Lowering Anxiety with Food
Can foods really help to lower anxiety levels? Believe it or not, the answer is yes. There is emerging research confirming that foods high in antioxidants, magnesium, B vitamins and zinc may play a role in lowering anxiety levels. There is also something called the ‘gut-brain connection’ which is basically a pathway for hormones and neurotransmitter signals between the digestive tract and the brain. It is important to keep your gut healthy with beneficial bacteria, achieved through specific food intake, so that the signals between brain and gut are healthy, which can positively impact mood.
This emerging understanding between food, mood and anxiety is based on studies that have come out showcasing a link between low antioxidant levels or other important nutrients in the body and heightened anxiety. Overall, I like my clients to start their day with a breakfast that can kick the day off on a positive note and carry that through the rest of their day.
Foods to Help Reduce Anxiety
Since whole grains, avocado, egg yolks, leafy greens or asparagus are linked to decreasing anxiety, I give the following example as a go-to breakfast during these stressful times:
A slice of multi-grain toast, topped with avocado and an omelet with spinach, broccoli, or asparagus
Many fruits, including berries, apples, prunes, cherries and plums, are also rich in antioxidants which can help lower anxiety levels, along with omega-3s and foods that are probiotic-rich. With that in mind, another breakfast I recommend to clients to fuel the body well in the morning is a healthy smoothie or yogurt parfait.
Here are two yogurt recipes to help lower anxiety:
In a small blender, combine plain Greek yogurt with your choice of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries), a cup of almond milk and 2 Tbsp Carrington Farms’ Flax/Chia blend. Pulse until smooth
In a small sized bowl, add 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, top with 1/2 cup berries of choice, cover with another 1/3 cup of yogurt. Sprinkle 1 T of low fat granola and 1 Tbsp Carrington Farms’ flax/chia seeds
Choosing any one of these healthy breakfasts can kick start your day off to a healthy start. Remember that eating better can help you feel better, in both body and mind.