Being 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:
- 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.
- 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.)
- Magnesium. This mineral element is important for calming the brain and body. It’s found in leafy greens, nuts and seeds.
- 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.
- 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.