a. the action on a body of any system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results.
b. the amount of stress, usually measured in pounds per square inch or in pascals.
c. a load, force, or system of forces producing a strain.
d. the internal resistance or reaction of an elastic body to the external forces applied to it.
e. the ratio of force to area.
a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.
From reading the above definition, we all experience stress. Stress has become so commonplace in society that we often fail to take it seriously. Instead of skimming over the definition of stress as just another word in the dictionary, we need to start paying attention to how it affects our overall well-being.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), job stress is a factor in health complaints more often than family or financial problems. In a recent survey by ComPsych Corporation, 60% of employees surveyed reported higher levels of stress. Regrettably, stress on the job is often not visible. Often, it remains hidden until it manifests itself in increase absences and reduced productivity.
In addition, stress is now associated with most serious illnesses and diseases, and chronic stress is the drive for more than half of all visits to medical clinics. Prolonged stress manifests itself as muscular discomfort, immune system weakness, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders and complications with the reproductive system.
As we work to reduce sources of stress, we also need to help our bodies better defend against inevitable effects through regular exercise, sufficient sleep, daily relaxation or meditation, consumption of an alkalinity supplement like Alka-Plex, and a reduction of harmful activities such as smoking and artificial stimulants likes caffeine and artificial-sweeteners.
Countless studies indicate that avoiding excessive alcohol, caffeine, fats and especially sugar can have a positive effect on the body’s health. In addition, ensuring an adequate intake of antioxidants can protect the body from harmful free radicals that have been linked to several degenerative diseases related to stress, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, immune dysfunction and cognitive impairment.
Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and polyphenols that inhibit the action of free radicals on the body’s tissues. Vitamins A, C, E as well as zinc are most well-known antioxidants. Don’t forget beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene–all carotenoids– are known for their bright colors in fruits and vegetables and are highly effective antioxidants. Other foods with antioxidants include, but are not limited to, nuts and seeds, fish, dairy, red wine and dark chocolate.
Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is the measurement established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine the effectiveness of antioxidants in foods. The higher the ORAC value of a food, the better its ability to subdue oxygen free radicals, and thus, reduce the damage they cause to the body. Foods with the highest antioxidant effectiveness (per 100 grams) include: freeze-dried Acai berry with an ORAC value at 102,700; unsweetened Cocoa powder at 80,933; Gogi berries at 25,300; and Cranberries at 9,584.
To learn of my personal diet/ food suggestions, please feel free to email me.