7 Foods That Fight Anxiety AND Lift Your Mood
Your food makes a huge impact on your feelings.
Did you know foods that fight anxiety are easy to find?
Depressed? Anxious? Unsure of what's going to go on in the future?
What if I told you that some of the stress you're feeling right now came from what you ate for lunch?
It’s so interesting to watch my clients eat foods that support their bodies and reduce the stress they feel. I'm amazed when simple choices make a huge difference.
Is this something you want to learn to do?
Before we jump into the different foods, I want to invite you to sit down and talk with me about what’s going on and how we can make some of these simple changes, so you feel stronger and think clearly.
FOODS THAT FIGHT DEPRESSION
Nuts & Seeds
High-fat nuts and seeds used to trigger people into a panic. The low-fat diets encouraged people to cut out these extraordinarily nutritious and healthy foods from their diet.
You know by now that it's okay to eat nuts and seeds. Pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and all the other nuts that are out there contain healthy fats that help balance your hormones, improve your memory, and protect your heart.
Seeds are even better. They contain a lot of fiber, which helps your digestion and comes packed with protein. Flax and chia seeds are great for women, and pumpkin seeds are awesome for the men in your life!
I love nuts with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a hint of salt. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling that I'm eating something delicious and good for me and yet is the very antithesis of a diet at the same time.
Who doesn’t like comfort foods?
Of course, some people are allergic to nuts and may have digestive problems. That's okay. Get your healthy fats from foods like fatty fish (salmon or sardines), avocados, and whole grains.
Salads are very healthy, but get boring if you aren’t changing it up every so often. If you’re eating the same lettuce over and over, you’re not going to enjoy the leafy greens.
Try mixing up your salad with a bit of protein. Try fish (see below) one day and thin sliced roast beef the next or grilled chicken. Dried fruit can change flavors, as can different dressings.
Go seasonal as well. Different lettuces are ripe at different times and give you a wide range of flavors. Radishes, beets, turnips, and rutabagas have the same texture and different flavors and seasons of ripeness. I particularly love the warm, slightly spicy radishes and rutabagas in the fall and early winter!
Have you tried braised collards with almonds? How about baby spinach in an omelet? Kale chips?
How about adding fragrant basil filled pesto to your chicken? Or adding sweet Swiss chard into your smoothie?
Have you worried about something and you don't know where it came from? It might just be magnesium you’re missing (craving chocolate is also a sign of needing magnesium).
Getting some leafy greens in for breakfast or lunch may be able to help offset that.
Thousands of innovative recipes exist to make greens tasty and easy to eat. It's essential to get those leafy greens and because they contain a lot of magnesium. One big idea is to keep it simple. Salads and greens stand out when the mix is simple. Don’t throw 15 items in a salad – stick to 4-5 to get all the flavors.
Fish & Seafood
Fish are wonderful foods that fight anxiety and contain quality protein and healthy fatty acids. In a healthy diet, like what I’m teaching you, they make up a solid portion of your variety and protein requirements.
Quality protein and fats help stabilize your energy and your mood. Some studies show they help improve your concentration and attention.
Plus, you can do so many things with it in meals. I just don’t want you to overdo it because of the heavy metal contamination from decades of pollution.
A great reason to run out for that sushi or sashimi lunch, right?
Who doesn't love good kimchi? When it's done right, it's flavorful, rich, and your body knows it's packed with nutrients and probiotics that improve your health. For women with inflammation, aches, and pains, spicy kimchi can naturally act as a pain killer.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just kimchi. Dozens of fermented foods work just as well. Some of the ones I recommend are:
Yogurt (even though I think you should skip dairy)
As more studies from psychoneuroimmunology come out, we’re finding that the foods we eat influence our behavior, our moods, and our stress levels. Taking care of your gut with probiotic foods helps stabilize your thoughts and reduces anxiety.
One studies links eating fermented foods, like kimchi, to reducing leaky gut, which can help reduce depression.
Sweet Potatoes & Orange Veggies
Imagine a hot sweet potato with cinnamon, carrots dripping in and herbed butter, and a ripe mango.
Makes you hungry, doesn't it?
Orange fruits and vegetables contain vitamin A. Vitamin A helps produce healthy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. When you have healthy hormones, your body reduces your anxiety and makes you happier.
Most women should be eating at least one serving every day of an orange fruit or vegetable. Plus, you can combine the orange veggies with the fermented foods and you get a double blast of healthy foods linked to reducing inflammation and digestive upsets.
How many orange foods do you know? Leave us a comment below on the most unusual fruits and vegetables you know.
Herbs & Spices
Tons of herbs and spices help improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and make you feel better. When you’re on a diet, using herbs and spices can make your foods feel rich and delicious, and that can make you happy. I find these so interesting, so I want to cover a few of them quickly.
St John's Wort
One of the top herbs for reducing depression does work. Many doctors switched to recommending St. John’s Wort over anti-depression medications for people with mild depression.
It's great as long as you take it properly. In some women, taking St John’s Wort at the same time as your body switches from estrogen production to progesterone production could trigger severe depression symptoms. Consult an herbalist for your correct dose.
The ginkgo tree is beautiful and produces an herbal medicine that helps clear the mind and enhances focus. It needs to be taken for a couple of weeks before you can see results, but it’s well worth it.
Hot chamomile tea before bed will help quiet your mind and let you sleep. It's a classic nervine and was used for millennia to help children sleep and for people who weren’t feeling well. It’s one of the classic teas served to mourning women because it helps lift her mood and brings her out of depression.
This herb is excellent for adding into food to get lots of flavor and health benefits. Saffron helps balance hormones, so it may reduce your anxiety symptoms.
Lavender helps people sleep and calm down. Safe enough for children, lavender was used extensively to quiet the mind and gain a sense of peace. Lavender essential oil is often used in integrated hospitals and doctors offices because it's so powerful and effective at calming people down.
Now that you know more, try some of these foods. And give me a call to help to lift yourself out anxiety’s grip. By choosing quality, you choose health.