Beauty starts from the inside. How we handle stress varies from person to person. Some of us eat more, others eat less, and some of us binge on sweets while another might turn to caffeine or alcohol. Both stress and poor nutrition can suppress the immune system. So the next time you reach for a quick fix to combat stress, remember, now is not the time to short change your diet.
In addition to sleep, exercise and drinking water, nutrition is critically important to relieving stress, boosting the immune system and maintaining healthy skin. I get asked so often ‘what can I eat to help relieve stress and improve my beautiful skin? The answer is A LOT…here are some quick tips:
“The Do’s and Don’ts of Eating When You’re Stressed”:
Don’t reach for carbohydrates when you’re stressed. They release serotonin in the brain and literally make us feel better. Instead, reach for healthy comfort foods like air popped popcorn (with a bit of canola oil spray, salt and spices), raw almonds or cashews, multi-grain snacks, green tea lemonade (my personal favorite!) and berries (high in antioxidants. Great for breakfast too!)
Do eat foods high in Essential Fatty Acids to reduce internal inflammation (this is increased by stress and leads to disease and aging). You can take Omega supplements (Nordic Naturals is the best choice, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, which our body does not make), or incorporate foods into your diet such as salmon, trout, raw nuts and flaxseed.
Do cut back on white bread, refined sugar and pasta. This will help lower the secretion of Cortisol, which contributes to breakouts and is the hormone we release when we’re stressed. Plus, you can add beans/legumes to the diet, which are high in Zinc to further decrease the inflammation, which contributes to inflamed acne.
Do channel a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, tomatoes and red wine (in moderation) because it is high in antioxidants, which help block the chemical reactions that lead to sun damage in skin. (We have to think about environmental stress on our skin, too). This can help prevent melanoma.
Don’t forget to drink lots and lots of water to detox the body and keep skin hydrated!
Do eat a diet high in antioxidants and minerals. A deficiency in vitamins or antioxidants such as beta-carotene, selenium, and vitamin C makes us more susceptible to disease. Without enough essential minerals, like magnesium and zinc, our immune system is compromised. Reports show vitamin and mineral levels dropping up to 33% during a stressful week, despite an adequate diet.
After you have taken care of the inside, don’t forget to care for the outside with skin care products to relieve the visible signs of stress on your skin (aging, acne, sensitivities). Did you know that when you are stressed your body temperature increases? Skyn ICELAND products go on with a cooling sensation to bring skin back into balance and to bring back the youthful glow you left behind! Great for summer are:
- Glacial Cleansing Cloths (take them to the beach!)
- Arctic Face Mist (replenishes skin with those vitamins depleted by stress)
- Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (to reduce puffiness in TEN minutes)
- Antidote (a cooling lotion that decongests, detoxifies and calms stressed skin)
- Pure Cloud Cream (great for replenishing, healing and soothing sun burned skin)
When we look better, we feel better. Have a healthy, stress-free summer.