Unhealthy Debilitating Chronic Stress

Stress problems are very common with many people reporting experiencing extreme levels of negative stress.  When stress is considered as something that occurs repeatedly across the full lifespan, the true incidence of stress problems is much higher.  Being “stressed out” in our modern world is  a universal human phenomenon that affects almost everyone around the world, as confirmed in a 2015 Lancet study reviewed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

According to the American Psychological Association (APA)’s annual stress survey in 2019, average stress levels in the United States were 4.9 on a scale from 1 to 10. Another 2018 APA “APA Stress in America™ Survey: Generation Z Stressed About Issues in the News but Least Likely to Vote” survey found that the most common stressors were employment and money.

So, Manage For Stress is vitally important for everyone in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Generally, most people use the word stress to refer to negative experiences that leave us feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to serious health issues. One example of this is the association between work-related stress and coronary heart disease, as confirmed in a 2018 Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA) study reviewed by the NIH.

Thinking about stress exclusively as something negative gives us a false impression of its true nature, however.  Stress is really more about our capacity to handle change than it is about whether that change makes us feel good or bad.

 People are disturbed not by a thing, but by their perception of a thing— Epictetus

The only real thing that’s constant about life is “change”, if you really think about it.  Changes happens all the time, and stress is in large part what we feel when we are reacting to changes, especially unexpected or unwanted ones, as discussed in a 2015 Cleveland Clinic “stress” study.  Generally speaking, people do not like experiencing the extremes of stress.

However, most people do not like a total absence of stress either.  There is a word for such a condition, which is what most people call boredom. What most people tend to seek is the middle ground; a balance between a lack of stress and too much stress.  They want a little challenge and excitement in life, but not so much that they feel overwhelmed by it.

For example, a 2016 BJPhych Bulletin (NIH) study study found that workers were much more efficient and less-stressed when management styles were implemented, and included physical exercise, taking breaks and ensuring adequate time for planning work tasks.  Personal interventions used outside of work were important to prevent and remedy stress, also.  Some people are more vulnerable to becoming stressed out than others are in any given situation.

Or, as an example, an event like getting stuck in traffic might cause one person to become very stressed out while it might not affect another person at all.  Some people become highly anxious, which is a condition commonly known as a “social Anxiety Disorder”, as covered in a NIH “Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness” study, while others remain calm and composed.  According to a researchers at Yale University, found that acute stress actually reduces the volume of grey matter in the areas of the brain associated with self-control.

physical aches and pains-of unhealthy stress

The Yale research showed that Manage For Stress in the present moment actually makes it more challenging to deal with future stress because the present stress is already so overwhelming.   How vulnerable you are personally to becoming stressed out depends on a variety of factors, including your biological makeup (genetics); your perception of your ability to cope with challenges; characteristics of the stressful event, such as it’s intensity, timing, and duration; and your command of stress management skills, or resiliency according to a 2011 Psychiatriki study reviewed by the NIH.

According to a 1994 ResearchGate “A review of Coping, With Reference To Mental Health and Stress” study, characteristics of a “resilient personality” are: ability to cope in stressful situations and being less prone to the negative consequences of stress.

A resilient person can continue engagement in activities, enjoys flexibility to unexpected changes in life, has ability to seek social support, can perceive stress as a challenge and a chance for growth and development rather than a threat to life, by taking care of their body, living in harmony with nature, with optimism and sense of humor, in work and love, and develop spiritualism and a true sense of oneself.

Your genetics, and often, the characteristics of the stressor itself are not under your direct control, however, some of the factors are solvable through behavioral changes.

For example, according to the 2010 Annals of the N Y Academy of Science (NIH) study, overcoming some stressful experiences can lead to growth, adaptation, and beneficial forms of learning that promote future resiliency and the ability to cope.

