(NaturalNews) Stress is activated by various factors. Too much stress paves the way for a variety of illnesses, diseases and emotional problems. Since we all react in different ways to stressful situations and it is something impossible to avoid completely, recognizing and addressing the symptoms of stress induced imbalances can help the body cope.
Of course, not all stress is bad for you. For example, getting married or winning a sports event are stressful situations in themselves, but they have happy results. However, many people subject their bodies to relentless stress on a continual basis, the effects of which are cumulative.
Dr. Selye, author of the book Stress Without Distress, defines stress as "the non-specific response of the body to any demands made upon it". In other words, the stress response is the human body's reaction to anything that throws the body off balance - injury, infection, fear, exercise or pain. The body reacts with an alarm phase, then a resistance phase during which it tries to remedy the imbalance; thereafter there is an exhaustion phase.
While most people realize that, for example, over-work and sleeping too little place stress on the body, few pause to consider the subtle but persistent effects of stress due to factors such as an incorrect diet or noise pollution. As far as the latter is concerned, it has been found that people living near noisy, high-traffic highways or near airports tend to have more illnesses, especially cardiovascular illness. This is because noise is a form of stress.
Stress and Diet
The hard-working liver is the organ that has to detoxify practically every chemical that we ingest. Each time an individual drinks too much, takes antibiotics, consumes excess fats or inhales chemicals, the liver has less energy to take care of 'alarm' hormones, and these hormones then stay in the blood stream longer than they should. Refined, processed foods, preservatives and additives are sources of continuous biochemical stress on the human body.
To avoid placing the body under this kind of subtle stress, follow some simple tips:
A vegetarian diet is generally considered to be a healthy diet. However, certain individuals are affected by natural compounds found in fruits and vegetables called salicylates, which means their diet may be severely restricted. A nutritionist would be able to arrange for a test to assess the suitability of a diet and advise accordingly.
Eliminate certain grains, dairy products or meats from the diet if there is sensitivity or intolerance to these types of foods.
Everyone should avoid eating large amounts of refined and processed foods. If one must eat foods that fall into these categories from time to time, eat simple, fresh foods in order to allow the body to heal. Go on a juice fast or liver detox diet regularly to give the hard-working liver a break.
Supplement your diet with appropriate vitamins and minerals to help the body withstand stress.
Sources for this article include:
Foods for Moods by William Vayda, 2007 edition, Published by Geddes & Grosset, pages 114 - 121
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.