How I Decreased My Anxiety Through Food & Nutrition

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Anxiety, worry, and stress are detrimental to our health. Shifting our focus to gratitude, hope, faith, and belief that we can feel better is so important.

Did you know that what we put into our bodies impacts our mood, our mind, and our energy? Food can either lead us to feel tired, wired, anxious, and depressed, or it can invigorate us and improve our energy, mood, and focus! 

You may have heard of the phrase that "food is medicine" or "food is information" because it impacts all of the cells in our body and changes how it functions. 

After suffering from anxiety myself,  I did extensive research into how I could help my own mind and body calm down. Being in this time of stress for many people, hopefully this information can help you as well. 

My symptoms of anxiety included

  • a racing heart
  • sweating
  • feeling nervous
  • feeling irritable or having a short fuse
  • and feeling tense. 

I found it very hard to relax. The muscles on top of my shoulders were even rock hard! This is a great example of how our thoughts and perceptions can influence our physical body. The mind and body are interconnected. 

When I realized I needed a change, I went searching for answers and found out that certain foods impact our brain chemistry and our neurochemical pathways. They can even help activate our parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest and digest portion of our body. 

Think of the parasympathetic nervous system as more of the paradise, island vibe where you have no worries at all. You are able to relax, digest, and repair your body.

The opposite of this is the sympathetic nervous system - which helps you fight or flee a predator! This causes the racing heart, muscles to tense, and increased blood pressure. During this time, our body is not repairing itself or digesting food since it is ready to fight, flight, or flee. 

You can see why this can be detrimental to our body if we are not actively relaxing on a regular basis. Many of us are stressed when we wake up, try to get out the door, get upset about being in traffic, and the list goes on. This can cause physical issues such as gut dysfunction and digestive issues, cortisol and adrenal imbalances, and even weight gain due to an increase in circulating blood sugar!

What can we do to help? 

It turns out we need specific nutrients to promote healthy neurotransmitters that make us feel calm, happy, and motivated. Two of the main ones that bring about these positive emotions are dopamine and serotonin. Now here's the thing - did you know that 90% of our serotonin is made in the gut? This means a healthier gut makes for a healthier brain and vice versa. 

After I started including these foods that promoted these brain chemicals, I felt calmer, more focused, and at peace. 

Let's talk about gut health

Did you know that our gut produces 90% of our body's serotonin? Serotonin is our "happy chemical" that reduces anxiety and promotes feelings of well-being. This means that if our gut is unhealthy, it can impact our mood. 

If your gut isn't functioning well (perhaps due to stress, medications, past illness or infection, lack of sleep etc) it is likely that it is impacting your production of hormones and absorption of nutrients. One simple way to boost gut health is to take a probiotic. This one is my favorite due to the dosage and multiple strains!

Remember to get multiple strains in your probiotic supplement and make sure it's above 10 billion CFU. This is the minimum therapeutic dose. 

If you're looking for more information on how to improve your gut health and decrease anxiety, 

Check out my Gut Health Reset Guide Here! 

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Due to the increase of stress and anxiety in the world, I find it pertinent to share these with you to help calm down the nervous system. 

Stress is also at the core of most physical diseases. This means that if we can decrease our anxiety and lower our perceived stress, it will also positively help our bodies on a physical level

Nutrients to Decrease Anxiety and Where to Find Them

Protein 

  • Getting enough protein is critical for keeping blood sugar stable. 
  • When people eat too many refined carbohydrates, their blood sugar tends to rise and crash, causing the adrenal glands (that put out stress hormones) to get burned out. 
  • Animal protein should be lean, grass-fed, and organic if possible to avoid antibiotics and added hormones. 

B Vitamins 

    • Found in chicken, fish, turkey, sunflower seeds, eggs, lentils, whole grains, avocado, banana, carrots, salmon
    • There are also B-complex supplements that are beneficial in providing a well rounded compilation of these nutrients. The one that I take is below as it is well tested and does not contain added fillers. 

Vitamin C 

  • Lemons, oranges, grapefruits 
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Tomatoes 
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

Magnesium 

  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale
  • Almonds
  • Cashew 
  • Brazil nuts  
  • Beans
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Dark chocolate 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids 

  • Salmon 
  • Trout 
  • Chia Seeds 
  • Flax seeds 
  • Fish Oil Supplement 

 Teas 

  • Green tea 
  • Chamomile Tea 
  • Passionflower Tea 
  • Lemon Balm Tea

 Give these foods and nutrients a try to decrease your own anxiety and stress. 

Remember, that our mind and body are deeply interconnected and impact each other. Add in meditation, stress relieving mantras and affirmations to further create calm in your body and mind. 

If you are looking for other nutrients to decrease the effects of stress, adaptogens are powerful herbs that protect our bodies against the harmful effects of stress and reduce our anxiety. 

This Adrenal Support Supplement created by Dr. Amy Myers is an excellent way to support your adrenal health and protect the body against stress and anxiety. 

Use my code:MindBodyAligned10 for $10 off your first order!

Another one of my favorites is the Calm Now Supplement by Zhou Nutrition. This contains B vitamins, Magnesium, Zinc, as well as adaptogens to help relax the mind and body. 

 

Want a free Consultation Call? Book a free call with me here to learn simple and easy ways to improve your health.

Free resource:

Get my Free Nutrition for Stress Relief Guide here 

 Related posts: 

How to Improve Your Self Talk for a More Positive Life 

How to Lower the Effects of Stress with Adaptogens 

 Have questions or comments? Comment below! 

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It is our mission to help all people get healthier around the world - so thank you for helping us!

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