April 23, 2021
TL;DR - Intentional breath, healthy exercise, and a diet rich in nutrients like adaptogens can help keep our stress in check.
If 2020 taught us anything, it was how to function (or not function - no judgement here) while living with high levels of stress. As if adulting didn't have enough stress already! Stress is our body's emotional and/or physical response to external factors leading us to become frustrated, angry, or nervous. In short bursts, it can help us avoid danger or finish a project by a deadline. But what happens when we are in a constant state of stress? If you guessed nothing good, you would be right. Sleepless nights, high blood pressure, and depression, are just a few things prolonged stress can lead to. We aren't designed to stay at this level of high alert for long periods.
But before you explore the path of big pharma cures (which often come with unexpected side effects), let's explore some healthy (and delicious) ways to combat stress.
If you are looking to tackle stress starting today, here are some healthy (and delicious) ways to combat stress.
One quick way to address stress is to breathe. No, I'm not talking about the breathing you do to stay alive. I'm referring to the deep, relaxed state creating kind of intentional breath. Deep breathing sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. There are many different approaches, from counting breaths to visualization. Visit VeryWellMind for some breathing techniques.
2) WORKING OUT
Another way to melt stress is to get moving. Physical activity releases your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. It can also help protect your body from the harmful effects of stress, distract you from your day's irritations, and improve your mood. Check out Thunderbird Ambassador Tara Lyn Emerson's Instagram for some great daily movements tips.
A flavorful way to combat stress is to incorporate adaptogens into your diet. Adaptogens are herbs and plants used to help the body adapt to stressors of all kinds and create balance. Each type of adaptogen has its own unique properties and benefits, ranging from an improved immune system, increased energy, or bringing balance to the overactive mind. Adaptogens target the body's HPA response (aka stress response central) to balance the body into a better state of calm, energy, or relaxation, depending on what ails you.
But how do you get these adaptogens in your body? Well, you have many options. You could purchase them in pill form, ground to add to smoothies, or just chew on some licorice root. We, however, prefer to get ours in a tasty and balanced bar form.
Adaptogen: Goji Berries
Also known as wolfberries and traditionally grown in China, goji berries (Lycium barbarum) are small, red, and often sold in a dried form similar to raisins. Studied benefits include improved focus and sleep patterns, improved fertility, increased energy, better eye health, and improved immunity.
Bar: Pecan Goji Pistachio
With a base of pecans and dates, this bar comes alive with a mix of goji, golden & mulberries for a balanced bar with the perfect blend of crunch and softness.
Ingredients: Dates, Pecans, Almonds, Pistachios, Himalayan Sea Salt, Goji Berries, Dried Goldenberries
Native to Peru, maca root powder is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin C, amino acids, and healthy fatty acids. As a potent health food, maca may help your body relieve tension and anxiety while boosting libido and overall energy levels. Potential benefits of maca root include improved mood, sun protection, improved bone and brain health, fertility, reduced menopause symptoms, and lower prostate cancer risk.
Bar: Hazelnut Coffee Maca
Hazelnuts, cacao, and coffee make for the perfect breakfast bar or to satisfy that mocha fix any time of day. If you are a coffee drinker, then this is the bar for you.
Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Hazelnut Butter, Cacao Butter, Cacao Powder, Fair Trade Coffee Beans, Chia Seeds, Maca Root Powder, Vanilla Extract, Himalayan Salt.
Known for its bright yellow color, turmeric is a member of the ginger family originating from India. It contains the active compound curcumin, which is renowned for many health benefits. Potential benefits of using turmeric include alleviating cold and allergy symptoms, reducing depression, and relieving inflammation and associated pain.
Bar: Cherry Hemp Turmeric
Cherry Hemp Turmeric is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy! The bar is packed with natural turmeric, cinnamon, and cherries to keep you healthy and feeling good during your all-day activities! And sweet potato in an energy bar?! Yep, you read that right! Try it, see for yourself the power of raw energy!
Ingredients: Dates, Walnuts, Hemp Seeds, Sweet Potato, Cherries, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt
In summary, breathe, move, eat, and repeat!
Cheers from Thunderbird!