“What’s the matter, Annie?” “I can’t stop wondering what’s going to happen next with the pandemic and the coronavirus. I have this constant feeling of dread.” “I noticed you haven’t been sleeping very well. I think you may be experiencing anxiety, which is normal, considering the times. We can contact a therapist if it persists, but first, let’s increase our yoga sessions, go for more walks, and take a look at our diet. Some foods are calming. What we have to do is make sure you’re getting adequate amounts and from the right sources. I’m going to make a meal plan that includes foods that will help, give me about an hour.” “Thanks, babes.” Later, LJ showed Annie a 7-day meal plan.
“Ok, I came across some interesting information. It appears that chronic stress is a significant contributor to anxiety and depression. It causes the body to release cortisol, a stress hormone, which left unchecked leads to high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and mental health issues. Zinc is a mineral that can lift your mood. It promotes brain health by working in the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved with temperament and memory. Foods like asparagus, oats, eggs, nuts, legumes, salmon, beef, and oysters are good sources of zinc. To go with our new meal plan, here’s a list of other vitamins and minerals that also help chase the blues away.
Selenium: is necessary for a properly working thyroid gland. The thyroid influences mood and disposition. The best sources of selenium are brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, shiitake & button mushrooms, onions, shrimp, tuna, snapper, halibut, eggs, oats, and brown rice.
Curcumin: is a compound found in Turmeric. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that people who include Curcumin in their diet experience positive cognitive and mood benefits. The best sources of Curcumin are turmeric, curry powder, mango ginger, and turmeric tea.
Magnesium: affects the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates the pituitary and adrenal glands. These glands control the stress response. A deficiency in this mineral contributes to an increased risk of anxiety. The best sources of magnesium are dark chocolate, almonds, cashews, avocados, tofu, seeds, and legumes.
Potassium: helps send oxygen to the brain. A low level of it can cause feelings of mental fatigue, stress, and anxiety. The best sources of potassium are lima beans, kale, avocados, spinach, salmon, bananas and broccoli
Folate (B9): directs the synthesis of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, pleasure-inducing brain chemicals. The best sources of folate are soybeans, lentils, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, avocados, mangos, oranges, and lettuce.
“Annie, Vitamin D, which helps with seasonal affected disorder during the winter, is also proving to help reduce anxiety levels year around.” “That makes sense since the sun is the best source of D, and when I’m out in the sunshine, I do feel happy and calm.” “Well, let’s go for a walk.” Annie put her walking shoes on and…
Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats — a company that educates on food-as-medicine, and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com