Soothe the storm

Certain foods however can soothe stress by lowering your cortisol levels and counteracting the damage on your body. ‘When you’re under pressure you need foods that help to stabilize your brain chemistry and offer the satisfaction that’s missing from quick-fix foods. You need to take inspiration from the original diets our ancestors ate,’ says Charlotte.

Description: Soothe the storm

The hunter-gathered diet, based on the foods available to our ancestors, is the ideal stress buster. It’s low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and packed with vitamins and minerals designed to provide your body with optimum nourishment and to lower stress levels. Check out our top five foods (above) for keeping stress free.

Feel-good food rules

 Want to slim your stomach? Changing your eating habits will naturally help to lower cortisol levels and shed pounds

Description: Feel-good food rules

  1. Eat protein sources such as free range eggs, organic meat or fish with each meal to regulate blood-sugar levels.
  2. ‘Good’ fats, such as those from sardines, wild salmon, avocados, nuts and seeds, should make up your fat intake. Cook with coconut oil, olive oil or (a small amount of) butter.
  3. Eat plenty of raw salad vegetables, which are full of fibre and key nutrients. Serve them tossed together with a drizzle of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to help absorb the fat soluble vitamins.
  4. Limit your intake of grains containing wheat and gluten, and try to avoid eating too much dairy, sugar, caffeine, processed fats and poor-quality meats.
  5. Swap sugary, frizzy, empty calorie drinks for a healthier drinking option such as green tea or purified water.

De-stress your life

 Sit back and relax with out top five tips for waving goodbye to stress

Description: De-stress your life

Move it: Walking is a fabulously calming activity, helping to reduce stress hormones and improve circulation, oxygenation and detoxification. While hardcore gym sessions are great, they can cause the body more stress, so swap your spin class for something low key in times of stress.

Have fun: If you find a few activities you like, you’ll keep them up, and the feel-good factor will eliminate stress. Try something new this month like yoga, gardening or swimming.

Take a break: Give yourself a break from the relentless stimulation of mobiles phones and laptops and learn to just ‘do nothing.’ It can be much harder than you’d think! If you’re stressed, make some ‘me’ time (take a long bath, or paint your nails) to let your whole body rest and your brain switch off.

Breathe deeply: If stress is starting to get the better of you, take 10 long and slow, deep breaths. Then feel the muscles of your face, jaw and shoulders starting to relax – any moment of restoration found in a busy day has huge positive health implications and, if you do it regularly enough, it will become an almost automatic process.

Let go: Sometimes the best way to rid yourself of stress is just to have a great time. Laugh out loud, listen to music, socialize, dance and have sex! These are all healthy ways to naturally release stress hormones and make you feel more connected to others which in turn stops you turning to sugar and other addictive substances.

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