Vita-Thieves

How stress affects your health

Welcome to the fourth blog post in the category of vita-thieves.

In the first post of this category I presented an overview of 4 typical fields, in which vita-thieves can be divided:

With this fourth blog post, I want to finish this basic introduction into the area of vita-thieves. In this blog post, I want to mention and describe one big area of vita-thieves, which does not come directly from the outside but primarily from the inside of yourself. It is the field of stress and overambition, which is a wide field. It begins with stress at work, leading over to excessive sports and ending with psychoemotional stress just to name a few out of the three levels (thoughts, body and emotion) of the organic human life. Practically in nearly all cases, the circumstances can be changed by ourselves in order to be nourished on these three levels. Your mental, physical and psychological health lies 100% in your responsibility.

Today the main part of the article “How stress affects your health” reveals the three typical fields of stress, work, sports and body conditions and psychological issues and how to deal with them and it is structured like this:

  1. Stress at work
  2. Stress through overambitious sports and other conditions
  3. Stress through psychoemotional disorders

So let´s get started.


1. Stress at work

business meeting

Stress at work is known by most of us. Positive stress, called eustress, is good to let us be more focused and be more alert by releasing hormones. Predominantly adrenalin and cortisol. If we are at this state we have extra energy and we are able to go beyond our boundaries. And on top, we have the feeling that this type of state gives us fulfillment and we are self-determined.

The other way around it is for negative stress, called distress. We can be in this state or reach it if we are other-directed over a long time or if the stress hormones are high over a long period. In stress mode, our body is in a kind of exceptional state in which it is able to bring up additional energy and resources, which are normally not available.
This is an adopted strategy of evolution. If the stone age people were attacked by a saber-toothed tiger or wanted to kill a mammoth the body was prepared to this by attacking, freezing or fleeing. For this states, it was for survival purposes the topmost importance that all the available energy could be reached. After the saber-toothed tiger was out of sight and the mammoth was slayed the body system went back to normal state with a lower level of energy and hormones.

But in our working environments today it is possible to be in that high energy and hormonal state nearly every day. If we are not able to come back to a normal state of balanced energy and hormones we will deplete the vitality of our body by using high amounts of vitamins and therefore we are depleting our life-energy. This can lead to all sorts of disorders and diseases. From anxiety, headaches, fatigue and concentration problems  to depression, cardiovascular problems, cancer and intestinal disorders. Moreover, the acidity level in the body rises.

The release of adrenalin for example, uses high amounts of vitamin C, all B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and of course vitamin C. The B vitamines are predominantly important within the energy metabolism and the vitamins C and E are important to protect us from oxidative stress. And if we are at a high level of stress we need more energy and oxidative processes increase significantly.

 

How to deal with it:

So considering stress at work it is important to get to know which kind of stress is positive or eustress for you and which kind of stress is negative or distress for you.

Be sure to take some time for yourself and reflect on your current state. Be sure to take enough time for your recovery. This includes good quality sleep, proper excercises and a nutrient-rich nutrition. This nutrition includes food rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, vitamin D and tryptophan, which is an amino acid which helps to build the feel-good hormone serotonin.

 

2. Stress through overambitious sports and other conditions

sports

Our body is designed to be moved. Our ancestors probably moved their body as much as many of us are sitting in the office on a chair.

Although many of us including me are not used to be on the feet for 10 hours a day our body is capable of that if used for such a time on a regular basis.

This can be seen as a natural way of moving the body.

For sports, the situation can be a bit different. Moderate sport in most manners is a good and healthy way to move our body.

But there are some conditions like extreme athletic sports or overambitious sports which can really deplete your nutrient resources.

An interesting aspect comes in place by looking at the composition of our sweat.

In one liter of sweat, we can find about 1.200 mg sodium, 1000 mg chlorine, 300 mg potassium, 160 mg calcium, 36 mg magnesium and 1,2 mg iron.

Compared to the normal demand for the following vitamins and minerals the demand for extreme athletes rises like described below:

nutrients and sports

 

By looking at the table above, we can conclude, that athletes have an increased demand for all vitamins. As vitamin K works together with vitamin D, the same counts for vitamin K. Moreover, athletes have to have a look at the macro elements potassium, calcium and magnesium as well as sodium and chlorine and the micro element iron.

For the women, there are two other conditions, which affect their body.

One usually visits them, again and again, month for month for a great amount of their lives. Through the menstruation, the women lose about 60 ml of blood on average. This predominantly has an effect on the iron level, so that it can be necessary to supplement iron.

The second condition usually visits them just a few times in their lives. Pregnancy is a special case for the body of a woman. As a second living individual develops in the body of the woman, it is understandable that this human being also has a demand for vitamins and minerals. And all of them are provided directly from the mother. A special high demand for the evolving human being can be found for the vitamins B9, A, B1, B2, B6 and C and the macro element calcium as well as the micro elements iron, iodine and zinc.

 

3. Stress through psychoemotional disorders

emotion

Whereas stress at work foremost is triggered through our subjective feeling of other-direction or the self-ambition and is definitely linked to the area of psychoemotional disorders, the area itself is much wider.

Psychoemotional disorders describe phenomena in which emotions are linked to psychological interactions/disorders affected by thoughts and/or affecting the body and the mind.

Psychological disorders are widespread in the societies throughout the world. It is estimated that about 300 Mio people worldwide are suffering from depression every year.

Depressions are a symptom of a group of psychological disorders including burn-out, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline disorder or stress disorders.

If we look at the meaning of depression, which comes from the Latin word “deprimere, depressio” which means to suppress, to depress, to press down we can see much. If we suppress our feelings like stress, anger, sadness, happiness, shame and anxiety we become emotionally dead. It may also lead to psychosomatic disorders which affect our body like vertigo, sleeping disorders, cardiovascular disorders, gastritis and so on.

Other psychological disorders include attention deficit disorder, psychosis, dementia and disorders in the brain function.

Due to experiences the following vitamins and minerals can be seen as very important to prevent the psychological and psychoemotional disorders described above or to decrease their effects.

In this context, all B vitamins have to be named predominantly vitamin B12. Futhermore, a lighter effect can be seen for the vitamins B1, B6, C, D and E, as well as for the macro element magnesium and the micro elements iron, selenium and lithium. As the essential amino acid tryptophan is a precursor of the feel-good hormone serotonin, it is recommended to include food like soy, cashew nuts, cacao and oat flakes into your nutrition.

 


In this blog post today, I wanted to give you a brief overview for stress at the mental, physical and emotional level and on which nutritional aspects you have to have a look on if you are affected by one of these levels.

It was revealed that especially the B vitamins (energy and neurological metabolism), vitamin C, D and E (oxidation processes), magnesium and iron (relaxation and energy metabolism) and the amino acid tryptophan (happiness) play a predominant role dealing with mental, physical and emotional stress. As essential amino acids play such an important role for us I will set up at least one separate blog post.

Hope you got an idea what vita-thieves are for your nutritional choices and how you can affect your overall health with the right diet.

With this blog post, I am closing this introductory and basic series over the in my opinion most important aspects of vita-thieves affecting the level of vitamins and minerals in our body.

 

And now to you. What was the most interesting fact you learned today? Do you want something to add or do you have additional important information? Then don´t hold it back and let our readers know. Leave a comment below.

See you the next time.

Stay healthy, live healthy.