Other stressful experiences, however, can lead to a proliferation of interacting behavioral, cognitive, physiological, and neural changes that promote vulnerability to ill health, per a 2006 Dialogues In Neuroscience (NIH) study.  There are many ways or strategies that are great for relieving stress.  Here are links to the most effective strategies, along with research, and our articles:

Unhealthy Multi-Tasking Causing Chronic Stress

You will learn several specific coping strategies today in eating the proper nutrition and supplementation that can help you safely and effectively reduce your vulnerability to experiencing severe stress, and all the negative connotations associated with it.

Here is Wikipedia’s definition of stress.   In Psychology, stress is a feeling of strain and pressure.  Stress is a type of psychological pain.  Small amounts of stress may be desired, beneficial, and even helpful.  Positive stress helps improve athletic performance.  It also plays a role in motivation, adaptation, and reaction to the environment. 

Excessive amounts of stress, however, may lead to bodily harm.  Stress can increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, and mental illnesses, such as depression.

If you look at Wikipedia’s definition of stress, actually, a certain amount of stress is considered normal in everyday life, and the real problems health wise occur when stress becomes severe and chronic.  According to the American Psychological Association (APA) 2007 “Stress a Major Health Problem in The U.S., Warns APA” study, 1 out of 3 Americans are living with extreme stress and 48 percent Americans believe that their stress has increased over the past five years.

Stress in America continues to escalate and is affecting every aspect of people’s lives — from work to personal relationships to sleep patterns and eating habits, as well as their health,

says psychologist Russ Newman, PhD, JD, APA executive director for professional practice.

Acute Stress Resulting In Physical Pain

We know that stress is a fact of life and some stress can have a positive impact, however, the high stress levels that many Americans report experiencing can have long-term health consequences, ranging from fatigue to obesity and heart disease.

For more information from Wikipedia on stress and its harmful effects, read here.

The Incredible Stress- Reducing Natural Whole Food Peruvian Maca

The Adaptogen Peruvian Maca root is a natural, certified organic, non-GMO, nutrient-dense and complete, almost perfectly-balanced whole food, for supplementing your diet with everything your body needs to optimally function.  The physical and psychological benefits of the incredible natural Adaptogen Peruvian Maca plant are many and wide-ranging.

Today, we will cover stress relief and provide proven, documented benefits of P Maca promoting balance in association with your body’s endocrine system, all its hormones, and functions. The NIH-reviewed 2012 Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine study has a great introduction on Peruvian Maca, giving it’s history and health-enhancing properties, such as nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties, and it acts on sexual dysfunctions, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, memory and learning, and protects skin against ultraviolet radiation.  According to the NIH,

Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases.

Reducing Stress On the Inside and Outside

The Adaptogen P Maca root is not a hormone in itself, but it contains a unique set of nutrients such as flavonoids which assists and supports and regulates your endocrine System and all the hormones, allowing them to function efficiently, in a normal way, and in balance.  One 2015 Climacteric (NIH) study found P Maca reduced the symptoms of stress and depression in Chinese postmenopausal women.

Another NIH=reviewed 2005 International Journal of Biomedical Science study showed the same results, P Maca reduced stress and the discomfort associated with early post menopausal stage in women, as an alternate to HRT.

Herbal Adaptogens like P Maca, are able to change the imbalance of hormones in your endocrine system, assisting your body to “adapt” to acute conditions such as chronic stress and illness.  Adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, antidepressive, anxiolytic, nootropic and central nervous system stimulating activity.

In addition, a number of clinical trials, like this 2010 Pharmaceuticals (NIH) study, demonstrate that Adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity against a background of “stress” and fatigue, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention.

Another 2018 Chinese Medicine (NIH) study said that various studies and practical applications have shown that plant-originated Adaptogens are a kind of elite herbal medicine, playing an important role in human health and helping the human body resist various stress factorsStress has three levels (1).  Short-term stress, like you see a snake, or you see a car accident happen right in front of you.  The stress happens quick and you respond quickly, returning almost immediately to normal hormonal levels.

