Having Good Mood
Some say that Singapore is the stress capital of the world. Whether that is true or not, stress is not an alien concept to many of us, especially if we are working adults, young parents, or even older folks who may be juggling many priorities and responsibilities in our lives. Stress not only impacts us mentally and emotionally, it can also impact us physically.
Physically, stress takes on the form of our body’s reaction to harmful situations – our ‘fight-or-flight’ response fires up, and this increases our heart rate, and when that happens, our breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises. While a little bit of stress is ok (and it can actually be a good thing every now and then), in the long term, chronic stress can lead to unfavorable consequences, as our bodies are just not made to handle it.
But the good news is there are ways to help remedy high stress levels! Doing stress-relieving activities such as regular physical activity, socializing and setting aside time for your favorite hobby are some good ways. Eating well is just as important! Here are some key nutrients that can help :
Magnesium is a mineral that can help with stress relief. During stress, our nerve cells become excited and our muscles tense up; once the moment of stress has passed, magnesium in the cells helps to relax everything back to their original state. If there isn’t enough magnesium in our cells, stress relief is delayed, and eventually, this can lead to magnesium deficiency symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, muscle tension, spasms, cramps, anxiousness, nervousness, headaches and abnormal heart rhythms.
Bliss nutrients take on the forms of anandamide, Phenylethylamine (PEA), tryptophan, dopamine and serotonin. PEA helps amplify the actions of other key brain chemicals (such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine) to help provide mental clarity, improve mood, stamina, energy, libido, joy, and motivation. Anandamide provides something similar where it can help improve your mood, memory and cognition. Tryptophan works with vitamins B6 and B3 along with magnesium to produce serotonin, the most well-known “feel-good” chemical. Tryptophan also helps produce melatonin and dimethyltryptamine, both associated with better sleep and relaxation. Dopamine plays a role in the brain for feelings of motivation, desire and pleasure. Serotonin eases feelings of anger and aggression, boosts mood and enhances sexuality. It also regulates body temperature, appetite and metabolism. Raw Cacao Powder, Raw Cacao Nibs, Dark Chocolates (minimum 70% cacao) are all rich sources of bliss nutrients. Chocolates (and cacao) do make you happy !
Adaptogens are available in several unique plants and herbs (including Maca Root!) that can help support and stimulate your Central Nervous System (CNS) activity. They also exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue and anti-depressive properties. Adaptogens can help give our body that extra boost to better cope with stress as well as help increase attention and endurance due to fatigue and stress.
Research indicates that amino acids, specifically L-Theanine, can help lead to a state of relaxed alertness without drowsiness and even help relieve stress. Additionally, L-Theanine coupled with caffeine (both are found in Matcha Powder) can help increase focus and attention whilst promoting clarity of mind.