The word ‘stress’ is banded about here, there and everywhere these days, as well as multiple remedies claiming to tackle stress. Sometimes, and probably the most irritating factor, you can even experience a stress response in your body even if you don’t feel stressed in yourself! But what is stress? How can we fight it? And what are the top 5 foods and supplements that can help combat stress?
Firstly, let’s begin with what is stress? Stress can either be an emotional response you feel to a given situation or, more likely, it’s a response at a cellular level called ‘oxidative stress’ which can lead to damage to your body’s cells. Cortisol is the stress hormone and is made in the adrenal glands near your kidneys. Cortisol is released when you feel under stress and is designed to help combat some of the physical stress symptoms, blood pressure, inflammation, energy and sleep cycle. However, we’ve all heard of the phrase ‘too much of a good thing.’ Excessive stress, which some of the population suffer from, can lead to the over production of cortisol, and your body responds by shutting down or altering usual bodily functions.
Many of us recognise stress symptoms quite easily; increased heartrate, increased blood pressure, maybe even that ‘fight or flight’ response. But often what we don’t realise is the less talked about physical effects it can have on the body internally.