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Energy & Stress
5 Easy Tips To Reduce Stress
Stress can be a debilitating condition. It can have serious effects on your emotional and psychological well-being, making your life feel like a never-ending bad dream. Stress also has serious implications for your physical health and can play a role in development of a range of diseases and conditions...
Stress Related Diseases
Stress-related diseases include (but aren't limited to):
psoriasis and other skin conditions
depression and other psychological conditions
high blood pressure
Symptoms of Stress
If you are likely to be subject to highly stressful experiences or environments, it is important that you understand the symptoms of stress. This will help you self monitor and know when your stress levels are elevated and - perhaps - hamful. It is also critical you have a plan to deal with that stress once you've identified it. Symptoms of stress include (but are not limited to):
agitation and frustration where you normally might not feel that way
an over-active mind / experiencing trouble quieting your mind
feelings of muscle tightness / anxiety
lower self esteem
increased use of alcohol or other substances
5 Easy Ways To Deal With Stress
It is important to note that if you are experiencing ongoing stress that you do not feel capable of handling or if you are suffering sever stress symptoms, you should talk to your health professional. If your stress is work-related, it may be appropriate to talk to your manager or supervisor. For lower to intermediate levels of stress, the below potential coping mechanisms may help during times of stress.
1. Talk to Someone
The anxiety and tension that accompany stress can often be (at least partially) relieved by talking to a friend, councillor or doctor. Having a sympathetic ear that you can share your problems with will not only help you feel better, it can also be a useful way to identify the main causes of your stress. Thirdly, it is a great way to work out strategies on how you can mitigate the source of your stress. Having a fresh perspective on the situation can help you see past the blinders we sometimes have on during times of stress.
2. Resist Temptations
During stressful times, it can be enticing to have a drink (or four) to calm the nerves. Alcohol and substance abuse are common coping mechanisms in Australia. These substances may offer temporary relief from stress, but only serve to amplify stress symptoms once their effect wears off. Do your best to resist.
3. Chill Out / Fire Up. Every Day.
Finding activities that reduce stress, and forcing yourself to do them every day, is a critical stress management technique. However, the exact activities that help relieve stress will vary from person to person. If you tend to fire up and become angry or agitated during times of stress, force yourself to do an activity every day that calms you down and helps quieten you to counter that. Similarly, if you tend to become depressed or withdrawn under stress, try to make your daily stress relieving activity something that excites and stimulates you, something that energises and excites you.
4. Diet and Exercise
There are a wide range of benefits from exercise. Exercise reduces stress. It boosts endorphins. It has a calming, mind-clearing effect similar to meditation. It boosts mood. Whilst exercise of almost any type can help reduce stress, aiming to get 45 minutes of high intensity exercise 3 times or more per week can work wonders for your ability to deal with stress. Diet is another important way to deal with stress. When you are stressed, your body has an elevated need for vitamins and minerals, making it all the more important that you eat a variety of healthy foods to support your health. In particular, your body may need increased levels of: - Vitamin C (oranges, red capsicum, chilli or
). - Vitamin E (almonds, tofu, spinach, avocado) - B Vitamins (meats, fish, poultry, milk, dark green leafy vegetables or
5. Try a Supplement
We always advocate eating a healthy diet over taking a multivitamin. However, during times of stress, we usually don't have the time to create a meal plan, buy groceries and cook healthy meals. As such, a broad range multivitamin may help support your body during times of stress. Look for one that contains vitamins C & E, plus magnesium for relaxation, lemon balm (traditionally used to help rest and relaxation) and the B vitamins. Alternatively,
has been called "Nature's Multivitamin" due to it's high vitamin content. Including it in your cooking, juice, smoothies etc can give an added nutrient boost to help your body deal with increased demand during stressful times. ------ This article was provided by our online health partner Health365. For more information on
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5 Superfoods For Your Heart
Keeping your heart healthy is as much about putting the right nutrients
to your body as it is about keeping the wrong substances
Foods that contain saturated fats, salt and high levels of processed sugar are all "No-no's" (as is smoking). If you are concerned about your heart, eating well and avoiding the above foods and toxins may help. Eating more of the below 5 superfoods for a healthy heart may also be of benefit to overall heart health. Looking after your heart is serious business. As this article is being written, heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia.
If you have serious concerns about heart health, talking to your doctor should be your first step. Eating the foods below may help support your heart, but just eating these foods and neglecting other lifestyle factors that can contribute to heart problems will not guarantee a healthy heart.
5 Superfoods For Your Heart
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease according to the Australian Heart Foundation. Omega-3 may also help reduce inflammation of blood vessels and reduce blood clotting.
Chia-Crusted Salmon recipe
for a tasty, healthy way to get more salmon into your diet.
2. Chia Seeds
are - like salmon - rich in omega-3. In fact, on a pund-for-pound basis, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon. Furthermore, chia seeds are rich in fibre. Diets high in fibre can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Chia Cacao Coconut Cluster recipe
for a treat that you won't believe is heart-healthy.
3. Tofu and/or Soy Milk
Both of these food sources contain niacin, folate, calcium magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are crtitical to help support the heart.
Banana Split Smoothie recipe
- a delicious way to drink soy milk and top up fibre, protein and antioxidants.
is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for helping prevent potential cellular damage caused by free radicals - unstable molecules that are present in our body and attack cells in an effort to stabilise themselves. This damage can cause inflammation, and a
ntioxidants can thus protect our body from the inflammation. Inflammation can be an aggravating factor in heart disease. Preliminary studies also suggest acai
be helpful for reducing blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
Acai Berry Breakfast recipe
for a heart healthy start to the date.
You may have heard of studies that suggest a potential link between daily (dark) chocolate consumption and heart health. This link is likely because dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa) is rich in polyphenols: substances that can help reduce clotting, blood pressure and inflammation. What you may not know is that dark chocolate, and the cocoa used to make it, are actually the nutritionally inferior by-products of
raw cacao. Raw cacao
is rich in a number of nutrients that are critical for supporting heart health. It is the base ingredient used to make cocoa / dark chocolate (cacao is processed and cooked to turn it into cocoa, whihc is then processed further to create dark chocolate. This processing and cooking destroys much of the original nutritional content, so choosing cacao over cocoa is a good idea).
Choc Chilli Cacao Mousse recipe
for a decadent, heart-friendly dessert.
------ This article is presented by our online health partner Health365. To
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