“Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food” – Hippocrates

Real, whole, traditional and unrefined foods are nutrient dense and as close to their natural state as possible. They come from nature, not a package, and are ideally local and in season. A diet based on real, whole food truly does serve as a foundation for ending anxiety, providing key nutrients and are essential for the body’s production of neurotransmitters and hormones. Amino acids from proteins (like eggs), the mineral zinc, the mineral magnesium from leafy green vegetables, B vitamins from grains, omega-3s from fish and meat, antioxidants from vegetables and fruit are all important for us to be receiving from our diets! You really are what you eat. Given that the food you eat is your fuel, quality is very important. Whenever possible, it’s important to choose organic, grass-fed, wild, pastured, and free of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Produce should be organic or pesticide free and preferably locally grown.

Remember**Skipping breakfast and not eating frequently enough during the day can result in low blood sugar with symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, and irritability.

Although protein is found in dairy and to a lesser extent in legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, the most concentrated forms are meat, poultry, eggs and fish. Protein contains amino acids and the protein you eat directly affects levels amino acids in your blood and brain which affects levels of neurotransmitters that play a role in mood. {Poultry is an excellent source of amino acids, especially tryptophan and the B vitamin niacin. Eggs are healthful and an important part of a diet based on real, whole foods. They are a great source of high quality protein and contain selenium, iodine and vitamins A and D. The yolk is a good source of choline which is important for brain health. Seafood is also a great source of amino acids, omega-3s, zinc, iodine, iron, calcium, selenium and vitamins B12, A and D.

Vegetables are an important part of the whole foods diets that proved so beneficial for mood. They provide minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc, many of the B vitamins and antioxidants. The antioxidants provide protection against increased oxidative stress. Try to aim more toward non-starchy vegetables and aim for at least four servings a day. Some examples of non-starchy vegetables are artichokes, asparagus, avocados, bell peppers, carrots, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, cucumber, mushrooms etc.

Fruits are also an important part of the whole foods diet thats proven benefits for mood. They provide similar nutritional benefits as vegetables. Two to four servings daily is appropriate.

Keep hydrated with at least 2 quarts of water daily! In addition to plain water, try water with lemon or orange slices or even some cranberry juice! Drinking herbal tea such as mint, chamomile, lemon-ginger, licorice and orange is also beneficial.

 

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