Around the globe, Filipinos are known for our resilience. When natural catastrophes hit us, we awe the world with our ability to smile despite our losses. This cheery attitude, however infectious, does not exempt us nonetheless from being a part of the statistics when it comes to stress-related deaths worldwide.
Stress is the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change. This is the definition given to this phenomenon by Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist, Dr. Hans Selye, back in 1936. Today, the World Health Organization tags it as the "health epidemic of the 21st century" and the "driver" of chronic diseases.
According to an article published by Richmond Hypnosis Center, 110 million people die every year because of stress-related illnesses. This accounts to seven people every two seconds. This shows the serious health impact of stress.
According to the Business Insider Singapore, 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. In addition, 73% regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress, 33% feel they are living with extreme stress, and 48% reported lying awake at night due to stress.
Stressors, or stress factors, trigger stress. According to a survey by CNN Philippines, out of 200 respondents, 23% said they experience stress because of their bosses, 15% blamed traffic, 14.5% named money or utility bills, 12.46% mentioned personal relationships, 4.15% citedlife changes, 2.67% specified health reasons, and 1.19% identified social media.
These stressors are what we encounter on a daily basis. What do they do to our body?
A quick online search (see: www.webmd.com) has mentioned how stress adversely affects our bodily systems:
Nervous system. Whenever we are stressed, our body does its "fight or flight" response where the brain's sympathetic nerves signal the adrenal glands to release chemicals like epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol (stress hormones). These hormones, if persistently high in levels, may impair our memory and learning, and up our odds for depression.
Endocrine system. Our stress hormones trigger our liver to produce more sugar to give us the energy in the moment we perceived danger. However, if the perceived "danger" is prolonged, we could be at risk of developing diabetes.
Respiratory system. Heavy breathing when we are stressed, especially if protracted, will make us susceptible to upper respiratory infections.
Cardiovascular system. Acute stress can cause high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and narrowing of arteries, upping our chances of having heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Reproductive system. Stress can disrupt normal menstrual cycle. As repercussion, it also can increase the risk of women to bacterial vaginosisor vaginal infection. For pregnant women, their child may be at risk of developing asthma or allergies.
Immune system. Chronic stress can negatively impact our immune system by slowing down our wound healing capacity, making us prone to skin infections. It can also worsen skin conditions like eczema, hives, and acnes.
Digestive system. Stress can cause indigestion, dry mouth, stomach gas, and nausea. It can also stimulate intestines, causing diarrhea or constipation.
Musculoskeletal system. Tight muscles due to stress can cause headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain. Chronic stress may also lead to developing osteoporosis.
Stress-related mortality continues to increase as we live the demands dictated by our fast-paced environment. Thankfully, experts have discovered the perfect antigen to fight against stress.
STRESS ANTIGEN: ADAPTOGENS
Studies show that healthy lifestyle choices can help increase our resistance to stress because well-nourished bodies can cope better with stress. The guaranteed mix still includes regular exercise andhealthy eating habit. Experts also include keeping a journal and proper time management.
But for Soviet physician and scientist Dr. Nikolai Lazarev, adaptogens can spell the difference in stress management.
Adaptogens are plants that help improve the body's ability to adapt to stress. These plants impart strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and mental clarity. According to the 2010 study of Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, adaptogens can be viewed as tonics to enhance vitality and aid when stress levels are high such as post surgery or illness, or during periods of difficult life changes.
And one of these adaptogen plants is Moringa Oleifera.
ADAPTOGEN MORINGA OLEIFERA
"A drug helps with diseases... A plant gives the body what it needs. And by giving the body what it needs, the body can repair itself and the body can function optimally," says Dr. Howard Fisher, a chiropractic doctor and author of the book, Moringa Oleifera: Magic, Myth or Miracle.
Moringa Oleifera or the so-called "Miracle Tree" is known for its high nutritional profile. It has over 92 nutrients, 46 types of antioxidants, 46 anti-inflammatories, 18 amino acids, and 9 essential amino acids, making it the "close-to-perfect plant" capable of meeting all the nutrients that our body requires. Moringa's wondrous nutrients make it work as an adaptogen, aiding the body inreaching its balanced state of health.
Moringa is also believed to help regulate the activity of the body's hyper functioning systems. Dr. Fisher opines that it is a very potent plant and it gives the body the tools it needs to optimize and maximize its function.
A rich source of amino acid, tryptophan, it is attributed as well to help improve our body's neurotransmitter functions, including those that produce the serotonin or the "feel good" hormones. And since it is packed with antioxidants, Moringa is noted to help maintain our body's high energy levels and help fight fatigue, depression, low libido, mood swings, and insomnia.
FIGHT STRESS WIITH MORINGA
Stress has encroached upon our lives in unquantifiable ways. But we don't have to succumb to it. It is important that we understand that we can take charge of our own health by making good lifestyle choices.
We may begin with the prescription of Hippocrates, Father of Medicine: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Aside from well-balanced diet, let us also add natural food supplement into our daily meal plan. Out in the market today is Malungai LifeOil pure Moringa oil extract. A natural food supplement, it has captured all the nutrients of Moringa Oleifera in a gel, making it available for consumption anytime and anywhere. And because it is in oil form, the pure extract of Moringa has been made easier for our body to absorb – making daily nutrition attainment less stressful for us!
With positive disposition, healthy lifestyle, adequate exercise, and nutritious diet, we can finally wave goodbye to stress and say hello to healthy life and living!
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