While it was common at the beginning of quarantine to cook comfort food and store frozen food, you may find that six months into the Covid-19 pandemic have changed your eating habits. In addition to living with the threat of a deadly virus, many people juggle working remotely and home-schooling children, which contributes to astonishing levels of stress and anxiety.
In times of stress like these, we tend to look for comfort foods to cope with the unpleasant feelings we encounter. What you eat will affect your mental health considerably. But the pandemic may also be a chance to use tools and strategies to get yourself to better mental well-being.
Here are five different types of food you should consume to help relieve stress and anxiety:
Dietary fiber is vital because it adds large quantities to your diet, keeps you filled, and improves digestion. High-fiber diets have been associated in research with a decreased risk of anxiety, stress, and depression. Fiber can ultimately calm inflammation of the brain, which tends to be high in anxious people.
The deficiency of vitamin D has been related to anxiety, depression, and reduced cognitive performance in studies. This plays a few functions as vitamin D crosses the blood-brain barrier, including reducing inflammation and protecting neurons.
Research has shown that there is a relationship between the wellbeing of your gut and that of your brain. Prebiotic and probiotic foods will help balance and maintain your gut bacteria, suppress your response to stress, and reduce anxiety.
Not only do spices add flavor to your foods, but some also have antioxidant and inflammatory properties that can improve your brain and mood. For example, turmeric contains an ingredient called curcumin, which studies indicate may decrease the symptoms of depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Studies have shown that consuming omega-3 fatty acids, a form of polyunsaturated fat responsible for building brain cells, could reduce anxiety symptoms. Experts think Omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect on the brain. Another excuse to take more omega-3′s? Better quality of sleep. Problems such as insomnia are also related to anxiety.
Reflecting on the decisions that you make about food is a simple, constructive shift in lifestyle for your body and brain. For someone who has anxiety, you should have the willpower to make the most significant dietary adjustment, as well as reducing or removing the number of refined foods.