Gut Health = Mental Health
One of the most remarkable things about what we’re living through today is the uncertainty. It’s really hard for many to let things go, to realize that there are things way beyond our control. Many people have lost jobs, closed businesses, have loved ones who are far away, ill, or have died. The blank slate of tomorrow can cause anxiety.
Though access to many foods and products has been reduced, there are many foods that have been proven to ease anxiety. In all of this list, there’s definitely something you can get. In all of this, we do have, to an extent, our food choices under control. Gut health is directly related to mental health. So, give your body a much-needed boost to battle anxiety overload.
- Low-magnesium diets have been proven to increase anxiety-related behaviors. So, give your body a boost of magnesium found in nuts, legumes, leafy greens, Swiss chard, and whole grains.
- Zinc is not only great for the immune system, so, too, does it help battle anxiety. Liver, beef, egg yolks, and cashew nuts are packed with zinc.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been proven to not only improve depression, but also ease anxiety. Fatty fish, like salmon, fish oil, and flaxseed all pack a punch of Omega 3s.
- I love prebiotics and probiotics. The former support gut health and come from plant fibers. Probiotics are naturally occurring bacteria in the gut but also come from naturally fermented foods. For maximum impact, you need a combo of the two:
- An apple or oats with yogurt (unsweetened).
- Kefir with oats.
- A mango and berry smoothie, using kefir, with chia seeds.
- Onions and feta cheese (on your favorite leafy greens for a great salad).
- Dandelion greens and Manchego cheese. Yum!
- Garlic roasted vegetables, green olives and aged cheeses.
- Antioxidants aren’t just for immune health. Research has proven that there is a correlation between anxiety and lowered antioxidants in the body. Now is the time to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Foods with high levels of antioxidants include beans, fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetables.
We’re living in a time of interconnectedness and fragility. Self-care, starting with good nutrition, is one of the most important things you can do for you and your family today. In the next blog, I’ll talk about how to keep moving at home – how to get the most out of this – to keep your body and mind healthy.
It’s so important to know that you’re not alone. Here are some numbers to call in case you need to connect with someone.
The Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)