Stress is defined as physical, chemical or emotional tension that stems from demanding circumstances. Emotional stress, the type that can cause worry and anxiety, is most commonly a result of serious life situations. This can include anything from a career change or financial burden to an illness diagnosis or death in the family. When exposed to negative stress, the body's immune system is indirectly affected and may increase the risk for developing illness and disease. But that doesn't mean you're doomed, according to what Ann Malkmus shared in her book "Unravel the Mystery":
"For the chemical messengers in our bodies to function optimally requires management of our responses to the stresses in our lives," she said.
By following a primarily raw diet, you can help alleviate that stress and help boost and rebuild your immune system after exposure to overwhelming circumstances. Here are some foods and supplements Ann recommends consuming on your path to a calm, serene well-being:
Fresh Living Foods and Juices
You receive the most abundant source of nutrients from raw vegetables. By making fresh vegetable juice, you're allowing your body to obtain the vitamins and minerals in the fastest way possible. These living foods raise alkalinity in the body, which can soothe nerves.
- Dark green vegetables such as kale and broccoli are packed with nutrients that restore the body and allow it to recover after a stressful situation.
- Oranges, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries and red and green peppers are loaded with vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and defeats brain-cell damage caused by cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Spinach, Swiss chard and kale are full of magnesium, which has been known to relax muscle fibers and relieve stress.
- Organic oatmeal contains complex carbohydrates that boost serotonin production, a chemical that is known to stabilize mood.
- While the Hallelujah Diet calls for consuming raw foods, cooked products can have a greater calming effect on the body than raw foods do. However, turning too much to "comfort foods" can lead to emotional eating and excessive weight gain.
A primarily raw diet will provide you with the best food-based vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but Ann added that someone concerned with stress should consider taking these supplements as well:
- Vitamin B6 helps the body produce serotonin, the feel-good chemical.
- Folic acid creates dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with helping you feel calm and happy.
- Vitamin B12 also helps relax the body through the formation of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter. Try Hallelujah Diet Vitamin B12, B6 & Folate.
- If your stress has kept you from getting a good night's sleep, consider melatonin. This supplement will relax the body and allow you to rest.
- Celery seed has been known to treat many health issues, stress and anxiety symptoms included. Its active compound – phthalides – provides relief similar to those of sedatives.
- Maca root, in its unprocessed form, contains a phytonutrient that can ward off feelings of anxiety and depression.
Unfortunately, stress is inevitable. You'll go through certain circumstances that challenge you, but it's important to remember it's all a part of God's plan. Everything happens for a reason, so it's your job to recognize the stress and alleviate it in the most natural and healthy way possible. Besides following a primarily-raw diet, deep breathing, laughter, stretching, and regular exercise are all excellent ways to combat anxiety. With a healthy lifestyle, you can support your body to overcome any obstacles caused by stress.