Managing stress with nutrition
Stress is a normal psychological and physical response to our environment or perceived danger, however high levels of stress left unchecked can be damaging to our health.
When we’re stressed, our mental health suffers, and our eating habits and diet quality can also be compromised. Adrenaline is released when we’re under pressure, which produces a burst of energy, but quickly after that, blood sugar levels drop, which is why we tend to reach for sugary snacks or comfort foods when under stress, and generally make unhealthy choices.Shop stress support
Recommended blends for stress support
There are certain foods that can lower cortisol levels, and if we’re mindful, we can effectively manage stress by eating the right foods. Some foods can help to stabilise our blood sugar and emotional response.
This freeze-dried powder contains organic green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale which are high in folate. Also known as B-9, folate is a vitamin necessary for many bodily functions, most notably for facilitating the production of dopamine and reducing the stress hormone cortisol.
Raw cacao is a proven mood-enhancing and energy-boosting superfood. Anandamide and tryptophan are neurotransmitters found in cacao that cause the brain to release feel-good endorphins.
This nutrient-dense freeze-dried berry powder is particularly high in antioxidants, which help to fight stress-related free radicals, and help to improve the body’s response to stress.
Chia seeds are a natural source of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to reduce anxiety and inflammation in the brain, and may be particularly beneficial in helping the brain to recover from stress.
Cortisol is a vital hormone in the human body. It is made in the adrenal glands, and helps to manage blood pressure, reduce inflammation and regulate metabolism.
However, overexposure to stress and cortisol can disrupt your body’s normal functioning. Prolonged stress can put you at increased risk of anxiety and depressing, digestive problems, sleeping problems chronic diseases and more.
Regular meals help to keep your blood sugar levels regulated. Even eating a small amount of food at meal times will help to combat stress and prevent further changes in mood.
It’s important to opt for healthy and nutritious foods during this period, and avoid things that contain caffeine and sugar, which can result in an energy crash later on.
While short term stress is not a problem for the brain, long-term build up of cortisol in the brain can have damaging effects. According to multiple studies, chronic stress can impair normal brain function, kill brain cells, and reduces the size of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for memory and learning.
Although stress can’t cause a new breakout of acne, it can make already existing acne much worse. Studies conducted at Stanford University and Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that acne worsened during exams periods compared to low stress times such as in the holidays. The exact cause of this however, remains uncertain.
The effects of stress on the body can be harmful, especially if experiencing long periods of stress. As well as the mental effects of stress, the physical effects include fatigue, headaches, upset digestion, insomnia, illness, and more.
Stress can have a direct impact on body weight. During stressful periods, adrenaline and cortisol are released into the body, which can minimise the desire to eat. Unexpected and fast weight loss can take a negative toll on your body, so it’s best to visit your doctor if notice this happening.