We’re all under a lot of pressure lately.
Whether it’s finances, family or work, these tough economic times can really drag your ass down a rabbit hole. The bad news? Things probably aren’t going to magically get better anytime soon. The good news? Your diet, dollface, can actually help alleviate some of that pressure.
Taking a pill is the way a lot of people cope with anxiety and high levels of stress. But most of the time, those pills don’t work, or they can lead to side effects that just plain suck. And guess what? Popping a pill rarely, if ever, fixes the problem.
Eating the right foods, however, can do wonders. Chinese and Western nutrition look at food very differently. While Western medicine analyzes nutrients and what they do, Chinese medicine views food energetically. Chinese nutrition views anxiety and stress as the result of kidney and liver imbalances, and there are plenty of foods that nourish these organs, reducing the crazies and enhancing the calm.
Foods to beat anxiety
Help minimize some of the stress and anxiety in your life by incorporating more of these fruits, veggies and leafy greens into a whole, balanced diet:
Root veggies: yams, radishes, parsnips, beets, carrots and potatoes
Serving Tip: Bake yams, potatoes and beets; juice beets and carrots with greens below, and cook parsnips in a soup with lentils and leeks.
Dark, leafy greens: chard, kale, spinach, arugula and watercress
Serving Tip: You can add any of these greens in a salad or juice.
Sea vegetables: kelp, nori, wakame, hijiki, dulse and kombu
Serving Tip: Sprinkle some in your salad, or add to sushi with brown rice and avocado or to miso broth.
Protein: black beans, black sesame seeds, tofu, mung beans and millet
Serving Tip: Add black beans to chili; sesame seeds on salads or with steamed veggies; sprouted mung beans in curry or in salad; millet instead of rice and tofu with steamed veggies and quinoa.
Serving Tip: Add in fruit salad, smoothie, or mixed with coconut kefir or almond yogurt.
Nutrients You Need
You also want to make sure you’re getting plenty of the following nutrients:
Found in: brown, red and wild rice, beans, oranges and dark greens
Found in: sea vegetables, nutritional yeast, miso, fortified and fermented foods. (People with vitamin B deficiencies are more likely to have severe depression.)
Found in: wheat and oat bran, brown rice, nuts and molasses. These magnesium-rich foods support brain function and are helpful for mood disorders, including PMS and bipolar disorder.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Found in: seaweed, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, borage oil and primrose oil. Omega-3 fatty acids help build healthy brain cell membranes and facilitate neuron-to-neuron communication.
Found in: broccoli, grapes, oranges and whole grains. Chromium assists with symptoms of depression, particularly for people who also crave sugar. Chromium is a blood sugar stabilizer.
Found in: beans, nuts and oatmeal. Zinc helps metabolize omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. Low zinc levels are often found in those suffering from postpartum depression.
Heather Lounsbury, L.Ac., Guest Blogger
Heather Lounsbury, L.Ac., an animal rights activist for 25 years, has been in private practice for over 15 years as an acupuncturist, herbalist, nutritionist and Reiki master. Her weekly radio show, “Live Natural Live Well,” covers a wide variety of health topics, as well as how to get more involved in your community and saving the planet.