This information is to help you understand how your body works and how different medications, foods, supplements and other factors may contribute to your well-being. Please do your own research, get professional advice and consider the possible consequences of your actions when making any decisions about your health.
Food is an important consideration for any health condition. Food provides the nourishment for your body, the building blocks for growth and regrowth, and a source of information for your cells and genetic material. This information will be useful and relevant to you
- if you have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression by a doctor,
- if you suspect you have one of these conditions,
- whether you are taking medication or not,
- whether you are dealing with stress from day-to-day issues or a crisis situation,
- whether this is your first experience with anxiety, depression or stress, or you have been living with anxiety, depression or stress for months or years.
Our bodies need water for transportation, communication, elimination and hydration. Without water, it is difficult for the nutrients we consume to be transported and used efficiently. Drinking enough water is a great start for any healthy diet, but taking some antidepressant medication can contribute to symptoms of dehydration like dry mouth, constipation and headaches. Ensuring you get enough water can help to address some of these side effects.
Drinking water, herbal tea, broth-based soups and water-rich fruits and vegetables can help to ensure you get enough water everyday.
Proteins are the building blocks for neurotransmitters which are essential to your mental health. Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine are part of the body’s chemical communication system. They are released to produce body-wide responses and they influence mood, appetite, sleep, and memory.
Proteins are also an important source of consistent fuel for the body. Getting enough protein from plant and animal sources helps provide a stable source of energy. Addressing blood sugar imbalances by getting enough protein and healthy fats can help reduce the agitation, sweating, shakiness, and dizziness.
Eat a variety of organic, grass-fed meats; organic, pasture-raised poultry and eggs; wild caught fish and seafood; and with organic plant proteins (legumes, grains, nuts and seeds) to support your body.
Healthy fats have several roles in the body. They are an important component in the brain and nervous system. Fats are also important because they form the outer membrane for every cell in your body. Getting enough health fats is essential for helping to absorb and use fat-soluble vitamins that your body needs. Like protein, eating healthy fats helps to balance your blood sugar.
You can get fats as part of the meat, eggs, nuts and seeds you eat. You can also include healthy fats from coconut oil, avocados, and from supplements like fish liver oil, flax oil and hemp oil.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are full of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These nutrients help the body respond to internal physical stressors like inflammation and external stressors like exposure to toxins. They help the body’s immune system work effectively and they counter the damage from oxidation.
Eat a variety of health organic fruits and vegetables. A simple guideline is to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day to ensure your get a wide range of antioxidants. Try to include at least one fruit or vegetable with each snack, and two or more with meals.
Whole, unprocessed foods
If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, you digestive system may not be working as effectively as it could be. In order to provide your body with the best access to a wide range of accessible nutrients, eat whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Whole, unprocessed foods have nutrients that work in synergy in ways that processed food can’t replicate.
The easiest way to identify these foods is to ask yourself if they come from a farm or if they come from a factory. Food that comes from a farm will be more familiar to your body and higher in the nutrients your body needs. Foods from a factory have been processed in ways that make them less recognizable to the body. They may also be stripped of their natural nutrients and have vitamins and minerals added back in.