certain foods that promote over eating when facing stress: fried, greasy or oily foods, margarine, black pepper, chilies, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, onion, salad dressings, rosemary, white and brown sugar, white flour, wine, beer, coffee.
Reduce amounts of: salt, red meat, chicken (4 ounces 2-3 times a week), cheese (1 oz q/day). Poor quality fats clog arteries and lead to heart disease. Calcium and magnesium uptake interference can be altered by an excess of certain meats spices and drinks, having a negative effect on calming and cooling the body. A deficiency of magnesium leads to anxiety and hyperness.
Dietary Solution to Control Stress
Fats in the diet must be high quality in order to maintain healthy organs and vascular system, use: fish oils, extra virgin olive, grape seed, flax seed , almond oils. Introduce foods that promote calcium, magnesium absorption, anti-oxidants and polyphenols.
Best food preparation: Grilled, Braised, lightly boiled (7 minutes), steamed.
Consume raw vegetables, fruits (remove citrus fruits if they create digestive problems), berries, nuts, whole grains, yogurt and seafood. Include salads, melons, cucumbers and bitter greens (broccoli, arugula, celery dandelion, basil, parsley, cilantro) which are full of water and needed for calming and cooling the body. Eat plants that are in season for optimal nutrition. Consider pomegranates as way to intake resveratrol protein which helps raise HDL cholesterol and reduce red wine intake. Add decaffeinated black, green and white teas as a way to hydrate and include anti-oxidants and reduce caffeine.
Daily and Weekly Diet
Consuming breakfast is critical for energy and initiating the metabolism and should not be skipped. 5-6 small meals are necessary for proper maintenance of a healthy individual, light evening meals eaten 4 hours before bedtime to optimize a restful sleep. Daily intake of nutrition should include: 4 servings of fruit, 5 servings of vegetables, 1 ounce (28 g) cheese, 3-4 weekly servings fish, 2 weekly servings meat, multi-grain breads, pasta rice, 1-2 servings soy or lowfat milk, 6 cups water (250 ml).
By incorporating a healthy diet and managing stress through exercise hormonal balance can be achieved. While the initial steps can be put into place by you, communicate any dietary or physical activity changes to your doctor so that your overall health can be observed and guided as needed.
By: Kim Crocker