Health writer Lisa Guy
Studies are finding an increasing number of stressed-out Australians due to money, job and work-life balance worries. Health writer Lisa Guy gives us 10 east ways we can reduce stress and anxiety in our lives.
1. Antioxidant-rich foods
Include plenty of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. Antioxidants are your best defence against free radical damage in the body, which causes chronic disease and premature aging. Best choices include berries, red and orange fruits and vegies such as tomatoes, red grapes, beetroot, red capsicum and green tea.
2. Good unsaturated fats
You need to include “good” unsaturated fats in your diet, especially omega-3’s. These good fats are essential for a healthy heart and nervous system function, as well as proper brain function and development. Your best sources of omega-3’s include oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout, flaxseed oil and nuts and seeds.
3. Choose the right supplements
De-stress by taking a good magnesium supplement daily like Nutra-Life Organic Magnesium Complete. This important mineral is needed to calm and support the nervous system, helping your body deal with stress in a better way, improving your sleep and helping to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
4. Exercise regularly
Make sure you exercise regularly, at least 30-40minutes a day. Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight, to relieve stress, and help keep a healthy heart.
5. Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water daily, at least 1 1/2 Litres a day. Water is vital for good health – a majority of our body is made up of water. You need it to keep well hydrated, for healthy skin, proper brain function and importantly to flush toxins from the body.
6. Fresh, unprocessed foods
A majority of your diet should be made up of fresh unprocessed foods – foods that are in their natural state such as fresh fruits and vegies, legumes, wholegrain cereals and nuts and seeds. You should try to avoid heavily processed foods that notoriously contain high levels of sugars, salts and bad fats.
7. Colourful foods
Eat a rainbow of colours of fruits and vegies each day. Each colour indicates the presence of different nutrients eg. red fruits and vegies are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocynanin; orange indicates the presence of beta-carotene, which is an important nutrient that is converted to vitamin A in the body; green leafy vegies are rich in iron, calcium and folate. By eating a variety of colours you will be getting a nice array of different nutrients in your diet.
8. Avoid trans-fats
Trans-fats are your worse kind of fat, they are one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease and linked to cancer. Trans-fats are made when vegetable oils are heated at high temperatures. They are found in processed foods such as muffins, cookies, pastries, some margarines and greasy take away foods.
Get enough sleep each night as this is when the body heals and restores itself. If you have trouble getting off to sleep you could try having some calming herbal teas before bed such as chamomile, skullcap, valarian or lemonbalm; or take some magnesium; or add some lavender essential oil to a diffuser near your bed.
Make sure you’re getting enough fibre. Dietary fibre is vital for healthy bowel function, to prevent constipation and keep you regular, prevent colon cancer, keep cholesterol levels in check and also help to support healthy immune function. Your best fibre-rich foods are wholegrain cereals (brown rice, wholeoats, quiona, grainy breads), fruits, vegies, legumes, nuts and seeds.
What stresses you most these days? How do you destress?