Healthy Stress-Free Life For This Incredible World

Then there’s stage 2 intermediate stress, moving into chronic stress, increases the use of hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin temporally depleting them, causing hormone imbalance.  And 3rd., finally, the chronic stage, adrenal exhaustion, in which your body’s hormones are depleted and out of balance, causing fatigue and exhaustion, with little chance to return to the normal balance of bodily functions anytime soon.

This is a critical stage where you need assistance the most.  What also occurs is your bodily functions is the “brain-gut” connection is disrupted, and metabolism, kidney functions, digestion, and mood are affected, as well.

Side effects may include fluid retention, constant anxiety, abdominal upset and pain, ulcers, weight gain, and lower immunity, further complicating and adding to the chronic stress already present, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) 2018 “Side Effects On the Body” study.

P Maca root can assist your body to naturally “adapt”, without the use of drugs,  and replenish your hormones, and in turn bring your hormones back to the proper balance, reducing chronic stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and restoring homeostasis.  According to another NIH-reviewed 2008 Menopause study, P Maca reduces psychological symptoms of stress, including anxiety and depression.  For more information on hormone imbalance due to stress, read this review “Living Healthy Lifestyle”.

Relaxation and A Happy Healthy Stress-Free Lifestyle

What is menopause?  Unlike Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which can cause serious health issues, or drugs like antidepressants, which only mask the symptoms, according to Wikipedia research, P Maca and its ability to restore hormonal balance naturally, enables your body to tone down the areas of the brain and the hypothalamus, the pituitary and adrenal glands, bringing them in balance and functioning optimally.

According to a 2016 Compromise Physiology (NIH) study, regulating the stress response and supporting the production of the many different hormones, increasing or decreasing their levels, until there is equilibrium and your body is provided with what it requires, is the challenge.  HRT is typically a recommended treatment for menopause.

However, according to a American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) 2018 “Estrogen” study, disagreed and so did Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, Executive Director of the North American Menopause Society and professor of gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System. Dr. Pinkerton warned that HRT is not safe for older women, and per Dr. Pinkerton,

The risks are likely to outweigh the benefits for women starting artificial hormones more than 10 or particularly 20 years from menopause or over age 60, and certainly after 70.

According to the NIH Review in Manage For Stress, it was once thought that hormone therapy could ward off heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer, while improving women’s quality of life.

Enjoying A Healthy Stress-Free Relaxing Lifestyle

But, beginning in July 2002 the NIH in a “Facts About Menopausal Hormonal Therapy” study, findings emerged from clinical trials that showed this was not so. In fact, long-term use of hormone therapy poses serious risks and may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, determined a .

The Mayo Clinic in a 2020 “Hormone therapy: Is It Right For You?” study, also confirmed the health risks of HRT resulting in serious illness such as heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. So, HRT doesn’t look like a good option because it’s pretty obvious it can cause more damage than benefits.  For example, the human body reacts to stress by first pumping adrenaline and then cortisol into the bloodstream to focus the mind and body for immediate action, which is a response that has ensured our survival over the millennia.

The adrenalin rush from the initial stress response can occasionally pose health risks, according to research, but the more significant hazard is the subsequent release of cortisol.  Generally considered a bad stress hormone, cortisol does serve many important functions, one of which is turning off inflammation.  But when chronic stress exposes the body to a relentless stream of cortisol, as happens when stress is constant, cells become desensitized to the hormone, causing inflammation to go wild.

According to the NIH-reviewed 2018 Cardiovascular Diabetology study, long-term chronic inflammation damages blood vessels and brain cells, leads to insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes, and promotes painful joint diseases.  With the routine use of P Maca and restoring hormone balance, our body adapts to acute stress levels and anxiety and returns to normal without suffering more serious damage to your cardiovascular system,  respiratory system, lymphatic and nervous system, for example.

Living A Healthy Stress Free Life

One 2007 Plant Foods In Human Nutrition (NIH) study found that  P Maca’s antioxidant activity demonstrated a positive influence on chronic stress and human diseases, characterized by atherogenous lipoprotein profile, aggravated antioxidative status, and impaired glucose tolerance, and their prevention.

