How To Reduce Anxiety Naturally (Food As Medicine Solutions)
I’m curious, do you ever get anxiety?
I used to live with an overwhelming amount of it.
I never thought I would say this, but that anxiety turned out to be one of the greatest blessings of my entire life because had I not had it, I would definitely not be here now, talking with you about health and nutrition.
My nervous system is very sensitive. It runs in my family.
I thought it was something I just had to deal with and compensate for whenever possible.
It was like a constant sense of (unnecessary) impending doom, a static that was always there in the background. The volume was always different, higher or lower, depending on the day.
And then, by sheer divine intervention while traveling in South Africa, I randomly stumbled into a workshop by Patrick Holford, who runs the Brain Bio Institute in the UK. The workshop was called “Optimal Nutrition For The Mind.”
What I learned in that workshop changed the course of the rest of my life.
I had no idea that based upon how I chose to nourish myself and by filling in nutritional deficiencies that I could mitigate my anxiety 10-fold so that it was relatively non-existent. Amazing!
It was so amazing that I quit my plan to get my Master’s in International Peace and Conflict Resolution (I wanted to become a diplomat as my way of contributing to world peace) to instead, become a nutritionist. I decided that this was my personal path, and a wonderful way to contribute to world peace by helping the individual find peace within himself first.
Because when we have inner peace, we create outer peace, and a ripple effect that positively impacts everyone we interact with. That was in 2003, and I have never looked back.
If You Want To Reduce Anxiety Naturally, Read On…
If you have struggled with anxiety and want to reduce anxiety naturally, then this episode of The Randy and Christa Show is for you.
I could not be happier to share my friend and fellow nutritionist’s work with you. Trudy Scott, CN, wrote an entire book about this called The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution.
In today’s episode, Trudy, Randy, and I talk about the role of gluten, sugar, and caffeine in anxiety.
We also talk about inflammation in the brain, which amino acids are the most therapeutic and in which doses, the sheer magic of having enough usable B vitamins, and the most important foods to use as your medicine to kick your anxiety to the curb so you can live the peaceful life you are so entitled to.
We talked about a whole bunch of other stuff too.
Like, sugar cravings.
Sugar Cravings And The Brain Chemistry Connection
Did you know that sugar cravings could be a sign of an imbalance in your brain chemistry?
What if you could use food as medicine to help with panic attacks, anxiety, and irritability and not be on medication long term?
Emotional problems like fears, phobias and depression can lead to what Trudy calls “stress eating.”
By using food as medicine and providing the brain with the proper nutrients it needs to do its job, we can alter our brain chemistry and improve our mental health.
Everyone has the right to feel 100% all the time and it definitely comes down to so much more than just willpower.
How Are Digestion, Mood And Skin Connected?
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and spelt. Research has shown time and time again that there is a strong connection between gluten and our mental health.
The best way to find out if you are being affected by gluten is to remove it from your diet for a period of time then reintroduce it and see how you react. If once you add gluten back into your diet you have aches, feel anxious, fatigued, have brain fog or get digestive issues then you most likely have a food sensitivity to gluten.
Not only can we improve our mental health when we remove gluten but we can improve our physical health, too. By removing gluten from the diet, you can help a host of other issues from skin issues to adrenal fatigue.
In Trudy’s practice, she finds 80-90 percent of her client’s mood issues improve once they are off gluten. Trudy covers all of this and more in her book,The Ant-Anxiety Food Solution.
Trudy offers some freebies on her site to help you use food to combat depression, anxiety and a host of other mental health issues at www.antianxietyfoodsolution.com.
The Impact Of Amino Acids For Mood
Did you know that worry, anxiety and depression could be caused from a deficiency in amino acids?
Afternoon or evening cravings and sleep issues, like insomnia, and winter blues are sure signs that you may be deficient in serotonin.
Serotonin is a type of neurotransmitter used to help regulate our mood. Introducing the amino acid Tryptophan can increase your serotonin levels and lessen the effects of depression. Tryptophan is one of the largest amino acids the body uses to make up our neurotransmitters.
