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Duncan Chiropractic Group Newsletter

Stress and Nutrition

Dr. Valerie Alikakos, DC, MS - February Issue
Dr. Valerie Alikakos, DC, MS

Stress is an every day part of life. While some stress in life is actually healthy, high levels of stress or even low levels of persistent stress can wreak havoc in your body and mind.

Unfortunately we are not always able to remove the stressors from our lives - life goes on after all. What we can do however, is prepare the body to better deal with stress. This will help us experience less of the negative symptoms associated with stress - irritability, anxiety, headaches or general aches, stomach irritation, fatigue, insomnia, etc as well as help normalize the physiologic changes that occur with stress - cortisol and seratonin production, blood pressure, increased heart rate, to name a few.

Nutrition is a powerful, direct way to help the you and your body adapt to stress.

Here are some pointers:

1. Eat a meal or snack every three to four hours - this will help maintain balance of your sugar and hormonal levels - which directly affect your body's response to stress.

2. Eat some clean, lean proteins with each of those meals or snacks. This includes fish, chicken, lean meats, eggs, nuts/seeds, soy. It is important to eat organic or wild raised whenever possible.

3. Stay away from the so called "comfort foods". The foods we reach for in times of stress - usually high sugar foods (cakes, candies, chocolates, ice creams , even white bread and pasta)- are actually not comforting to our bodies at all. They may make us feel good during the 5 minutes it takes to eat them. However, not only are we usually full of regret immediately after we have finished ("I shouldn't have eaten that"), they actually change our body's physiology sending our bodies into disarray, with quick highs and even quicker lows. These foods leave the body's blood sugar and hormones firing out of control -and usually our mood follows.

4. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit through out the day - they contain many mood boosting phytochemicals.

5. Drink plenty of water - generally speaking we should be drinking 8 glasses of water per day. If you are no where near that number - just increase your water intake by one extra glass for one week and then continue like that until you reach the desired 8 glasses.

6. Often times, the body needs some additional support. There are plenty of supplements that help support the body's stress response. The key is to know which of these nutrients is appropriate specifically for you. Supplements work via different mechanisms. Different supplements are necessary in different situations and for different individuals. It is a good idea to seek the advice of a qualified professional to ensure you are getting what is appropriate for you. To ensure this is the case, seeking professional advice is paramount. The positive changes you experience can be profound.

We specialize in nutrition for general health and well being as well as weight loss and detox. We use an FDA approved mecahnism to monitor body composition and overall body health. We only use products of highest standards. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.