STRESS, ADRENAL GLAND and SUGAR
I have in the previous articles described in detail the function of the adrenal gland and its role in dealing with “stress”. Alostatic stress causing the adrenals to secrete cortisol was explained. The stressors placed on us are from physical, mental or chemical sources. Physical stress might be an accident or fall, lack of exercise, or exercising improperly, sleeping on a poor mattress, or working in an ergonomically poor position etc. Mental/psychological stress might be losing a job, or hearing bad news, or living with an ill family member etc. Chemical stress is caused by ingesting poor quality or harmful foods or drinks, or even breathing poor quality polluted air.
There is much to be said about reducing mental stress. Hypnosis, bio-feedback, psychotherapy and a host of other modalities are helpful in reducing the effects of mental stress on our bodies. There are many books and tapes on positive attitude and de-stressing exercises for the mind. Dr. Sarno,M.D. was a surgeon who became famous in his later years for his successful treatment of many illnesses including low back pain by showing the patient that “it was all in their head”. To reverse unwarranted fears, phobias and compulsive/anxiety behavior it is essential in maintain a balanced adrenal function.
Numerous studies have shown the positive affect exercise has on reducing anxiety and depression. Even a 20 minute walk daily would be very advisable. All aerobic exercise is recommended such as swimming, bicycling, dancing, hiking etc.
To reiterate a recent article identifying the horrible affect sugar has on our health, I will site a report released last week in the press. It said basically that a full 11% of all deaths in New York were related to diabetes. Diabetes is that condition when the pancreas’s factory for producing insulin is worn out and closed down. Diabetes is epidemic in the U.S. even among children.
STOP BUYING SODA!!!! STOP BUYING SO MUCH SUGAR LADEN NOSH!!! I went to a women’s Torah event last night at Ohr Sameach. Though there were water bottles available there were also several large bottles of coca-cola. This is totally unnecessary and harmful. We must get this message out: seltzer, apple juice(diluted) or water but no colored soda. The sugar or chemicals and acids are extremely harmful. DO NOT BUY ANY NOSH WITH FOOD COLORING, ARTIFICIAL COLORING OR FLAVORING! We are responsible for the health of our bodies and those of our children and even guests.
Poor dietary habits trigger inflammation, allergies, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, brain fog, headaches, migraines, skin problems and more . A diet rich in foods that normalize cortisol response- high fiber beans, low-fat protein, flaxseeds, good fish, nuts, berries, sulfides for detoxification from garlic, oniuons, and cruciferous vegetables. Diet in these terms is not a temporary fad but a long term life style commitment.
Avoid white sugar, white flour and I feel strongly about avoiding white milk (dairy products in general.) In our present society almost every product has sugar added in to it; and for no good reason. Read the labels and start being aware and intelligent. AGAIN AVOID SUGAR! White flour is bleached and thereby all its “life” has been destroyed. Eating white flour is like eating cardboard, in regard to its nutritional value. For most people limiting flour of any kind, meaning limiting carbohydrates is a good idea. All dairy except butter has lactose which is milk sugar. Even a plain “low fat” yogurt has several teaspoons of sugar. Dairy products and white flour products create an excess of mucous which then tends to cause disease. Ear infections, bronchial infections, allergies and skin diseases are caused by an excess of mucous.
Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats are synthetic chemicals. They damage cell membranes. This leads to heart disease and inflammation. AVOID THESE ARMFUL FATS! Do not buy products such as chips, cookies, soups, margarine that has trans fats. On the other hand, a major step in reducing inflammation and controlling cotisol is choosing the right fats – omega 3 fats from cold water fish: wild salmon, herring as well as vegetable sources: flax seeds, walnuts, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Bad foods are high glycemic carbs such as breakfast cereals, candies, cookies and cake, orange juice all colored sodas, frozen yogurt and ice cream etc which cause adrenal fatigue. This cascades to chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and other ailments. Other bad choices are cold-cuts, hot dogs and deep fried foods. Bad drinks include caffeinated coffee, colas, soft drinks, fruit juices.
I am imploring on every parent, grandparent, teacher, to consider stopping to buy junk for our homes and schools. Rabbis and community leaders should join in this campaign, no more soda at events or simchas. Fruits and vegetables should replace cookies and cakes. Teachers can give out vitamin C chewable instead of candies. Shuls should not permit a “candy-man” from poisoning our precious children. We are too intelligent to succumb to this behavior leading to diabetes, heart disease and weakened immune systems. Let’s get above the “Americanized-Westernized” way of life and lead a higher level of existence. Our bodies are a gift which houses our souls, and we are obligated to take care of them.
In my next article I will provides lists of the best foods and drinks that promote calmness, well being, normal heart function, potentially long and healthy lives.