Stress. In this day and age, everyone experiences daily stress on some level. Whether it’s environmental (pollution), dietary (poor food choices), or emotional (personal, work, or family situations) stress is constantly attacking our bodies.
Stress triggers the “fight or flight” response in your central nervous system to release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones allow your body to think and move faster so that you can escape danger. While this response is great when you’re, say, running from a lion, it’s not so great when you’re sitting in an office dealing with an issue that isn’t exactly life threatening.
Prolonged high levels of cortisol have been linked to headaches, muscle aches, acne breakouts, stomach upset, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and the accumulation of belly fat. Needless to say, it’s important that when we face stressful situations, we need to find ways to reduce the stress our body feels as quickly as possible before we suffer side effects.
I am no stranger to stress myself. We are currently dealing with end of the school year activities, our businesses have their yearly Recital productions, and we are smack dab in the middle of “tornado season” in Texas, all the while packing up to move house. Stress is almost a given for me at this point.
During times of high stress such as this, I have an arsenal of tricks up my sleeve to make sure that I stay balanced. I pray, drink extra water, get out in the fresh air, do gentle stretching before bed, apply lavender essential oil, listen to calming music, and take Epsom salt baths. I also like to include a special Stress Busting Green Juice into my daily routine. Not only does this juice flood my body with nerve calming vitamins and minerals, but it also has a nice hit of vitamin c to keep my immune system from crashing and leaving me sick…which is yet another cause of stress! Ain’t nobody got time to be sick with so much going on!
Some of the stars of this juice include:
Kale: Like most dark, leafy greens, kale is rich in folate, a b vitamin that helps your body produce serotonin and dopamine, two mood-regulating neurotransmitters. It is also a great source of vitamin c and has trace amounts of calming magnesium.
Cucumber: Like kale, cucumbers contain mood-regulating b vitamins including b1, b5, and b7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help buffer the damaging effects of stress as well as ease feelings of anxiety. Cucumbers also contain potassium, which is associated with lower blood pressure levels.
Lemon: A member of the citrus fruit family, lemons are well-known for their vitamin c content, which is essential to a healthy functioning immune system.
Stress Busting Green Juice
- 1 bunch dinosaur kale
- 1 large cucumber
- 2 green apples
- 1 lemon, peeled
- Run all the ingredients through the juicer and drink immediately for full absorption. Drinking freshly pressed juice on an empty stomach is even better for assimilation of nutrients. Serves 2
Do you have any stress fighting tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!