search.noResults

search.searching

note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
response to stress, in which our body overreacts even to mild annoyances. It can also, research suggests, accelerate aging by eroding the protective caps on our chro- mosomes, called telomeres. “Tink of the stress response as an


elastic band,” says Dr. Mithu Storoni, a Hong Kong physician and author of the new book Stress Proof: Te Scientific Solu- tion to Protect Your Brain and Body — and Be More Resilient Every Day. “If you pull it and it snaps back immediately, that’s fine. But if you pull it too intensely or too frequently, it doesn’t snap back, and there are lots of downstream consequences.”


Stress-Proofing Our Body Eating right can better protect our bodies, says New York City Registered Dietitian Malina Malkani. She recommends loading up on nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods like leafy greens, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds during stressful times, because they can slow our rate of digestion and minimize unhealthy dips and spikes in blood sugar. Beneficial, bacteria-rich foods like


yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi are other foundational foods for stress-re- silience, says Storoni, because they can dampen bodily inflammation that arises from chronic tension. Tey can also replenish bacterial strains like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria which, according to studies of college students, tend to decrease when we feel pushed beyond our limits to handle what’s coming at us. One 2016 study of 171 volunteers,


published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that those that ate yogurt containing lactobacillus plantarum daily for two months had fewer markers of stress in their blood. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 found that when 132 adults drank a probiotic-infused milk drink daily for three weeks and were then subjected to an anxiety-prone situation, their brains reacted more calmly than those of a control group. “Probably the most important thing


you can do to make your body stress-re- silient is to maintain a healthy ecosystem of bacteria in your gut,” advises Malkani, who recommends exchanging dessert for


low-sugar yogurt every day and taking probiotic supplements as well as steering clear of sweetened beverages and refined carbohydrates. Te spice turmeric is also a good stress-buster due to its anti-inflamma- tory properties and ability to help normal- ize blood sugar, Storoni notes. Despite our natural craving for com-


fort food, it’s a good idea to go easy on sat- urated fats in the immediate aſtermath of a traumatic situation, because stress slows fat metabolism. In one recent study, Ohio State University researchers asked 58 women about their previous day’s stressors, and then fed them the fat-loaded equivalent of a double cheeseburger and fries; the stressed- out women burned 104 fewer calories. “If a woman had a stressful day at


work every day and ate a meal like this, she could easily gain seven to 11 pounds in a year,” says study author Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the university’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine. Exercise, too, can help combat


stress-related illness. But Storoni attests that not all exercise is created equal. One recent study in the Journal of Physiology found that in animals daily moderate exercise (the equivalent of a light jog) can boost levels of brain-derived neurotroph- ic factor (BDNF), a critical brain protein diminished by stress and sleep depriva- tion, significantly more than weight train- ing or intense exercise. On the flip side, excess strenuous exercise (laps around the track or an intense gym workout) can boost inflammation, whither brain cells, and aggravate the physical impacts of stress, says Storoni. “If you want to exercise to relieve the


stress you just experienced, keep it at low intensity,” counsels Storoni. If possible, work out in the morning, as it can boost melatonin levels at night, helping you get to sleep faster, she notes.


Stress-Proofing Our Mindset While diet and exercise can buffer our body from the impacts of chronic stress, a shiſt in mindset can keep it from becoming chronic in the first place, says Greenberg.“Te goal is not to eliminate stress, but to put it in its place—to use its energizing and motivating


aspects to take care of what needs to be done, and then relax,” and stop paying attention to it. Tis, she says, requires being mindful of what’s happening in the present moment. “When you feel your heart racing


at the sight of another urgent demand at home or work, stop what you are doing, take a deep breath and tune into what’s hap- pening in your body,” advises Greenberg. She notes that when the highly reactive amygdala “hijacks the brain”, we oſten say and do things in the heat of the moment that we later regret. Waiting just a moment (like counting to 10) allows the more ratio- nal part of our brain (the prefrontal cortex) to kick in. “It allows you to go from panic to, ‘I’ve got this.’” Greenberg observes that we oſten feel


most stressed when we feel out of control. When faced with a daunting task, it may help to make a list of the things we have control over and a list of the things we can’t control—then make a plan to act on the manageable one and let the others go. “Mindfulness is also about keeping


our self-judging and ruminating mind at bay, which may keep repeating, ‘I’m not doing enough,’” she says. “Realize that you do not have to listen to every thought that comes into your head. Ask yourself,


‘What is the most important thing for me to focus on right now?’” Greenberg also says it’s important to


aim to broaden and brighten our view in tough times, explaining, “Feeling stress bias- es your brain to think in terms of avoiding threat and loss, rather than what you can gain or learn from the situation.” Start by jotting down three ways this challenging situation may be beneficial in the long run; also make a list of things and people we are grateful for, she suggests. “Practicing gratitude helps you real-


ize that you have a choice about what to focus your attention on and you don’t have to let stressors take all the joy out of life,” according to Greenberg. As an added bo- nus, “You’re less likely to take your stress out on loved ones when you think about what they mean to you and how they have helped you,” she says.


Lisa Marshall is a freelance health


writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at LisaAnnMarshall.com.


January 2018 29


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40