Written by Dr. Danielle O’Connor ND
Now more than ever, Canadians are feeling the pinch. I’m talking about stress! So much has changed… our normal daily routines, people are less active, getting less time outdoors, and socializing less with the ones we love. Everyone is trying to figure out their “new normal” and adapt to our ever-changing world.
All of these changes really throw our bodies out of whack. Recent studies show 54% of people are more emotionally exhausted,1 42% report a decline in mental health,1and 50% say stress is having an impact on their sleep patterns.2
When our bodies are under stress they initiate the fight or flight response. Cortisol, the stress hormone is released and alters the functioning in many areas of the body including, increasing our blood pressure, slowing down digestion, turning on our brains which makes it harder to sleep, and even suppressing the immune system. This is definitely not the picture of health!
Luckily, there are things we can do to help support our stress response and become more resilient to the ever-changing world we live in. Resilience means being able to adapt well in the face of adversity.
Build the Foundation
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I always start with building a strong foundation with the foods we choose to put in our bodies. Making sure you’re getting a full rainbow of fruits and vegetables daily will fill you up with important nutrients that can help reduce stress and improve emotional and physical health. Second, ensuring you are eating enough protein on a daily basis as studies show that when you’re chronically stressed our need for protein increases.3Also, making sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day as dehydration can increase cortisol4, and start you down a cascade of stress related health concerns.
Supporting Your Stress Response
For added support, which I feel is something that we all need right now, I like to use various botanicals with adaptogenic activity. Adaptogens are a class of botanicals that help restore and balance the body, they help you respond to stress by normalizing your body’s physiological functions5, such as supporting mental focus and stamina, supporting physical stamina and relieving symptoms of stress. A few of my favourite adaptogenic botanicals include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Siberian Ginseng.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of botanicals have been failing purity and identity testing more recently in Canada. As a professional, I am always concerned about using the highest quality supplements for my patients. I only suggest and use products that I know have been third party tested for purity to ensure authenticity. Progressive offers a TRU-ID® promise that what’s on the label is actually in the bottle, and this is backed with their DNA barcode testing technology.
Progressive Resilient Mind Can Help
If you’re looking for a premium formula that is accessible to all, keep your eyes out for Progressive Resilient Mind, an amazing blend of adaptogenic botanicals and added ingredients like GABA and choline to make this formula second to none. Resilient Mind will have you feeling more resilient, more focused, more relaxed…more like you in no time!
Progressive Product Partner: https://www.progressivenutritional.com/products/progressive-resilient-mind
- The other COVID-19 crisis: Mental health. Accessed Feb 24, 2021 at: https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/confronting-mental-health/
- Stress becoming a way of life for Canadians. Accessed Feb 24, 2021 at: https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/stress-becoming-way-life-canadians
- Ulrich-Lai YM, Fulton S, Wilson M, Petrovich G, Rinaman L. Stress exposure, food intake and emotional state. Stress. 2015;18(4):381-399. doi:10.3109/10253890.2015.1062981
- Eric G. Krause, et al. Hydration state controls stress responsiveness and social behaviour.J Neurosci.2011 Apr 6; 31(14): 5470–5476. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6078-10.2011
- Panossian A et al.2009. Adaptogens exert a stress-protective effect by modulation of expression of molecular chaperones. Phytomedicine 2009. Jun: 16(6-7);617-22. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 Feb 1.