As Joshua Rosenthal, founder of Institute of Integrative Nutrition, says ‘someone who spends their entire day hating their job is probably not going to go home and make a salad’.
A perfect example of a self-perpetuating cycle easy to get caught in. I certainly have, many times.
When we are feeling stressed, anxious or tired, we’re more likely to make poor food choices, which in turn feeds the very feelings we are trying to dampen.
And while what we shouldn’t be choosing to eat is familiar to us all, such as processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and other inflammatory foods, did you know there are certain foods that are particularly good at boosting the feelings we wish to have more of, and reducing the effects we wish to have less of?
Good mood foods for anxiety, stress and fatigue
- Foods containing amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, such as chicken, turkey, eggs, oats, bananas, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and seaweed.
- Food high in B vitamins, including beef, pork, chicken, avocado, asparagus, leafy greens, eggs, rice and nuts.
- Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish (wild salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies), chia seeds, walnuts and flax seed.
- Foods high in antioxidants and vitamin C, such as berries, pomegranate, grapes, cherries, capsicum and citrus fruits. Small quantities of dark chocolate will also give you an antioxidant boost.
- Fermented foods to improve your gut microbiome, as the gut has a direct link with brain chemistry, including sauerkraut, kimchi, homemade yoghurt and milk kefir.
- Foods containing vitamin D, such as salmon, eggs, mushrooms – and best of all, sunshine, feed your mood via your skin with some time out in the sun, a little every day if possible!
- Foods considered to be grounding in Ayurvedic medicine, such as root vegetables, soups and stews.
- Water, ideally outside the 30 minutes before and after eating so as not to dilute your digestive juices.
- Herbal teas, calming for mind and digestion, including ginger, peppermint, chamomile, lemon balm and passion flower.
Whenever possible, each meal and snack should be a combination of quality carbohydrates, proteins and fats, however don’t stress about making perfect meals, feel good about making the best choice you can each time you dine.
Easy recipe ideas to boost your intake of foods for anxiety, stress and fatigue
- Opt for lemon juice in warm water for your first cuppa of the day, then herbal teas
- Omelette with asparagus, avocado, tomatoes and spinach
- Home-made bircher muesli or porridge with berries and yoghurt
- Almond, cinnamon and vanilla pancakes
- Beet and walnut dip
- Roast vegetable dip
- Chicken soup with lots of veges
- Wild salmon with asparagus, sweet potato mash, carrots and herbs
- Chocolate avocado mousse
- Banana and/or berry nice-cream
- and lots more
Which foods do you find helpful for anxiety, stress or fatigue?
Of course, what we eat is just one part of the happy and healthy equation. Relationships, purpose, movement, creativity, spirituality, home environment and so much more also play a part.
We cover each of these within a six-month healthy coaching program. If you’d like to know more, or discuss whether this might be right for you, book your free discovery session here.
In health & happiness