Three Ways To Handle Stress Through Nutrition

Think of good nutrition as good medicine when you are dealing with stress.

We all experience some form of stress every day; and how we handle it depends on our state of health. I like to think of my health as my bank account; health reserves that I can draw upon in times of stress.

There are 3 main methods to deal with stress. They are nutrition, exercise and rest. For this article, Ill focus on diet and nutrition.
What you eat gives you energy and the more energy you have the better you will be able to deal with everyday stress. Our brains have to be fed to work properly. And when the brain doesnt get proper nutrients it becomes unbalanced or stressed which we perceive as being anxious, depressed or unfocused.

There are 3 elements of nutrition the brain and body needs to function well.

1.Protein. Our bodies are made of protein. Our muscles and bones are made from protein. All the metabolic mechanisms use protein to function. If we dont eat enough protein then our bodies start to break down our muscles and bones to get this important nutrient.

oThere is a big difference between good and bad protein. A good protein has been sustainably raised like a cow, pig, chicken, or sheep that has been raised on a small ranch or farm or caught in the wild as in the case of fish. Sustainably raised animals tend to be healthier and not stressed which makes for a better protein. Good protein is easier for the body to process.

oBad protein comes from an animal that has been factory raised in crowded conditions, fed foods to fatten it up fast, and given antibiotics to keep it from getting sick. Bad protein is harder for the body to break down. You use more energy to digest it.

2. Carbohydrates. Now this topic has been in the news for years and it is confusing. Well heres a simple tip to help you choose good carbs: If you can look at a food and know here it came from it is a good carb. For example when you choose an apple you know it is a plant. Now if you look at a packet of sugar you cannot tell if it came from a sugar beet or a sugar cane. This is not a good carb because its been processed.

3. Fats. You cannot live without fat in your diet. Like carbs a good fat is something you can look at and know where it derived from. For example olive oil is easy to understand its origin.

A bad fat is usually a substance like partially hydrogenated oil which is used in food because it increases product shelf life. I have no idea where it came from outside a lab. The bad fats in a factory raised animal arent healthy because the animals are filled with fattening feed, antibiotics and hormones which can be toxic. This leads to your body using more energy in digestion making you feel tired and lethargic.

Last, I want to give you some recommendations for dealing with stress through nutrition and dietary supplements.

Susan Wallace is a licensed acupuncturist serving the San Francisco bay area. She has treated over 1000 patients over the last 25 years and specializes in


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