Carol HeckmanBeing anxious is increasingly a part of everyday life, and how we eat and what we eat can help us manage that. I am especially seeing this in teens and young adults.

Recently, I spoke about this connection in the teleseminar “Building Resilience in Anxious Times.” If you missed it, here are a few of the takeaways for finding the right foods to build reliance and lessen your anxiety:

  1. Healthy fats. It’s well-researched that healthy fats improve mood and brain function. Examples include cold water fish, nuts, flax and chia seeds, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, avocado oil, grass-fed and organic butter, and heavy cream.
  2. Protein. Protein is needed to make amino acids, which are the building blocks to mood calming Serotonin. Eat 2-4 ounces at each meal and snack. (Visually, 3 oz. is about the size of a card deck or your palm, so a little less for 2 oz. and a little more for 4 oz.)
  3. Magnesium. This mineral element is important for calming the brain and body. It’s found in leafy greens, nuts and seeds.
  4. Antioxidant foods and spices. Antioxidants help to mitigate the effects of free radicals that cause cell damage. In terms of foods, think yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red. Vegetables: purple and yellow carrots, sweet potatoes, rainbow chard, colored peppers. Fruits: all berries, apples and citrus. Spices: cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger, and onion.
  5. Eat often: Eat either a meal, a small snack, or a mini meal every 3 hours. Anxiety is connected with low blood sugar. Regular food inputs keep your blood sugar level balanced and your mood up.

* Carol was an expert panelist at Seven Tools’ Anxiety Summit. To purchase Summit presentations, go to their archive.

Carol Heckman, RN, CNC, CNHP
Carol is a Registered Nurse. She also has certifications in Nutritional Counseling, Herbalism, and Natural Health from Trinity School of Natural Health.