Health Ranger says: To beat stress, eat superfoods and avoid toxins

Feeling stressed lately? You’re not alone. In a survey, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that at least 44 percent of Americans have reported increased stressed levels over the past five years. Concerns over money and work are perennial stressors; however, a recent poll has also identified politics and media as sources of stress.

In his podcast, Health Ranger Mike Adams shares how a recent trip to the Midwest became an eye-opening experience on the prevalence and impact of stress on Americans. An interesting thought that he picked up while talking to people was that everyone’s on the same boat when it comes to stress.

“One thing I found that I want to share with you they may give you some inspiration, in a weird way, is that everybody is struggling,” Adams noted.

That’s not just for those in the Midwest. He added that everyone, including him, has something challenging in their lives and that no one has it all figured out.

“The difference is the way people handle the challenges and the struggles that afflict everyone.”

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Eating healthy to better handle stress

Most people who are under stress find the experience at best to be challenging, at worst difficult. However, Adams says that one thing that stressed people should always remember is that they’re never alone.

“Don’t think that you’re alone,” he stressed. “Have an understanding that you can come through — you can make it through — depending on how you handle things that go wrong.”

There are a lot of ways to go about managing stress; however, adapting is one of the most helpful ways to deal with it. In an article, the Mayo Clinic defines adapting as a process that involves changing standards or expectations to better cope with stress. Some ways to adapt to the issue include:

  • Adjusting your standards to more realistic ones
  • Looking at a stressful situation from a different viewpoint
  • Putting things into perspective
  • Asking yourself whether the stressor matter in the big picture

Of course, adapting to stress doesn’t happen when a person is faced with a situation: The process starts with the foods that we eat.

“Believe it or not, a lot of that comes back to food,” Adams explained.

The link between stress and eating is undeniable. Studies have shown that while acute stress can suppress the appetite, a person who is exposed to persistent stress increases the appetite — an effect of the stress hormone cortisol. In some cases, chronic stress can result in a person having a stress response stuck in the “on” position. It also affects our food preference: Multiple animal studies have shown that exposure physical or emotional stress leads to increased consumption of foods that are high in fat, sugar, or even both.

To counter those effects, Adams suggests eating healthy foods as it will settle the nervous system. The right food tells your body that life is going to be all right, he adds. Plus, it helps the body get all the macronutrients it needs to better function throughout the day.

“When you have the right foods, the right nutrients, your body is able to handle stresses much better,” he adds.

It also means that the body will be much more resistant to disease.

Stress, in particular, makes an individual become more prone to obesity. An earlier study in the U.K. revealed that people in situations they consider to be stressful tend to snack in response, compared to those who weren’t. This meant that over-eating, coupled with processed foods and other sugary beverages, could increase the risk of obesity and chronic disease among people who are exposed to stress.

“Disease is a blow to your lifestyle,” quipped Adams. “Disease is a major, major challenge to overcome.”

He also adds that eating healthy will not only help a person in terms of their mental state, it also improves their physical state — eliminating another cause of stress.

“It’s not easy,” Adams said of the many things that challenge people every day. “But you make it a little bit easier by having good nutrition.” (Related: 11 Foods That Fight Stress & Reduce Anxiety.)

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