We’ve all heard it before, “eat a rainbow” – right?
But why is it crucial for good health to create a dinner plate that resembles a multicoloured spectrum of light in the sky?
Nutritional vigilance is so important when considering everything, from fertility to fitness and a diverse diet should provide us with the right amount of nutrients for optimal well-being.
We could probably all tick through a ‘Top 10 List’ of why nutrition is important, and it will most likely be information we’ve seen and heard before. So, let’s take this information, and apply it specifically to a metabolic reaction in the body. I’ve chosen one that we’re all probably all too familiar with – stress, and one of the main symptoms that I come across in clinic, compromised adrenal health.
Our adrenal glands produce a stress hormone called cortisol, which is significantly important when it comes to managing our body’s response to internal and external stresses. In January 2017, a survey found a statistically significant increase in stress levels in the U.S. compared to the previous year, with the current political status to blame. But the US Election isn’t the only thing causing humans’ stress levels to spike. We’re often asked by our peers that quintessential ice-breaker question, ‘How are you?’ to which we often reply, ‘I’m fine.’ When what we really want to say is, ‘I’m stressed!” We spend most of our waking hours in fight-or-flight mode.
Fight-or-flight is an acute stress response, which for many people is becoming chronic. Our bodies go into Fight-or-Flight when we perceive something as a threat to our lives, like a sabretooth tiger, and we need to at all cost protect ourselves. Ok fine, today you’re not going to be eaten by a lion, but these stressful events have become everyday occurrences like; running late for a train, running late for the school pick-up or maybe even just nurturing that monumental hangover while trying to function in an important meeting. Whatever it might be, these can trigger a very sophisticated and complex chain of reactions. ‘But how can Nutrition help me with this?’ we hear you ask.
Nourishing our adrenal glands is quickly becoming a key to optimal health. When we’re constantly putting demands on our adrenal glands to secrete stress hormones, we need to make sure that we are providing our body with the nutrients necessary to support it while it’s doing all this exhausting work. Of course, while we support our adrenals nutritionally, we should also try to adopt a holistic approach to health as well, which might be improving our sleep quality or taking time for ourselves, otherwise, we might start to see chronic inflammatory or metabolic conditions arise, along with a compromised immune system.
A good food choice to include when you’re experiencing acute or chronic stress is lots and lots of dark greens, like spinach, rocket, kale and cabbage. These will provide you with some lovely adrenal-loving nutrients, and we can all afford to replace the beige on our plate with a bit of green.
Also, keep an eye on your vitamin C intake, as this is a super important nutrient to help regulate our stress hormones. You can increase your vitamin C by including foods like red pepper, broccoli, berries, lemon and papaya.
I think I’ve managed to include almost all colours of the rainbow there!
Remember to make food choices that are nourishing and thoughtful, that way food can do what it’s meant to do, support our body in all its complex metabolic functions.
Go buy some green and red foods today!
If you feel that you are in need of some help when it comes to nutrition contact us today to see how we can help, or…