Are you burning the candle at both ends? Stress, chronic depression and unhappiness can tax your body in ways you don’t even realise. In this episode, Jen looks at what you can do daily to minimise your stress, support your wellbeing and ensure you are lengthening your life – not shortening it.
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One of my favourite quotes on stress is, “…any event in which environmental demands, internal demands, or both tax or exceed the adaptive resources of an individual, social system, or tissue system.” – Richard Lazarus.
Physical and emotional stress is a part of life; however, it taxes our body, and if our body isn’t able to adapt to it, you can cut years off your life.
The other thing stress impact directly is our telomere length. What’s a telomere? Your telomere protects the ends of your chromosomes from deterioration and fusion with other chromosomes.
Put simply, imagine a shoelace. Going through life, you’ve got a brand-new pair of shoes with shoelaces. Everything is intact when you get them – it’s great! But as your shoes start to get older, your shoelaces can begin to fray and get shorter. What a telomere does,
When we’re conceived, our telomere is 15,000 points long. When we’re born nine months later, it’s about 10,000 points long, and when we die, it’s 5,000 points long. That’s it. So what’s the thing that taxes our telomeres the most? Stress, worry, overwork, oxidative stress and emotional stress— things like smoking, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress and exposure to pollution.
Scary statistics – particularly if you’re a woman.
- Women under high stress lost nine years of telomere length Blackburn et al. 2006
- Chronic depression reduces telomere length by a decade. Simon et al. 2006
You can lose up to 19 years if you are stressed and depressed! Who’s interested in that?!
This is why it’s important to live from a place of prevention, to look after your telomeres and your body in general. This isn’t about being perfect, but there are some core basics to help your body deal with life.
If you’ve got a history of stress or depression – it may not be depression even, it could just be that you aren’t happy – here are some things you can do daily to help:
- Plant-based diet as much as possible – fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes
- Meditate – doesn’t have to be on the top of a mountain, giving yourself a moment to do one thing at once
- Limit your exposure to pollutants – live outside the city if you can to avoid air pollution and watch the chemicals you use around the home
- Move your body – you don’t have to run marathons, but move your body, your lymphatic system needs you to move to work properly
- Maintain a healthy weight – this is not about being skinny, this is about being strong, fit and healthy in your own skin
- Supplement – Omegas 3,6 and 9, more super Antioxidant foods Vitamin A, C and E (see below for some suggestions)
Vitamin A Rich Foods
- Fortified skim milk
- Orange and yellow vegetables and fruits
- Other sources of beta-carotene such as broccoli, spinach, and most dark green, leafy vegetables
Vitamin C Rich Foods
- Kiwi Fruit
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
- Green and red peppers
- Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens
- Sweet and white potatoes
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
Vitamin E Rich Foods
- Sunflower Seeds and Almonds – 1 shot glass (ounce/30mls) is 49% of your daily needs
- Avocados – ½ Avocado is 26% of your daily needs
- Spinach – 1 cup 25% of your daily needs
- Butternut Pumpkin (Squash) – 1 cup 15% of your daily needs
- Kiwifruit – 18% of your daily needs
The other thing you to consider that really helps your telomeres is supported fasting. I’m not talking about intermittent fasting where you don’t eat something; this stresses your body, I’m talking about supported fasting (episode to come) that we do this with herbs.
So, the Healthy Life Hacks in this episode are:
- Good food, good rest, good play (listen to episode #7 again)
- Look at your nutrition and incorporate the foods above into your diet, also look at nutritional cleansing and supportive fasting
- Weight wellness – to be strong, fit and healthy
- Live from a place of prevention – reduce or eliminate the causes
Links to check out from this episode:
Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.