I can’t recall how many times I’ve spoken to doctors and other health professionals about anxiety and one of the questions that’s often overlooked is “What foods are you eating?”
For a long time I’d never considered that my diet could have been having a detrimental effect on my mental health and actually be promoting my anxiety, I don’t know, the question just didn’t seem important and I had never really thought about changing my diet in order to help reduce my level of anxiety.
Too often we are just bombarded via the television that processed foods are bad for our physical health. But what about our mental health?
Along the course of my journey battling anxiety and stress (and after eventually being asked the question a thousand times!), I decided to look into what I was eating and if there were in fact foods that help to lower anxiety.
I soon began looking at the topic as you are doing now and it became quite apparent about the link between the foods we eat and the knock-on effect they have, not just on your body, but also your mind! I suppose the saying ‘you are what you eat’ has never seemed so pertinent as some of the studies are now showing this direct correlation between the gut and your brain!
Like I’ve said many times before, I am not a medical professional but as a long-term anxiety veteran I do have experience in anxiety and I am only interested in solutions that work, for everyday folks like yourself and I.
That being said I believe I have insight into strategies that work and whilst I cannot guarantee a magical cure for anxiety I firmly believe by using the Synergy and Balance Design (mentioned here) method and looking at the three holistic ideologies it can be very helpful in seeing a huge reduction in anxiety, whichever type of anxiety you are suffering from!
So back to our food Self Technologies! After doing a fair amount of research around this link between food and the digestive system I understood that replacing my diet with a few healthy replacements, I could quite easily see how it began to have a real benefit where my anxiety and stress was concerned.
I also found, like with applying the Synergy and Balance Design method, that when certain foods are digested together, they create even more beneficial properties, so I cannot place emphasis enough on making these foods part of your diet, plus they taste great too!
My doctor, I must admit, was pretty impressed when I reported back that indeed, overlooking your food intake is a big mistake when trying to manage your stress and anxiety, he added that on top of the work I had done, and to create more of these amalgamations between anxiety busting foods, that I should read ‘Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health a Complete Guide to the Food-mood Connection’ by Leslie Korn.
The overall idea is to balance your hormones and stress chemicals to reduce those signs and symptoms of anxiety, the recipes are delicious and I would suggest anyone looking for further Self Technology Solutions instead of side effect based pharmaceuticals to purchase the book.
Since implementing the changes to my food intake I’ve found that the below list consists of foods that have helped along the way to reduce my anxiety, I find eating junk food and foods high in salt do not help when it comes to stress and anxiety and if we can incorporate good fats into our diet, this does indeed contribute to lowering the symptoms we are trying to banish.
The Avocado – 1
Along with being so delicious and a versatile fruit in many ways the avocado is without a doubt one of the trendiest foods to bring up in conversation.
Good for your heart and the avocado is now being noticed for providing so many benefits for the anxiety sufferer, the stress-reducing properties are thought to be from the dense vitamin B found within these mini green superheroes.
Blueberries – 2
I absolutely love adding blueberries to my anti-anxiety smoothie I drink in the morning, the blueberry harvesting vitamin C is a Self Technology that goes a long way in reducing stress and anxiety. Being such a good antioxidant, the blueberry is worth of the number 2 stop of my top 5!
Green Tea -3
Again, packed with antioxidants, green tea has incredible mind focussing powers and although, yes it does contain caffeine I have always found drinking green tea an excellent way to centralise my thoughts and reduce critical thoughts on very stressful days.
Solid entry at number 3.
Asparagus – 4
Who doesn’t love tasty asparagus a few times a week? In addition to the amazing taste of asparagus, it contains excellent amounts of vitamin B.
People with anxiety are found to not to have sufficient vitamin B in their diets, but asparagus also is dense in fibre and vitamin C, good for your body and mind, stock up on your asparagus today!
Salmon – 5
It’s so fascinating how the foods which seem to help in the fight against anxiety are also so delicious!
Salmon, a great source of those fatty omega-3 acids which we now know are crucial in keeping stress hormones low. It also helps with inflammation so keeping you in tip-top shape as well as combating anxiety is why I had to include Salmon in my top 5!
Introduce or increase your intake today!
Imagine all the tasty meals you’ll create using the above and combining with Leslie’s advice here you will be well on the way to removing the foods from your diet that are adding to the root cause of anxiety and replacing them with meals you know are working with and not against you!
I hope you’ve found this article of help and please let us know how my top 5 and are helping you take back control from anxiety!
Kris Neale, DIP I CPH
Licensed NLP Practitioner
Founder – Self Technology Solutions