The Anti-Stress Vitamin!
By: Rebecca Ramdeholl, CHNC
I come across so many ladies in my life, and some gents, who are super stressed. While some of these stresses are unavoidable, like work, or sick kids, some of these stresses are also very much self-induced and caused by a skewed sense of responsibilities. The usual answers I get when I ask a stressed person, if you ever relax or what do you do that doesn't involve your kids/parents/pets/spouse....is I never relax, I just crash at the end of the day, etc.
There are many studies that shows a link between stress and medical and mental illnesses, as well as cancer, such as this one. Stress in today's world is very common. While the occasional bouts of stress is fine, and it can actually boost your immune system and propels you forward to get things done, the problem is with chronic stress. Holding on to that stress, or never resolving your issues, or not being able to take a mental and physical break from the stress, is what causes these major issues with our bodies.
One of the ways that we can help chill out our stress, is to up our Vitamin C consumption. Vitamin C is known as the "anti-stress" vitamin because it helps calm down our stress levels. However, because of the sheer amount of stress in our lives, our Vitamin C levels can become depleted, and our ability to deal with stress becomes weaker.
Stress is such a huge factor in death from cardiovascular disease, which is the number 1 cause of death, world-wide. A study in Europe of about 20,000 men and women found that death by cardiovascular disease was 60% lower in people with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood. That's 60%!!!! Vitamin C provides anti-oxidants, which boosts the immune system and this protects cells from free radicals, which are nasty little suckers that harm your cells. When there are too many free radicals, the cells are put into a state known as oxidative stress, and this oxidative stress is what has been linked to many chronic diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, aging (not a disease, but early aging), cataract, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular and neuro-degenerative diseases.
Human studies have shown that a 500mg tablet of Vitamin C each day is enough to significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. That sounds nice and simple to me : )
Vitamin C pills are great, but you can also get your Vitamin C fix from foods such as the green leafy tops of carrots - they contain six times more Vitamin C than the orange root itself, along with potassium and calcium as well.
Here's a great list by Dr. Axe on Vitamin C foods!
Black Currant — 1 cup: 203 milligrams (338 percent DV)
Red Pepper — 1 cup: 190 milligrams (317 percent DV)
Kiwifruit — 1 cup: 164 milligrams (273 percent DV)
Guava — 1 fruit: 126 milligrams (209 percent DV)
Green Bell Pepper — 1 cup: 120 milligrams (200 percent DV)
Orange — 1 large: 98 milligrams (163 percent DV)
Strawberries — 1 cup: 89 milligrams (149 percent DV)
Papaya — 1 cup: 87 milligrams (144 percent DV)
Broccoli — 1 cup, raw: 81 milligrams (135 percent DV)
Kale — 1 cup, raw: 80 milligrams (134 percent DV)
Parsley — 1 cup: 80 milligrams (133 percent DV)
Pineapple — 1 cup: 79 milligrams (131 percent DV)
Brussels Sprouts — 1/2 cup, cooked: 48 milligrams (81 percent DV)
Cauliflower — 1 cup, raw: 46 milligrams (77 percent DV)
Mango — 1 cup: 46 milligrams (76 percent DV)
Lemon — 1 fruit: 45 milligrams (74 percent DV)
Grapefruit — 1/2 fruit: 38 milligrams (64 percent DV)
Honeydew — 1 cup: 32 milligrams (53 percent DV)
Peas — 1 cup, cooked: 23 milligrams (38 percent DV)
Tomatoes — 1 cup, raw: 23 milligrams (38 percent DV)
So, if you're stressing out too much, try yoga, meditation, sleeping, going for a walk, staring out into nothing, or grab some of these awesome foods and chow down! Remember, stress is meant to be short, and to the point. Don't drag it on, don't let it weigh you down, and try not to let it dictate your life. Find support. Find your joy. Find your life.
*All Accessed July 23, 2018