Are you eating your way to stress?

While we do our best to keep our body nourished, some foods we eat may be making our job harder. For our skin to flourish it not only needs a good dose of vitamins and nutrients but also a chance to properly digest and absorb them. When our body is under stress, it can make it harder to get the most out of the good foods we are putting into it. With stress and anxiety becoming a frequent health concern, it becomes more and more important to understand how diet can play a part in minimizing stress which, in turn, can play out as all sorts of issues on the skin. From generally lackluster and premature ageing to acne, irritations, and rashes, keeping our stress levels in check can lead to healthy, radiant skin as well as a better quality of life. Here are three stress-inducing foods to avoid putting into your body.
  1. Caffeine.
As a stimulant, caffeine works on heightening your central nervous system. Those who are prone to anxiety often find it acts as a trigger to bring on their fight or flight response. When your body is in this state, normal digestive processes shut down. Try to limit the amount of coffee you drink, or opt for the decaffeinated alternative and allow your body to remain operating on a more balanced level.
  1. Fried foods.
These foods are difficult for a body to digest. With little nutritional value to them, our body needs to work hard for minimal benefit. The more natural and less processed your food is, the simpler and more beneficial it is for your body and, therefore, skin.
  1. Processed sugar.
It’s hiding everywhere. From white bread and pasta to our bottle of tomato sauce. Refined sugar wreaks havoc on our cortisol levels, just as caffeine can do. This stress hormone is responsible for putting you into survival mode – commonly known as fight or flight. Whilst we’re in this state, we can’t possibly hope to keep our digestive process running at its optimal level. Furthermore, the rise and fall in blood sugar levels have been found to trigger anxiety and panic attacks in some people. Be aware of where sugar is lurking; you’ll find it even in your sports drinks, fruit juices, and carbonated drinks!

What can you eat instead?

There are plenty of foods out there that are nourishing and beneficial to those who are stressed and anxious. Fresh fruit and vegetables which are full of fibre and nutrients are fantastic for those with anxiety as their levels can be depleted quickly. In particular, foods rich in tryptophan such as oats, soy, and poultry are effective as it has a natural relaxation component. And, of course, water. It’s an essential for everyone but can also help to manage stress levels and can minimise panic attacks. The food we eat plays a vital role in the happy and healthy functioning of our body. Our skin will often be one of the first ways our body tells us that something isn’t right. For smooth, glowing skin, we must consider all components of our health. More and more, we are finding this extends to our mental health as well. Our diet is one vital way to nourish and care for our mental and physical state – they are one and the same. What changes will you make for a stress-free diet? At griffin+row we believe that just as good food is good for all body types, good skin care is good for all skin types. Click here to learn more.