Eating for Anxiety
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Living through a pandemic has been tough for even the most resilient of people, so it isn’t a surprise, that people that suffer from anxiety like me have been that extra bit more anxious. The main thing to remember is not to feel bad if your anxiety gets on top of you during any of the lockdowns. The pandemic is unprecedented, and humans really are not built to stay in their homes all of the time. I’m always quite cynical when people without mental health issues tell me useless advice like “exercise” or “eat a banana” (seriously? anxiety CURED) but one thing I do know for sure is that you CAN add foods into your diet that are good for your mental health. It’s not a “quick fix” or a cure, but you can add some every day foods into your diet that will help with anxiety and depression. Here is a list of the ones I have tired and tested, that have actually worked for me.
Fish (salmon specifically for me)
I always make sure I get salmon in the weekly shop. The thing I like about salmon is you can enjoy it any time of the day. Sometimes I’ll have a salmon fillet with scrambled eggs for breakfast, or I will make Mediterranean salmon for lunch or dinner. Fish can be pricey, but if you lurk down the Asda when they are reducing fish from the fish section you can get good deals. Other oily fish like mackerel is also good for your brain. Eating fatty fish has been shown to help anxiety in studies.
There are plenty of different smoothies you can make first thing if you are a naturally anxious person. I have a recipe book of anxiety relief smoothies so I am spoiled for choice. But there is one particular smoothie I always go back to because if I do drink it in the morning, it does make me feel less anxious. It has some very firm favourites in there like avocado, blueberries and spinach. Here is the full anti-anxiety smoothie recipe on the Nutri-bullet website.
I love eggs. That’s one of the reasons I wrote “4 Healthy Egg Recipes for Breakfast” the other day. If I start my day with eggs, which have vitamin D in them which helps with mental health, I always have a happier day than if I just start my day off with cereal. There are plenty of ways to have eggs so you are spoiled for choice, but my favourite is poached. You can easily poach eggs in the microwave with a cup and a plate (here is how to poach eggs in the microwave with a cup). If you are trying to watch your weight you wont be able to have the yoke, which has the most calories in, but scrambled egg white can be made very tasty.
Cherries contain antioxidants like quercetin, which was been linked in studies to an overall feeling or calmness. If you are eating more fruit in general, you are less likely to feel stressed. In fact, studies have been done to prove there is a link between eating fresh fruit and vegetables and a feeling of overall well-being and happiness.
Starting the day with yoghurt doesn’t sound as appealing as starting the day with a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea really, does it? Well although it doesn’t sound as good, your body will thank you if you choose bio over bacon. Yoghurt contains probiotics which can inhibit neurotoxins that damage brain nerve tissue and can cause anxiety. Your gut will also thank you as probiotics have shown to improve your overall gut health.
Maybe not one you could eat on its own is it? It’s a good job you can but turmeric capsules rather than mess about with the EXTREMELY yellow powder. Turmeric contains curcumin, which promotes brain health. It is also an anti-inflammatory so that’s another benefit.