There are several sources of stress, both internal and external.
: Having that bear chase you. Work, driving, issues about income, the economy, etc. Most of these you have no real control over, so anyone selling "stress reduction" actually can't help you with this unless you quit your job, stop driving, win the lottery etc. What you should be learning is stress management: What you do to handle the various sources of stress and their effects on you, mentally and physically.
: Genetic illnesses, infectious diseases, viral diseases, injury etc.
Your management of stress can have great impact on your immune system. If you are not managing stress, your immune system is most likely compromised and illness can be occurring or be right around the corner.
Other consequences of stress can be weight issues, eating disorders, chronic syndromes, anxiety, depression etc.
Stress can be managed with drugs, but most have serious side effects.
There are several good stress relief and stress management programs available. Physical exercise can be stressful in itself, but can actually help relieve stress's impact. Meditation helps too, but many people are so stressed that they find it hard to meditate, even if they can find the time.
There are foods you can eat and supplements you can take that can help manage stress:
Vitamin C (up to 20 grams per day, depending on body weight, that is not
Alpha Lipoic acid, Glutathione (an amino acid) and Vitamins E and A.
The best common foods to eat to get antioxidants are:
Small red beans (dried), Wild blueberries, Red kidney beans, Pinto beans, Blueberries (cultivated), Cranberries, Artichokes (cooked), Blackberries, Prunes, Raspberries, Strawberries, Red delicious apples, Granny Smith apples, Pecans, Almonds, Sweet cherries, Black plums, Black beans (dried)
Plums and Gala apples
Add to this list: Virgin Coconut oil, Extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and red peppers (hot or sweet).
The king of antioxidant foods is the Wolfberry (Lyceum Barbarum) also known as Goji berry. These can actually be grown throughout most of the US and all temperate climates. The fresh berries are your best source. If you buy dried Goji, save the seeds and sprout them. Then you can plant them indoors or out.
Juices and other concoctions may not have as much of the benefits or health giving properties as the actual food.
The highest anti-oxidant rating seems to be found in clove oil.
Some essential oils have higher ORAC ratings than Goji, but since they are extracts or concentrates, this is not so far fetched.
The six rated higher than Goji are:
Rose of Sharon (Cistus ladanifer) 38,648
Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamamum verum) 103,448
Mountain Savory (Satureja montana) 113,071
Oregano (Origanum compactum) 153,007
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) 159,590
Clove (Syzigium aromaticum) 10,786,875
Clove is the champion of all with an ORAC score over 10 million. That means a drop of Clove oil contains 400 times more antioxidant per unit volume than Goji, the highest rated of all fruits.
The comparison isn't quite fair since oils are concentrates while fresh fruits are not, nevertheless, a 15 ml bottle of Clove Oil has the antioxidant capacity of 150 lbs of carrots, 40 quarts of blueberries or 16 gallons of beet juice. Two drops of Clove oil have the antioxidant power of: 5 pounds of carrots, 2.5 quarts of carrot juice, 10 oranges, 20 ounces of orange juice, 2.5 pounds of beets, 1 pint of beet juice, 4 cups of raspberries or 2.5 cups of blueberries.
Adding one drop of an edible
essential oil to a meal can really help you manage stress and it's effects on your body. Make sure any essential oil you purchase to eat is an edible oil.
It has been suggested that people should consume about 5000 ORAC units a day for maximum benefits. Unfortunately, most people do not eat nearly enough vegetables and fruit, or the right type of vegetables and fruit, to achieve this. For example, to get your daily ORAC dose from apples, you would need to eat 2,294 grams of apple (or about 22 apples). However, based on the information above, eating just 20 grams of goji berries will cover you.
It is important to remember, however, that there is a lot more to measuring a food's antioxidant capacity than ORAC. Since different antioxidants have different effects, it is still important to eat a variety of foods with high antioxidant levels. For example, although strawberries have a higher ORAC score than spinach, spinach has been shown to be more effective than strawberries in boosting blood antioxidant scores. So, although eating a large amount of antioxidants is always a plus, it is important to eat a variety of healthy foods, not only for their antioxidant levels, but for their other nutritional properties as well.
Your diet helps with internal
stress, so what do you do about external
stress, that has the power of "superfoods"?
The answer is Qigong
(pronounced chee gung). This 7000 year old Chinese wellness system has been shown to be able to help people manage stress's impact better than any other stress management system. The combination of breath control, slow movements, Qi flow, acupressure and meditation of Qigong is your best way to keep stress from getting control of you. It only takes a minimum of 20 minutes a day. Better would be two twenty minute sessions, AM and PM.
To find out more about Qigong and to get actual Qigong forms you can use; visit the following two web sites:
Contact me for private lessons, my public classes are listed on www.JadePowerQigong.com
If enough people sign up, I have a location available for a lunchtime 1/2 hour class in Tamarac.
I also have a potential location in east Boca for a Tuesday evening class. Let me know.