It’s the festive season again, when so many of us speed up to get our work done before the holiday, rush to the shops to buy too much rich food, stress over presents for loved ones (and others) and try to figure out how to cope with the annual family visits. We max out our credit cards, our social calendar and our digestive systems; and then wonder why we feel a little down when it is all over.
Chasing the fantasy of ‘enjoyment’ in this way is the perfect recipe to activate our stress system. Our bodies aren’t built for such intense abuse and they will tell us in ways that we can’t ignore.
Chasing the fantasy of ‘enjoyment’ during the Festive Season is, in fact, the perfect recipe to activate our stress system.
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“Well, it’s just once a year”, you may say, but therein lies the rub. Our bodies are incredibly durable and can put up with a surprising amount of regular abuse without us taking too much notice. Somehow, many of us apparently thrive (for much of our lives) on highly processed foods, smoking, alcohol consumption and no exercise. But then we blast our bodies with sudden and excessive events like Christmas and the new year. They don’t get a chance to adapt to this behaviour. So, something has to give. And usually, it’s those of us who have not been looking after ourselves too well during the year who suffer most, since we haven’t developed a healthy biome that would enable our body to cope better.
Let’s be practical about this
Those of us who prefer to party and indulge are most likely not going to pay attention to fixing their gut biome when they are caught up in all the festive activity. We won’t, for instance, suddenly start taking probiotics, searching out polyphenol-rich or fermented foods, switching to plant-based fibre-rich foods or even limiting our sugar intake. It’s the festive season, after all. And, any way, we don’t want to be ‘anti-social’.
It’s a choice we make – whether or not we understand what we are doing to ourselves. And that’s a pity, because in making that choice, we could be initiating a cascade of bad health. Here’s how.
- Between 75% and 90% of all diseases are related to activation of the stress system.
- Stress leads to inflammation.
- Inflammation plays a critical role in the progression, and/or onset of stress-related diseases.
75% to 90% of all diseases are related to activation of the stress system.
There is increasing evidence that inflammatory response to stress constitutes the ‘common soil’ for multifactorial diseases. Those include cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, psychotic neurodegenerative disorders and, eventually, the ‘Big C’: cancer.
There is, however, something that can help mitigate the effects of over-indulgence and the stress that is foisted on the body because it cannot adapt to the onslaught.
How to mitigate the effects of over-indulgence
You can help your body to adapt by taking adaptogens. Adaptogens are all natural (not some alien pharmaceutical concoction), and they are good for you. You may have heard of them. They have become a very popular way to help the body deal with stress.
Adaptogens are particular herbs and roots that help the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether they be physical, chemical or biological. They have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic healing, and now they are having a renaissance.
Adaptogens train your body to handle stress
When you take adaptogens you’re training your body to handle stress. They interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system. These are both involved in the body’s response to stress. And they affect hormone production and physiological responses to stress. They thus ensure that your mind, your immune system and your energy levels are functioning properly.
When you take adaptogens you’re training your body to handle stress.
For this reason, Dr Pushpa Chandra has incorporated some top quality adaptogens into her products. AWAKE and ASLEEP are excellent formulations designed to maintain a healthy sleep/wake cycle. They also help fight depression, lack of energy and lack of motivation. Several adaptogens that are included are particularly worth a mention here. Their qualities that are now being verified by scientific research.
Ashwagandha is known to soothe long-term sources of stress and the hormone imbalances that result. Siberian ginseng (also known as eleutherococcus) rhodiola and schisandra help control stress responses. Siberian ginseng also boosts the immune system, physical stamina and sexual health. Rhodiola improves energy, physical performance and memory; and schisandra improves liver function and helps with gastrointestinal problems.
So, you don’t need to put yourself through so much stress this festive season! Kick back, relax and enjoy – but add some adaptogens into the mix for a bright and cheerful New Year.
Give the gift of vitality this holiday season!
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