Another 2006 BMC Complementary Medicines and Therapies (NIH) review of a study showed P Maca was effective in reducing chronic stress levels and depression, acting as a natural antidepressant in female mice, and the black variety of P Maca was particularly beneficial in latent learning and memory enhancement.  This is true natural stress relief!

According to another 2018 NIH “The Normal Menstrual Cycle and the Control of Ovulation” Review, another area of concern for women is their menstrual cycle and the negative side effects, because of the fluctuation of estrogen levels at the start of the cycle, having a low level of estrogen, then at the mid-cycle, estrogen levels increase ten times as much, and then at the end of the cycle, plummeting again.

Your hormonal imbalance of rising and falling of estrogen levels can be leveled out with the use of this Adaptogen P Maca, reducing symptoms such as mood swings, fluid retention, and breast tenderness, per a 2006 International Journal of Biomedical Medicine (NIH) review.

This healing Adaptogen can actually increase your body’s ability to provide more estrogen, according to Wikipedia, if it is too low, assisting in balancing and reducing symptoms associated with menopause and peri-menopause.  Symptoms caused by menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, depression, insomnia, nervousness, and anxiety, as well as, lack of memory, recall, and concentration, are very common.

Having A Healthy Fun Stress Free Time On Beach

According to a 2015 Jama Internal Medicine “Duration of Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms Over the Menopause Transition” study, 80 percent of women experience hot flashes, technically called vasomotor symptoms.  According to a Harvard Health 2015 “Menopause-Related Hot Flashes and Night Sweats Can Last For Years” study, 50 percent of the women who experience hot flashes live with them for over 7 years.  This healing plant contains the proper formulation of plant sterols , as described by Wikipedia, responsible for making the necessary corrections in terms of regulating function of the adrenal, ovarian, pineal, and thyroid glands.

Regulating the glands  prevents unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes and night sweating.  The effectiveness of P Maca in this capacity is confirmed in this 2006 International Journal of Biomedical Medicine (NIH) study.

P Maca acted as a toner of hormonal processes along the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, balanced hormone levels and relieved symptoms of menopausal discomfort, (hot flashes and night sweating in particular),  Quoting the study:

…thus, exhibited a distinctive function peculiar to Adaptogens, providing an alternative non-hormonal plant option to reduce dependence on hormone therapy programs (HRT).

Peruvian Maca Is Safe and Nontoxic

P Maca positively affect the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, per this IJBS Biomedical Science (NIH) study. These of course both play a role in thyroid health, as the hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to release TSH, which stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone.

Healthy Stress Healing Red and Cream Peruvian Maca

In this matter it is possible that taking P Maca root can affect thyroid health, and perhaps even help to increase the output of thyroid hormone in some people with hypothyroid conditions.

However, women with over-active thyroid should exercise caution in taking this healing food, particularly, at first, and monitor any noticeable changes, because you could experience some mild, undesirable side effects with its use.  On the beneficial side, however, it contains iodine which is very good for optimizing the thyroid function.

If you should experience some side effects, it would be a simple matter of using the gelatinized form of the healing plant.  According to a 2005 Journal of Ethnopharmacology (NIH) study on safety, P Maca was laboratory tested for dose-response in adult rats.

Even high dosage of P Maca proved safe with no ill side effects.  Another 2006 Cell Biological Toxicology (NIH) safety review also revealed that P Maca does not display in vitro hepatotoxicity. In contrast, a slight cytoprotective effect, probably not mediated by antioxidant capacity, was noted.

Here is one more NIH-reviewed 2007 Plant Foods In Human Nutrition study on the safety of using P Maca.  Results demonstrate that maca seems to be promising for a positive influence on chronic human diseases, characterized by atherogenous lipoprotein profile, aggravated antioxidative status, and impaired glucose tolerance, and their prevention.

