I don’t know about you but I could always use a little more time to unwind and let my troubles melt away. In today’s constant fast paced and high stress lifestyle it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. There are days when we question how we ever managed to make it through them and yet we always seem to come out just fine. Or at least we think we are. The thing about stress is that like most things in life you need to have a balance of it. While a little stress from time to time can actually make you healthier, too much stress can destroy your health in a number of ways. One of the biggest health issues we are currently facing is due to an excess of stress!
What Happens Behind The Curtain
Stress is actually part of our bodies natural defense. In situations where our lives are in danger the brain will activate the release of Cortisol. Cortisol is one of the hormones that is released in response to stress. While Cortisol is mainly known for its involvement in the body’s response to stress it also serves other purposes. Cortisol assists in the regulation of blood sugar levels, balancing metabolism, reducing inflammation, and even in the formation of memories. Its natural effects on water and salt balance, make it ideal for aiding in the regulation of blood pressure. In women, Cortisol also plays a key role in the development of the fetus during pregnancy. When our levels become out of balance it can present itself in a number of ways.
What To Lookout For
Some of the signs and symptoms that can indicate excess levels of Cortisol are: feeling overly alert yet exhausted, difficulty falling and or staying asleep, feeling anxious or nervousness, easily irritated, memory lapse, easily distracted, craving sugar, weight gain (especially around the waist), indigestion, GERD and other digestive issues, as well as skin issues such as eczema or psoriasis. The unfortunate reality is that we all display at least one, if not multiple, of these signs and symptoms. Due to our constant exposure to stress from looming deadlines, money woes, and even the foods we eat. We are in a near constant exposure to stressful situations. That’s why I like to approach this constant health hurdle in a number of ways: hormones, nutrition, supplements, mindset, sleep, and of course exercise.
5 Teas To Help You Drink Your Way To Peace
When it comes to stress we can use all the help we can get. One of my favorite ways to keep things as natural as possible is with nutrition. But at the end of the day hydration is so much more important in the grand scheme of things. That’s why I love to use tea as an option with my clients. It is a great way to get all the nutritional benefits from herbs and spices and up your water intake. The following is a list of my top five favorite teas to help reduce your stress with ease:
- Peppermint Tea
- Orange Tea
- Green Tea
- Cinnamon Tea
- Chamomile Tea
Studies have shown that peppermint tea may help modulate activities in the central and peripheral nervous system. It’s natural cooling effects on the stomach muscles also aid in better digestion which houses the majority of Serotonin production. The Menthol in peppermint provides relief from coughs and flu. Making peppermint a common go to for pain relief during cold and flu seasons. Drinking peppermint tea can also help reduce tooth aches and decrease inflammation while treating bad breath and yellow teeth. It’s natural anti-inflammatory benefits make it great for more than just stress relief. Peppermint can also help regulate calcium ion channels which aid the body in the elimination process. This means that it can help slow things down and speed them up when needed.
The health benefits that come from oranges have been shown to help not only reduce stress levels. They also can help improve your immune system. Due to its abundance of vitamin C and its natural diuretic ability it is a great choice to help flush your system. Oranges contain vitamin B6, also known as the “mood vitamin” due to the fact that B6 acts in the brain to aid in the production of Serotonin which produceses feeling of joy. Citrus fruits contain substances called limonoids that live in the bloodstream for up to 24 hours after consumption. Limonoids are cancer fighters, packed with antioxidants they help prevent the breaking down of cell DNA. They also contain polyphenols which are another antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation and fight viruses and other bacteria.
Looking for a tea that can multitask? Green tea has a variety of health benefits due to its high concentration of antioxidants. As an added bonus it also contains caffeine and anti inflammatory properties. Green tea has also been shown to increase your metabolism and more. The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria, which can lower the risk of infections and improve dental health. Green tea is said to help delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. Not to mention that it contains the amino acid L-Theanine which helps to improve brain function and reduce stress. Studies have shown that drinking green tea regularly will increase your metabolic rate by 5%. Green tea is packed full of vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, C, E, Folic Acid, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, and much more!
Is not just great for helping to regulate blood sugar levels and improve circulation throughout the body. Cinnamon tea can also help to reduce inflammation and lower stress levels naturally. Just ¼ -½ teaspoon daily lowers blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes. By reducing and controlling your blood sugar levels your appetite will be reduced because you will feel the sensation of satiety more quickly and over a longer period of time. Just one teaspoon of ground cinnamon contains 1.4 grams of fiber. Cinnamon is also a good source of calcium and iron. A 2004 study found that the smell of cinnamon alone helped boost brain function. Cinnamon is also one of the best antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which both help improve circulation and support heart health.
Whom among us doesn’t love the sleepy time blend of tea. One of its main components is chamomile. Known for its natural soothing effects on the nervous system making it a clear go to for stress reduction. One of the most common reasons for tea consumption is its powerful ability to aid in relaxation. Chamomile tea can help reduce stress and anxiety due to its gentle warming and soothing nature. It was traditionally used to treat colic in children and gas relief. The terpenes and glucosides in chamomile are antimicrobial and inhibit internal and external inflammation. Chamomile contains flavonoid apigenin, which induces sleepiness and also has antispasmodic activity, which helps relieve gastrointestinal discomfort. It also contains diaphoretic properties which can detoxify your body by inducing perspiration. Chamomile also works as an analgesic which makes it beneficial for pain relief, this tea is often used to soothe teething babies.
Pulled Mushroom Sandwich
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 8
- 11 King Oyster Mushrooms
- 1 tsp Avocado Oil
- ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Favorite Barbeque Sauce
- ½ Cup Vegetable Broth
- 1 Tbsp Yellow Mustard (Prepared)
- ¼ Cup Light Brown Splenda Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves Crushed
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 8 Gluten Free Vegan Buns (Lettuce works in a pinch)
- 1 Large Onion Chopped
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 1 ½ tsp Dried Thyme
Using a slow cooker add oil to the bottom. Place the mushrooms into the cooker, pour barbecue sauce, vinegar, and broth over. Stir in brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until mushrooms shred easily. Remove mushrooms from the cooker, and shred using two forks. Return mushrooms to the cooker with sauce and stir well. Toast buns with butter and spoon pork onto buns. Pairs well with slaw or pickled vegetables!
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!