For additional support during this holiday season (and any occasion you are feeling the effects of stress), I look to supplement my diet with adaptogens. Periods of stress are perfectly normal, and I dare say healthy; however chronic stress or stress overload can lead to real mental and physical damage.
In a stressful event, the adrenal glands – small gland that sit on top of the kidneys – release a stress hormone. In response our blood pressure and heart rate increase, digestion slows, blood sugar increases and our immune system is suppressed. In an acute stress situation, this is advantageous; the surges of hormones help you mentally and physically deal with the event at hand. However, chronic stress causes our stress response to always be on, and over time this throws the body out of balance and leads to problems such as anxiety, depression, digestive problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, decreased immunity and memory impairment. In fact, stress can contribute to as much as 80 percent of all major illnesses.
In addition to Dr. Todd’s Superfood diet, foundational supplements such as Vitamin D and a multivitamin, adaptogens may be one of the best ways to shield your body from the negative effects of stress. Adaptogens are plant-based compounds that help the body adapt to both physiological and psychological stress, bringing balance without stimulating or sedating. They are both protective and restorative. Think of them as tonics to buffer stress and support whole-body health.
Rhodiola has proven to be invaluable in the human body, as it reduces the release of cortisol (a hormone that is released by the adrenals in response to stress) by reducing its production and enhancing stress-resistant proteins. It also reduces fatigue and can restore mental function during times of chronic stress.
Ginseng also reduces levels of cortisol, blood sugar and significantly reduces the number of colds, and the severity and duration of symptoms. Ginseng also improves cognitive function.
These two herbs are the key components in New Chapters Stress Take Care which combines multiple stress-supportive herbs and adaptogens to support healthy well-being and peace of mind. My experience is a less anxious, more focused and deep-seated sense of calm after just one week. This formula could be just the supplement to ease any worry in the upcoming holiday season.