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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Randy

Too much physical or emotional stress can be harmful to our health. For example, athletes who overtrain may actually put excessive stress on their bodies that may increase their risk of infection.

Stress may reduce our antioxidant levels, but stress management may be helpful in reducing cardiovascular disease risk. Dr. Dean Ornish has conducted studies showing that a combination of a low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based diet; moderate exercise; and stress management can reverse heart disease. Stress management may help protect telomeres, which in turn may help slow biological aging.  

A range of factors can help us lower our stress. Regular exercise can help reduce stress. Indian gooseberries, also known as amla, and Rooibos tea may also help reduce stress. The scent of the spice saffron may bring down stress hormone levels. The purported role arachidonic acid, which is in animal products, may play brain inflammation could explain why eliminating chicken, fish, and eggs may improve mood disturbance, depression, anxiety and stress symptoms within two weeks. Overall, vegetarians appear be less stressed than omnivores.


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