Do you have days when you experience shift work stress? When you just want to go home and close the front door, unplug the phone and go and hide in a closet for a few hours?
I don’t know about you but I’ve certainly had days like this.
As shift workers we are prone to experiencing stress. Just getting out of bed in the middle of the night is adding unwanted stress on our already fatigued bodies.
But stress every now and then is not a bad thing; in fact it can actually be a good thing. But if you are exposed to stress on a regular basis, then your adrenal system can become run down as it over produces the hormones which are designed to help.
This can in turn lead to nutritional deficiencies and an exhausted adrenal gland.
So besides quitting your job (which is probably quite tempting for a lot of people), what else can you do to help lower your stress levels?
Go and grab something to eat!
Now I don’t mean eat anything. I mean food that is rich in nutrients that will support your adrenal glands.
So, what foods are good for your adrenal glands?
1. Celery – contains nutrients that can help calm you and lower your blood pressure. In fact a stalk of celery before bedtime can actually improve your sleep! (Who ever would have thought of that?!)
2. Sunflower seeds – rich in Potassium and Vitamin B which play a critical role in the health of the adrenal glands. When you are stressed your levels of Potassium and Vitamin B plummet … so keep munching on those sunflower seeds.
3. Brown Rice – can help you deal with stress by lifting your mood as it helps trigger the release of the body’s feel good hormones – serotonin. It can also give you a burst of energy when you’re ready to fall in a heap from exhaustion.
4. Cabbage – an excellent stress-busting source due to its high Antioxidant content. Antioxidants fight the damaging effects of free radicals in your body which are released in response to stress.
5. Almonds – rich in Magnesium which when your levels are low, can be associated with nervous tension, anxiety, irritability and insomnia. (A good tip is to soak them overnight for easy digestion).
6. Berries – my favourite! Blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are rich in Manganese and Vitamin C. Insufficient Vitamin C can weaken your immune system and make you feel stressed and run down.
7. Sesame Seeds – Very high in Zinc which is brilliant as the need for zinc increases when you’re feeling stressed.
8. Cucumbers – Does the saying “cool as a cucumber” sound familiar? This is quite literally true because it helps cool the blood and the liver. When the liver is properly nourished and not overheated, it can help you to beat stress.
9. Garlic – well known for helping treat colds and flu, garlic contains a detoxifying chemical called Allicin which helps rid your body of toxins. So when you rid the amount of toxins circulating throughout your system, your body will feel less stressed and so will you!
and finally lucky last …
10. Avocados – contain a high content of Iron and Copper which aid in the regeneration of red blood cells and the prevention of anaemia – one very common cause of fatigue and the inability to cope effectively with stress.
So the next time you’re feeling stressed (if you’re working shift work then that’s pretty much all of the time), remember to take care of your adrenal glands by grabbing yourself a handful of stress reduction super foods.
You’ll thank that piece of celery when you start to feel a lot less frazzled!!