How to - The Healthy Gardener

Natural remedies for stress

By
Amanda Etty
Photography by
iStockphoto®

Avoid and combat stress with these natural remedies.

Stress can affect your whole body’s health and has been linked to causing illness and disease. Holistic nutritionist and author of Joyous Health, Joy McCarthy, shares her top stress-busting tips, including getting outdoors.

Stress-busting foods

1 Vitamin C-rich foods
Vitamin C helps the body adapt to and deal with the negative effects of stress by acting as an antioxidant, protecting the cells and providing immune support. Eat papaya, bell peppers, berries, broccoli, pineapple, brussels sprouts, kiwis, oranges and kale or make a vitamin C-rich smoothie.

2 Vitamin B-rich foods
B-complex vitamins nourish the adrenal glands. Eat eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, spinach and avocado.

Stress-busting habits
1 Spend time outside
Do the things you enjoy outdoors, whether it’s healthy gardening, walking, hiking or biking, to boost your mood and calm jangled nerves.

2 Exercise
Working out induces serotonin (the mood-boosting hormone); it also reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.

3 Get more sleep
If you’re sleep deprived, your body will have a more difficult time dealing with daily stressors. Aim for a minimum of seven to eight hours a night.

Stress-busting herbs

1 Chamomile
A calming herb that relieves anxiety and soothes an upset stomach. It’s also an effective sleep aid. Harvest fully open flowerheads.

2 Lemon balm
This member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) alleviates anxiety and stress, promotes sleep and eases depression. Harvest the fragrant leaves.

3 Lavender

The essential oils from several species of the genus Lavandula have a sedative effect, slowing down the nervous system, improving sleep, decreasing anxiety and lifting moods. 

Read more in How to and The Healthy Gardener

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