Natural Health Tips to Get You Ready for Back to School: 5 Top Supplements to Help Your Body Deal With Stress and Get You Back on Track for Fall
The start to the school year has been a tough one. With the school strike over, parents and kids are finally ready to get back on track. But for so many parents and kids, the strike may have taken a toll on the body. The stress of dealing with the strike, trying to figure out child care, and worrying about the impact of the strike on education, many parents and students have felt the impact on their stress hormones.
Symptoms that indicate your stress hormones may be out of balance include:
- Fatigue, especially in the morning when trying to get out of bed
- Feeling tired around 2-3 pm
- Craving sugar
- Poor memory
- Gaining weight around the belly
- Having a hard time dealing with stress and feeling overwhelmed
- Having difficulties sleeping at night, especially waking up between 2-4am
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, I suggest checking your adrenal hormones via an Adrenocortex Stress Test
Here are some great natural suggestions to help recover your adrenal hormone balance, deal with stress better and help you kickstart the school year.
Natural Ways to Improve Energy:
#1: Get on a proper sleep schedule
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most teens and adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting proper sleep (at least 8 hours) will improve memory, improve concentration in classes, improve your immune system so you stay healthy, and help manage stress.
- Go to bed the same time and wake up the same time, even on weekends. Routine is important!
- At least 30 min before bed, do something that you enjoy and that will help you relax. Read a good book, listen to some relaxing music, have a bath. Don’t do homework, don’t watch TV, don’t work on the computer, don’t be on the phone. Get your body ready to fall asleep! Clear your mind.
- Keep your room dark and quiet. Melatonin (our sleep hormone) requires this to be properly released. If we don’t get proper melatonin release, we won’t have a good restful sleep!
#2: Practice Healthy Eating Habits
2. Practice Healthy Eating Habits Summer is the time most of us make poor diet choices, with summer BBQ’s, parties, and travelling. Its hard to go from a junk food, high calorie diet to a healthy diet. But nutrition is so important to have a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Here are some easy ways to take first steps to changing your diet.
- Avoid sugars and processed foods! The white foods will give you the initial energy burst, but an hour later you will crash. So avoid sugar, white pasta, white rice, cookies, muffins, donuts, soft drinks. Instead focus on protein, complex “brown” grains, and vegetables.
- NEVER skip breakfast. You will feel like you are running on empty, you wont be able to focus in your classes, and by lunch time you will be starving and reach for sugary foods, then crash by 3pm. Eat a breakfast balanced in protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats. Examples include a bowl of oatmeal with almonds and fruit, egg white omelette, protein shake, high fiber/low sugar cereal.
- Avoid caffeine. Coffee will give you an initial burst of energy, but you will crash later. It may also interfere with your sleep. 6 hours after a cup of coffee, you still have ½ the amount of caffeine in your system. Choose green tea if you must have caffeine and drink it earlier in the day.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day. A well hydrated body works better and keeps your mind awake!
Learn to Cope With Stress
The #1 complaint from University and high school students is stress! Assignments, tests, deadlines, starting a new school, all can be stressful. This stress can affect both your grades and your health. Adopting good stress management skills is essential for surviving school
- One of the most important things I tell my patients is take time out for you. Classes, homework, extra assignments all take up your time. But make you schedule at least 30 min a day and doing something you enjoy. Whatever it may be. Getting enough sleep, eating properly, avoiding caffeine, spending time with friends, having time for you! These are all important to keep stress under control.
#4: Regular exercise
We all know the benefits of exercise on reducing stress and helping us feel better. Schedule a 30 min or 1 hour workout into your day. You will find you can study better, have more energy during the day and sleep better at night. Studies show a post dinner walk can reduce the time it takes to get to sleep by 12 min and increase total sleep time by 42 min.
Start your day with these 5 key vitamins to help improve your energy in the morning and throughout the day.
1. Ashwaganda (Withania Somnifera)
is a plant native to India, Africa and Asia. It is often called the Indian Ginseng, as it increases energy, vigor, vitality and strengthens the immune system the way American Ginseng does. Currently there are over 200 studies on the benefits of Ashwaganda to alleviate stress on the body. A great study conducted in 2009 compared 75 participants with anxiety disorder. One group received psychotherapy alone (counseling). Another group received Naturopathic Care which included diet counseling, deep breathing techniques, a multivitamin and 600mg a day of Withania (Ashwaganda). The Naturopathic Care group reported a 56% decrease in Anxiety over 8 weeks, compared to 30% decrease in the psychotherapy alone group (almost double effectiveness). The Naturopathic Care group also showed better quality of life. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19718255
One of my favorite adrenal herbs, this plant is native to Siberia. As an adaptagen, it helps our body deal with and recover from stress. Research shows it can help to increase Serotonin and Dopamine in the brain, helping to increase focus, memory, mood, depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. It helps to reduce cortisol, helping with belly fat, anxiety and insomnia. No wonder this is one of my favorite stress herbs. Rhodiola has potent effects on brain chemistry. Therefore, if you are on any antidepressants or if you have a personal or family history of Bipolar Disorder, avoid using Rhodiola. Also avoid if you have high blood pressure.
3. Holy Basil
A plant native to tropical Asia, grown in India for over 3000 years. In Indian medicine, it benefits the mind, body and spirit. There are lots of studies to show Holy Basil decreases cortisol levels in times of chronic stress. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17850106
4. Vitamin C with a good B complex
Both Vitamin C and B vitamins provide key nutrients your body needs during times of stress to balance the stress hormones. When we are under stress, the main gland in our body (the adrenal gland) requires more vitamin C and B vitamins to make proper stress hormones. Also, vitamin C will keep our immune system strong.
5. Fish oil:
Our brain is 60% fat. These omega 3 fatty acids are essential to brain function, including learning abilities, memory retention and mood. It will improve your concentration and ability to focus. Boost your brain with fish oil!!!
- If you are feeling burnt out, or need a boost, I suggest a vitamin/mineral iv to increase energy and get your body back on track! This is a combination of vitamins and minerals administered intravenously to increase energy production in the body and help you feel great! Call us today to book your Vitamin IV.
What Can Vitalia Health Care Offer You?
At Vitalia Health Care, we develop individualized programs to meet your specific health needs. We understand that no two people are the same. From a 1 hour initial evaluation, we can customize a “get ready for back to school” program that is specific to your goals. This includes our weight loss programs, specific nutrition evaluations and consultations, and developing a supplemental program specific to your health needs.
Call us today at 604-566-9355