Depending on your body chemistry, when taken in the afternoon and evening with a starting dose of approximately 500mg, tryptophan has been shown to help raise serotonin levels and improve mood. (Talk to your doctor first, especially if you are on antidepressants.)
GABA is another amino acid that has a calming effect and helps with physical symptoms in your muscles rather than symptoms that have to do with mental health. When starting GABA, it’s important to start at a much lower dose than tryptophan.
Too many amino acids can sometimes have a reverse effect, so it is important to know if you are sensitive to supplements, as well as to listen to what your body is telling you.
L-Theanine And Inflammatory Foods
Inflammatory foods in our diet contribute to anxiety by causing brain inflammation. When we consume these types of foods they raise glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter in our brain), which can cause swelling in the brain, presenting as hyperactivity, ADHD, and anxiety.
L-theanine is a wonderful and very safe amino acid you can get at any health food store to reduce this type of swelling. I have successfully used it in the past with my clients by starting with 100-300mg taken throughout the day to help take the edge off.
Consulting with your healthcare practitioner is of course recommended when changing any medication and most amino acids should not be used long term. You must have accountability and amino acids should always be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
How Can Caffeine Affect Your Anxiety Levels?
Foods can heal or they can be a slow form of poison. The same goes with foods and how they affect our mental health.
Have you ever considered that caffeine could be contributing to your anxiety or you could be self-medicating with it? If coffee is your thing and you just can’t give it up, Trudy recommends making sure that it be at least be organic and not consumed from a plastic cup. It is so important to never have your coffee alone!
Always have your coffee with protein and fat. Breakfast for example could be eggs cooked in butter and black beans and try to stick with 8-12oz of coffee (we dig bulletproof coffee).
What Foods Can You Add To Your Diet To Reduce Anxiety Naturally?
I am going to really bust the traditional paradigm of “no red meat” here by telling you to eat red meat twice a week to help reduce anxiety naturally. Research has proven that organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed beef can be beneficial to mental health.
Red meat provides a complete amino acid profile that will feed your brain by replenishing key neurotransmitters.
Red meat is high in zinc, iron, and vitamin B6, which are really important nutrients our bodies use to make serotonin, neurotransmitters and GABA.
Organic, grass-fed/pasture-raised red meat is also a great source of Omega 3, which makes it a great food for brain function and mental health.
As I mentioned, I recommend eating clean, high-quality, grass-fed, pasture-raised red meat once or twice a week to help reduce anxiety naturally. US Wellness Meats is our favorite who ship anywhere in the USA.
Here is our most popular Grass-Fed Beef Recipe, which will help you reduce anxiety naturally.
How B Vitamins Can Help You Reduce Anxiety Naturally
B vitamins changed my life. Going from a deficiency in your B vitamins to having full B vitamins stores can be a total game changer when it comes to anxiety and sleep.
By having sufficient B Vitamin levels (B5, B1, B12, etc), it will skyrocket your ability to think straight, have energy all day long, reduce mental fog, and help motivate you to exercise.
Getting enough Vitamin B6, either through food or supplements, will help boost serotonin levels, which will help to reduce anxiety naturally.
While organic, clean, grass-fed, pasture-raised animal protein is a great source of vitamin B6, you can also supplement with a starting dose of 100mg of B6.
Bio-individuality is important for when you take B6, some people find it stimulating while others find it helps them sleep. It’s important to honor your body and do what works best for you. There is no panacea.
The Anxiety Summit, Hosted By Food/Mood Expert Trudy Scott
Trudy knows Food/Mood and she brought together a bunch of doctors, psychiatrists, and nutritionists for a free telesummit on how to cure naturally. You can check the line up or sign up here.
I have a talk in there too on “Preventing and Quelling Post-Partum Anxiety.”
I hope this information can help you to build your food as medicine action plan to reduce anxiety naturally.
Here’s to PEACE and well being.