As a word of caution, women with estrogen-sensitive conditions such as receptor positive breasts, ovarian or uterine cancer, should avoid using this Adaptogen, or any Adaptogen, or postmenopausal hormone use, without seeking medical advice first, cautioned a 2015 Steroids (NIH) study.

The One and Only Mighty Maca Plus

For Healthy Stress Less Lifestyle Nutritious Black Maca Powder Root

Here at SuperFoodPlant, we use a product called Mighty Maca® Plus almost daily for Managing For Stress.  It was created by a physician (OB/GYN) and uses P Maca that is certified organic and sourced from Peru.

Whenever we feel like we need a little afternoon pick-me-up but don’t want to reach for caffeine, this maca formulation offers gentle stimulation that does not interfere with sleep.  We also love the blend of some 30+ additional ingredients, each chosen for their own unique strengths as well as their synergistic health benefits when combined.

Spirulina and Chlorella for alkalinity; turmeric and mangosteen to quench inflammation; cinnamon and flax seeds to balance blood sugar, and much more.  The creator of the product, Dr. Anna Cabeca, fully stands behind the quality and effectiveness of her product and offers a 100% money back guarantee.  We love that.

For more information on the amazing Maca plant, and all of its many wide-ranging benefits, read WHAT IS IN MACA ROOT?” article.  Read more on the natural, organic, nutritious, whole-food Adaptogen, “Benefits In Maca” article, and to purchase it.(A)

Healthy Stress Healing Adaptogen Peruvian Maca

One final point, chronic stress is the main culprit in triggering inflammation, creating hormonal imbalance, but I also want to emphasize, that American “Western-style” diet, which is low-in-nutrition-and-high-in-calories convenience foods, are a major contributor to chronic stress and all the negative symptoms associated with it.

The following convenience foods should be avoided to prevent unhealthy consequences of chronic stress:  unhealthy processed or refined foods, or precooked foods, high-sugar, processed meats, or high-sodium foods, fried foods, or microwavable foods. or simple or refined carbohydrates to lower insulin levels.

Although we concentrated on P Maca and it’s effectiveness in treating chronic stress, it’s worth briefly mentioning the aphrodisiac effects of P Maca, which are not completely understood.  However, it is believed and supported by research that it’s ability to improve libido and virility, is due to two unique plant substances named Macaeness and macamides, which are not found in any other plant species.

These unique substances are long-chain fatty acids, and have shown in lab tests to increase sexual activity, particularly in men, correcting mild erectile dysfunction and also increases testosterone levels.  This healing plant also contains chemical compounds associated with triggering pleasure signals in your brain.

According to a 2012 Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH) study, clinical trials showed efficacy of P Maca on sexual dysfunctions as well as increasing sperm count and motility. P Maca is a plant with great potential as an Adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases.  P Maca, a 2002 Androlgia (NIH) study said,

in conclusion, treatment with Maca improved sexual desire.

the-inca-empire-Maca's birthplace-home
The Inca Empire Maca’s Birthplace Home

Another 2015 Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH) study found that P Maca possesses fertility enhancing properties in men. The results of a 2016 Maturitas (NIH) study systematic review provide suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving semen quality.  Here are 3 articles which go into great detail on aphrodisiac benefits:   “Increase Libido In Women” and “Erectile Dysfunction Natural Remedies”, and “Tips In Getting Pregnant“.

We Are Talking About Restorative Health Here!  What we are talking about is, what is stress relief and how to Manage For  Stress, through effective programs that will allow you to achieve overall health and well being, not to mention, helping you heal the most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions.

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Manage For Stress is really not that complicated with the knowledge you’ve gained.  If you have questions,  go ahead and ask them, and we promise we’ll give you informed answers!  Please leave your comments  below and we will get back to you.

(1) Jessa Yogartnam Video

(A) Use these links for more in depth information, more documented studies, and to purchase any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods that will allow you to not only alleviate chronic stress, but also bring you a life of optimal health and wellness.