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Holiday Stress Recovery Program

BubblesMany articles appear this time of year suggesting myriad ways to manage the holiday stress.  Most of us are probably sick of hearing about such recommendations.  After all, the holidays, as stressful as they can be, they are also enjoyable as we reunite with family and loved ones, bake our favorite things, and share meals and time together.

Stress in any form creates a chemical cascade in the body with hormonal secretions from the adrenal glands.  This sets up a frustrating scenario of creating free radicals in the body that damage cells, tissues, and organs.  Free radicals are molecules that have lost an electron (there are many reasons behind this occurrence), but it is important to know that we all want to reduce our free radical levels.

The best way to do this is by eating very colorful foods such as carrots, yams, red, green, yellow, and orange bell peppers, beets, dark leafy greens,  and all the colorful fruits especially plums, citrus, dark berries and cherries, pomegranates, apples and such. We in nutrition call these our rainbow foods and for good reason.  Just as a rainbow brings joy and smiles to our hearts, colorful foods, especially when eaten raw, provide phyochemicals, polyphenols, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals, pure joy to our cells and their operations.  These are all free radical fighters.  The more we eat. The more free radicals are reduced and our body stress also diminishes.

When cooking these foods, it is best to slightly cook them so they remain slightly crunchy and retain their colors.  Adding lots of other vegetables and an array of colorful fruits will bring balance to the diet and digestion during holiday times when we are tempted with such an array of wonderful lovingly prepared food and treats.

I wish all of you a stress free holiday and coming new year.  Just remember, in times of stress and at all other times, eat you veggies and fruits.

Krystle Shapiro owns Touchstone Massage Therapy and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.

Photo by JanneM

Holiday Stress Recovery Program

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