Living with chronic stress at work or at home is an all-too familiar scenario for many of us these days. Excess stress can create hormonal imbalances that lead to premature aging and weight gain.
Chronic daily stress (i.e. work, school or constant worrying) can rapidly deplete the brain’s serotonin reserves, causing depression, low stress adaptation, sleep disturbances and excessive cravings for sweet and starchy foods. A few common signs of weak adrenal function are; overeating and weight gain, fatigue, irritability, chronic tiredness, oversleeping and frequent immune system rundown.
Accumulating body fat through stress
Aside from all of the biochemical problems associated with excess cortisol, chronically high levels of the hormone can also cause unwanted accumulation of body fat stores through the following mechanisms:
- By creating stress-induced hormone imbalances—that lead to an obesity-like condition characterized by an excessive accumulation of abdominal fat. This condition creates excessively high cortisol levels along with lowered levels of our most abundant steroid hormone-dihydroepiandosterone (DHEA). By competing with DHEA, cortisol creates an environment conducive to fat accumulation in the stomach region.
- By causing the brain to send out hormones that trigger a chain reaction within the enzyme systems that affect fat cells. Researchers believe that one of the enzymes directly affected is the very one responsible for storing fat in the fat cell— lipoprotein lipase or LPL. In relation to excess stress, LPL directs the majority of fat to be stored within the abdominal region.
- By stripping away the most metabolically active tissue in the body—muscle. If there isn’t a supply of new protein (amino acids) in the system, cortisol can make extra glucose from our own body’s tissues in a process called gluconeogenesis.
- By creating ravenous cravings due to an imbalance in various neurotransmitters—primarily serotonin. Chronic daily stress (i.e. work or school) can rapidly deplete serotonin reserves, causing the brain to send out ravenous cravings for sweet starchy foods in order to self-medicate.
Natural Solutions for Reducing Stress
The good news is that certain natural ingredients can help to normalize the body’s response to stress, helping to balance cortisol levels, and reduce the negative effects of chronic stress. Ultimate Vegan Anti-Stress includes all natural, plant-based adaptogens like rhodiola, ashwagandha, lemon balm and valerian root to help keep stress under control. Rhodiola, for example, is one of the best known and most effective adaptogens available. Rhodiola has been studied in many individuals exposed to chronic stress, including doctors, students and military cadets, and has been shown over and over to reduce the negative effects of stress and to improve physical and mental endurance.7-9 Ultimate Vegan Anti-Stress also inlcudes ashwagandha, which has been shown to reduce stress and the symptoms of chronic fatigue.10 Valerian root and lemon balm are both well known for their calming and relaxing properties and can help to reduce stress and fatigue.
In addition to natural stress-reducing adaptogens, Ultimate Vegan Anti-Stress contains citrus bioflavonoids and quercetin: powerful antioxidants that can help to repair and prevent the damaging effects that stress can cause to the body’s tissues and organs.
By using the Ultimate Vegan Anti-Stress on a regular basis – in the evening – you can aid your body’s ability to recover from the day’s unrelenting stress toll and wake up feeling refreshed.