Food choices have a huge impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Food is information that our cells used to determine fundamental functions of how our bodies function in day-to-day life. The vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that food delivers determine what genes get turned on and off, which enzymes work, and how well and it even affects the inflammation levels in our cells. FOOD IS REALLY THAT POWERFUL. For those who struggle with anxiety, it’s really important to pay attention to what we are feeding our cells and what information they are receiving from the foods we choose to eat. Better nutrition can reduce anxiety and benefit our mental health so much. It may never be perfect but, our food choices impact everything we do. Every function of our body and mind.
Our food choices should nourish our bodies and minds by providing crucial building blocks like vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants. When we feed our nervous system high inflammatory foods, it can’t function properly and leads to worse anxiety or even cause someone to have anxiety.
The most common pitfalls in our nutrition that can create an anxious mind are, eating inflammatory foods like; anything processed, foods high in processed sugars and refined carbohydrates, and this is a big one and one that a lot of people don’t realize but, foods high in omega 6 that in are in some animal products. All of these foods cause nutritional deficiencies that make it extremely hard for our cells to function. They spark inflammation inside the gut which then signals our brain with an inflammatory response. An inflamed gut can not produce the serotonin needed (Our happy hormone). So if your diet is filled with these types of foods and you suffer from anxiety or things like brain fog, sore joints, digestion issues or, just overall not feeling well. I think you are starting to see why.
I personally have struggled with bouts of anxiety and the one thing that has helped me is, continuing to make good food choices and using natural supplements like magnesium and L-theanine. Most people today are actually magnesium deficient mostly due to our soils being so depleted nowadays. Magnesium deficiency has actually been linked to things like obesity as well as anxiety and depression. I require every single client of mine to supplement with magnesium.
Making better nutrition choices to help alleviate anxiety includes things like; reducing sugar intake and I’m not talking about natural sugars from things like fruit. I’m talking about refined sugar, cookies, cakes, donuts, etc. We need to actually increase our fruit intake as the body requires a certain amount of sugar daily. Increased veggie intake. A lot of people don’t like veggies or we even hear some new fad diets claiming that they are bad for you. This is very untrue unless you have a rare autoimmune disease to which certain veggies can possibly cause a flare-up. Try to find something green or colourful like veggies that you enjoy!
Another big thing we can do is overall caffeine intake. Especially man-made caffeine from things like pre-workouts or energy drinks and opt for natural caffeine. Things like green tea, coffee, and other teas work great.
My ending thoughts are; Why guess at how well our cells are working in our bodies or how well our body and mind is going to function. Why not just make better choices so, WE KNOW. Remember, Everything we eat or consume goes into our cells. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “We are what we eat.” There has never been a truer statement in my opinion. Reminding myself of that saying, helps me make the choices I need to make daily. Making one small change today can impact the rest of our lives. Healthy cells equal a healthy mind and body. I hope this information was helpful!
Photo By: Mike Lakomowski