It’s apparent that we live in a time when people are experiencing tremendous stress, and this has its affects collectively. One of our goals is to share information to help deal with stress, a giant topic to drop into.
We’re going to begin this conversation by defining what stress is by viewing it from several angles, because that is our approach in general when we are trying to get a better handle on a given subject.
Viewed dimensionally, feelings of stress can be met with reason, and will then become more manageable.
This series focuses on the anatomy and physiology of stress. We will review:
- Antioxidants: What are they? How do they affect me? What’s the best source?
- FreeRadicals: What are they? How do they affect me? What can I do about them?
- The Inflammatory and Immune Response Systems
- The Nervous System: Central, Autonomic, and Peripheral
Antioxidants are a substance that protects against free radical molecules — which are harmful to our health — by inhibiting the process by which they arise. Free radicals can come from environmental exposures, poor dietary habits, and sustained stress. Free radicals can be neutralized by antioxidants, which you get either from the food you eat or as a supplement.
Major Antioxidant Nutrients:
- Vitamin E is the major fat-soluble antioxidant, found in all cell membranes
- Vitamin C is an important water-soluble antioxidant because it acts directly on the catabolic (breakdown) process
- Beta-Carotene (a pre-cursor to vitamin A), lutein and lycopene in particular
Major Antioxidant Foods:
If you can cook fresh meals on a regular basis, you’re already getting plenty of antioxidants in their natural form.
As a rule of thumb for finding foods richest in antioxidants, look for the fruits and vegetables with the richest colors across the spectrum of red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.
- Vitamin E: nuts- almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pine, filberts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, unrefined oils (olive, sesame, coconut, grapeseed, walnut, and avocado), tomatoes, turnip greens, dandelion greens, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, sweet potatoes; kiwi, mangoes, papayas.
- Vitamin C: broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, kiwi, citrus, red or yellow peppers, mustard greens, cantaloupe, cabbage, papaya, raspberries, spinach, pineapple, watermelon, cranberries, strawberries, brussel sprouts.
- Beta-Carotene: winter squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, cantaloupe, leafy greens: spinach, kale, collards, and turnip greens, beets, and broccoli.
- Selenium: oats, corn, wheat, brown rice, brazil nuts, walnuts, legumes, halibut, salmon, sardines, shellfish, turkey, beef, pork, egg, cheese, mushrooms, shitake, and onions.
- Enzymes: derived from proteins.
Major Antioxidant Supplement Amounts:
If you’re not one to cook meals at home, you will want to take supplements to combat the effects of free radicals. Recommended amounts for adults, according to the NIH:
- Vitamin E: 15 mg, men and women
- Vitamin C: 90 mg/day for men; 75 mg/day for women
- Beta-Carotene: 15 mg, men and women
- Selenium: 55 mcg/day, men and women
If you have questions and concerns about acupuncture treatment, we offer a free 20-minute phone session: click here for contact information to call or e-mail us.
We’re located in the DTC, in Centennial, near Greenwood Village, Englewood, and Cherry Hills, Colorado.
Insurance is welcome and accepted.