Stress and Your Health - Aviva Allen's Blog

Stress and Your Health

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How your body responds to stress plays an important role in your overall health. Often people feel the effects of stress as fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, anxiety or aches and pains. Stress affects others by causing digestive disorders such as ulcers, abdominal cramps and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People under stress may also experience more colds and infections due to lowered immune responses.
While you may not have control over the causes of stress in your life, you can control how you deal with it.

Here are 5 ways to minimize the effects of stress on your body:

  1. Eat more vitamin B rich foods: B vitamins are essential for the nervous system and assist your body in managing stress. Vitamin B rich foods include whole grains, legumes, liver, egg yolks and leafy green vegetables .
  2. Take a quality probiotic supplement: Stress depletes the beneficial bacteria in your gut which can affect your digestion as well as your immune system.
  3. Exercise regularly: Exercise can decrease the stress hormone cortisol in the body and increase endorphins, giving your mood a boost.
  4. Spend time outside: Sunlight lifts your mood and the vitamin D produced in the skin will boost your immune system. Aim for 10-15 minutes of sunlight per day.
  5. Get enough rest: We need 7-8 hours of sleep each night for our bodies to function optimally.

Aviva Allen is one of Toronto's leading Kids' Nutritionists specializing in helping parents deal with their picky eaters. Inspired by her two young boys' adventures in food, Aviva helps children and their families establish healthy eating habits through her nutritional counselling, offering consultations via phone or Skype. Aviva is also the founder of Healthy Moms Toronto, helping connect like-minded moms throughout the GTA.