Let’s talk about stress. We all deal with stress differently. However, we are ALL exposed to stress regularly. Most of the time, our stress levels and exposure are relatively short or low. Unfortunately, lately, with everything going on in the world, it seems like our stress levels have hit a new record with no end in sight. Now, I am sure there are still those of you out there that think, “What’s the harm of a little stress.” Unfortunately for us, we are no longer talking about a little stress anymore. Get ready to find out just how dangerous stress can be on your health, and of course, how to reduce it naturally from the safety of your home.
The Stress Effect
Stress is actually part of our body’s 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 they can present themselves in a number of ways.
Warning Danger Approaching
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 Spices To Stress Less
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. Unfortunately, there is a limit to how much we can get from just food alone. A great way to add more vitamins and minerals to your daily routine is by spicing things up a bit. The following is a list of my top five favorite spices to help reduce your stress with ease:
- Curry powder
Known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon is often a natural go-to when we are feeling ill. It is great for improving circulation throughout the body. One of the more popular uses for cinnamon is for increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing the risk of diabetes. It is rich in Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron, and Manganese. Cinnamon is also a powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant, making it a popular addition to most daily routines. It is also available in various ways and tends to be favored in dishes due to its sweet taste.
Most commonly known for its anti-inflammatory properties, Turmeric has additional health benefits that often go overlooked. Turmeric is rich in Manganese, Iron, Copper, Potassium, and B vitamins, making it a natural addition to an immunity-boosting routine. When taken with black pepper, it is 2000 times more bioavailable than without. This means that taking Turmeric with black pepper can make it 2000 times more effective and easily absorbed into our bodies. It has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases dramatically. Turmeric can also be applied topically to restore or balance skin pigmentation, creating a natural, healthy, and even skin tone. Its active ingredient, Curcumin, makes it one of the best anti-inflammatory sources, reducing joint inflammation by 78%. Turmeric is easily one of my favorite spices to work into a number of my dishes.
While it is most commonly associated with the digestive system, ginger contains numerous benefits for our overall health. It is rich in vitamin C, Folate (vitamin B9), Potassium, Choline, Magnesium, and Sodium, and all critical to ensuring our body remains hydrated. Ginger is also an amazing all-natural anti-inflammatory. The way ginger reduces inflammation differs from that of Turmeric. It reduces the production of inflammatory stimulants prostaglandins which in turn reduces inflammation. Ginger has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. In fact, it used to make up over half of all traditional medicines and was mainly used for gastric discomfort. Its active essential oils are Gingerols and Shogoals, which have been shown to reduce indigestion, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and gas.
Originally named “pimento”, Spanish for pepper, by explorers in the 16th century due to its dark brown, wrinkled skin. The English renamed it allspice because it has hints of pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and juniper. Scientific research shows allspice has many medicinal properties. It relieves pain, eases stomach upset, and kills bacteria and fungus. Compounds in allspice are also being investigated for use in the treatment of cancer and hypertension. It contains Eugenol, which is also found in clove oil, it has antiseptic properties and is used as a topical pain reliever. Quercetin is a flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it may help reduce inflammation, kill cancer cells, control blood sugar, and help prevent heart disease. Gallic acid is a phenolic acid with antiviral and anti-cancer properties, it is being studied as a possible treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
Most curry powders are a blend of the following spices: turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilies, black pepper, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Turmeric is the key here. This wonder spice has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to help treat inflammation, pain, and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientific studies appear to support the idea that turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and lowers levels of two inflammation-causing enzymes. Because of curcumin’s powerful antioxidant properties, it’s thought to help prevent and treat diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. Both cardamom and sweet basil are often included in curry powder and they’re known as vasodilators. In other words, they can lower blood pressure, which means reducing the chance of developing cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 24
- 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 18.25 Ounce Package Yellow Cake Mix Gluten Free
- 1 Cup Coconut Oil Raw
- 4 Flax Seed Eggs
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 3.4 Ounce Package Instant Vanilla Pudding
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk
- 3.4 Ounce Package Instant Butterscotch Pudding Mix
- 1 Cup Packed Brown Splenda Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Treat a 9×13 inch baking pan or 10-inch bundt cake pan with a non-stick option. In a medium bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mixes. Add in flaxseed eggs, oil, and milk. Mix well until completely combined. In a smaller bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and nuts making sure to coat nuts evenly. Pour half of the batter into the pan and ensure even distribution. Sprinkle half the nut mixture over the top. Cover with remaining batter and top with remaining nut mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, lower the temperature to 325 degrees and cook for an additional 35-40 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
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 DrDeeandMe@gmail.com 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!