Stress or anxiety? Make sure you are Eating the Right Food

We live in a busy, stressed out, world. In North America specifically, stress is rampant, and our health is suffering. Anxiety is at an all time high. The American Psychological Association noted that in 2017, 63% of us were stressed out about the future in general, with money and career following close behind.  

Though these are important issues it doesn’t help that the food we are consuming is causing us, you guessed it, more stress and anxiety.

Foods that Contribute to Stress or Anxiety

I’m not attacking meat eaters here, but it’s been scientifically proven that extra adrenaline and cortisol, amongst a host of other chemicals, produced by animals at slaughter, affect our system once consumed, making it an inflammatory food. 

Basically, if people are going to eat meat, they should make sure they’re consuming “happy” animals, meaning, those who were treated with;

  • love and proper care
  • farm
  • free range
  • grass fed
  • not factory raised

Eating a “happy” cow doesn’t mean it won’t have cortisol in it, but it does mean the amount will be less than if it was raised in a factory.  Factory-farmed animals undergo a tremendous amount of daily stress and trauma, due mainly to their living conditions.  Just like humans who are under stress, excess chemicals are produced in their bodies, then that gets mixed with our own when we consume them and throws our entire mind/body system out of whack. 

As much as I think this is an important message, I certainly don’t want to come off as attacking meat eaters; people just need to be conscious of where their food comes from.

Other foods that contribute to anxiety

  • highly processed foods – prepackaged ramen noodle soup, grocery bought pastries other baked goods
  • deli meats
  • food products that come in a box or a bag (pop tarts, mac n cheese, potato chips)
  • cow’s milk cheese
  •  deep fried foods

Foods that can help Reduce Anxiety

A great way to start your day,  and help build resilience to stress within your body is through Ki’s Bumble Crumble.  It’s simple and easy to make, chock a block filled with ingredients that actively lower your main stress hormone, cortisol.  AND added bonus, most of the ingredients contain magnesium, which helps to relax your muscles after a tense situation, unties the knots in your tummy, aiding in relief of IBS, and calms your nervous system.  Check the Ki’s Kitchen facebook page for the full recipe, but here are the ingredients used – 

  • unrefined, whole oats
  • any frozen berries, preferably blue berries
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, ground green cardamom (when you can find it)
  • vanilla extract
  • a few splashes of coconut milk.

Bake at 435F for 25min.  We call it – happiness in a bowl.

In general, eating as many whole plant based foods, low in refined sugars and artificial sweeteners is excellent for combating anxiety and depression. Fruits and vegetables are high in an abundance of vitamins, especially vitamin C, and nutrients that lead to optimal health.  Fresh herbs, spices, whole grains and legumes, feed your happy hormones, 50% of which live in your gut.  Happy tummy = happy thoughts.

I also suggest … 

  • Asparagus due to it’s folic acid content.
  • Avocado for healthy brain function
  • Blueberries for their antioxidant properties
  • Almonds — rich in B2 and E
  • Oranges for their vitamin C content
  • Pumpkin seeds – rich in magnesium
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg and green cardamom – for their magnesium content and ability to actively lower your cortisol levels
  • Spinach for its magnesium
  • You might also want to try supplementing with Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a herb that is very good at helping to calm. Those with any type of anxiety and specifically agoraphobia, anxiety when in crowded places, can benefit from taking it.

It helps inhibit the stress hormone cortisol because it is an adaptogenic herb and helps us cope with stress. Taking Ashwagandha can help lower your stress and anxiety and balance out your cortisol. Anyway is cortisol bad? When we produce too much cortisol as a result of stress our hormones get out of whack and eventually that leads to increased anxiety and even depression.

Not only does Ashwagandha help with anxiety, but it has also been studied for its benefits to lower inflammation, to help Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders, and can even be used in cancer treatment.

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

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