Friday - - HEALTH -

What to look for Bags and puffi­ness un­der the eyes, which make us look as if we’ve had too many late nights.

“The adrenal glands con­trol the body’s re­sponse to stress, so if you are per­ma­nently stressed, this will have a knock-on ef­fect on your adrenals,” says Mary-Lou. “A diet high in su­gar and caf­feine also af­fects the adrenal glands.

“These bags are usu­ally seen on stressed people who have a blood su­gar im­bal­ance. These in­di­vid­u­als are so busy, wor­ried or anx­ious, they turn to sweet food such as choco­late or caf­feine for en­ergy and to keep their spir­its up, but while they get a tem­po­rary lift, they ex­pe­ri­ence a blood su­gar crash soon af­ter. This leaves them feel­ing even more tired and ir­ri­tated, so they reach for more sug­ary food or an­other cof­fee to pick them up again.”

Symp­toms Mood swings, ir­ri­tabil­ity, poor sleep pat­terns and anx­i­ety are all signs of su­gar im­bal­ance and adrenal fa­tigue.

When we’re stressed we make more cor­ti­sol, a fat-stor­ing hor­mone, which causes us to put on weight around our ab­domen. In­flam­ma­tion (any­thing that ends in –itis) is linked to high cor­ti­sol.

What to do Avoid car­bo­hy­drates such as white bread, rice, flour and pasta, and fizzy drinks, be­cause they will trig­ger the blood su­gar roller coaster. In­stead, sprin­kle cin­na­mon on your ce­real or por­ridge to sta­bilise your blood su­gar. Eat­ing qual­ity protein such as fish and nuts will keep your blood su­gar in check.

“Eggs are a nat­u­ral tran­quil­liser,” says Mary-Lou. “So if you have a stress­ful or busy day ahead, have an egg or two for break­fast.”

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