How to use nutritional band aids.

Feeling stressed?

You know, stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We need a certain amount of stress to keep us alert, help us get things done and give us a bit of a boot in the tush to get things happening.

But the stress that just goes on and on, nagging away at us and wearing us down is not so useful. Stress triggers a cascade of powerful biochemical events that can leave those little supercharged-golf-balls-on-top-of your-kidneys, called Adrenal Glands, sadly drained of their supplies and you’re left with nothing to give either.

When you begin to feel that you just can’t take it anymore, it’s a sure sign that your adrenals are no longer producing enough of their stress fighting gladiators.

Its easy for stress overload to creep up on us. Our culture thinks much of the busy, high-flying multi tasker. We can get so caught up in the challenges of juggling all the complex demands in our lives that we don’t recognize the very real risk of burnout.

What we SHOULD be doing is having a good look at all the factors that are affecting our personal stress coping ability. Look into those draining realities that we need to ditch or handle better through good advice and prayer.

Sometimes you’re just not ready to face the big guns and you just have to get through a few things first before you can. That’s when you need nutritional band aids. Its not really fair to call them band aids since they don’t just cover up the problem and make you feel better, they actually do some real work at balancing out some biochemistry.

7 Nutrient Band Aids

  1. B vitamins

B vitamins

  • energisers
  • mood enhancers
  • mind and memory boosters
  • connections

What they do. Turn glucose into energy; needed to make neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) to help you think, stay focused and feel better; protect the brain, especially the ageing brain; support a lot of enzymes in their roles throughout the body.

What you feel. Improved energy, mood, concentration.

Cautions. Take as a group- i.e. a B complex or B group- for an all round effect. Take after a meal because on an empty stomach they can make you nauseous.

Dosage: 20-100mg of B1, B2, B3, B6; 50-500mg of B5; 10-1000mcg of B12; 400-800mcg of folic acid. Daily. Take after a meal.

2. Fish oil (EPA and DHA)

Fish oil (EPA and DHA)

  • mood enhancer
  • mind and memory booster

What it does. Building materials for the brain and allows neurotransmitters to fire quicker; influences mood and behaviour.

What you feel. Improved learning, memory, and mood in depression. Used to bring improvements in dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Cautions: high doses (over 250mg) may interact with blood thinning medications.

Dosage: 1000mg- 3000mg daily as a high quality fish oil supplement. Start with 3000mg for 6 weeks to help flood the cells and bring faster improvement before cutting back to a maintenance dose. Take after meals.

3. Glutamine (L-Glutamine)

Glutamine (L-glutamine)

  • stress buster
  • energizer
  • mind and memory booster

What it does. Fuel for brain cells, helps build and balance neurotransmitters. Glutamine is an amino acid that your brain can use as an emergency substitute fuel when you haven’t eaten recently or have been eating too many carbs and your blood sugar level is too low. This glucose stand-in stops the impulse to run for your chocolate stash when blood sugar is low (morning tea, afternoon tea, before dinner….) It can stop carb cravings and get you feeling steady and even within 10 mins.  Or even less, if you open a capsule and place the contents under your tongue.

What you feel. Improved mental energy and relaxation; reduces addiction (especially food cravings), stabilises blood sugar; promotes memory.

Cautions. High doses may cause headaches in some. If you react to chocolate, caffeine or cheese you may find you are sensitive to glutamine.

Dosage. 750-1000mg between meals, 3 times a day.

4. Licorice Tea

Licorice Tea.

  • adaptogen
  • energizer

What it does. Adaptogens help your body to better cope with change. They will either lift you up when needed, or calm you down when you’re wired.

What you feel. Improves adrenal function and can raise blood pressure slightly so you don’t feel so blah and tired. This is a naturally sweet tasting tea that can satisfy sugar cravings.

Cautions. Can raise blood pressure too much in susceptible people. If you are on blood pressure lowering medication then best to avoid this band-aid.

Dosage. 2 to 3 cups of tea a day eg Black Adder Licorice Tea.

5. Taurine

Taurine.

  • stress buster

What it does. Enhances the activity of GABA, the calming neurotransmitter. GABA is your brains natural Valium because it functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA can help turn off stress reactions after an upset, or prevent a stressful response when taken before an expected ordeal. Taurine (and GABA) can help when you are in constant ‘fight or flight’ mode.

What you feel. Reduced anxiety, irritability, insomnia, migraine, obsessions and depression.

Cautions. None known.

Dosage. 250-500mg twice daily, between meals.

6. Tyrosine

Tyrosine.

  • Energizer
  • Mood enhancer

What it does. Needed to make the stimulating neurotransmitters dopamine, adrenaline, noradrenaline and the thyroid hormone, thyroxine.

What you feel. Enhanced mood, more energy and motivation, and supports healthy thyroid function.

Cautions. Can cause high blood pressure in susceptible people. Should not be taken by those with phenylketonuria; or pregnant or nursing women. May not be suitable for those with a history of mania.

Dosage. 100-1000mg on an empty stomach eg before breakfast/ morning meal. Can be repeated mid afternoon.

7. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

  • energizer

What it does. Stimulates production of energy; protective of heart and liver health.

What you feel. Enhanced energy and endurance. Protects heart and liver health by acting as an antioxidant.

Cautions: none. But you do need to take a high dose to notice a significant increase in energy.

Dosage. Daily. 150-300mg. Take after a meal.