Anxiety and your Diet

Choosing which food we will nourish our bodies with is among the most important decisions that we will make each day. With our dietary choices we have the potential to either heal or harm ourselves, and this is particularly true when it comes to anxiety.

Research has shown that certain foods can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, whereas other foods have the potential to combat and ease these feelings. If anxiety is something that is affecting your life in some way then taking notice of the following tips could go a long way to helping you overcome it!

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress. It is a precursor to serotonin, which is extremely beneficial for promoting feelings of calm and happiness.

Tryptophan naturally occurs in several plant-based foods, most notably in bananas, oats, peanut butter and sesame seeds.

Vitamin B

There is much research to suggest a connection between the various B vitamins and the mood. In fact, a deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to a low mood, anxiety and even depression.

Eating a range of foods that contain B vitamins is the best way to enjoy the many benefits of this vitamin group. Good foods to include are leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts, spirulina, watermelon, spinach, rice and legumes.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates often get a bad rep in the wellness world, but they are actually great for increasing serotonin production. Whole grain carbohydrates are the best choice and you should make an effort to avoid processed carbs, such as white rice and white bread.

When you eat whole grain carbohydrates it takes a while for your body to break them down, and this means that sugar is being released into the bloodstream relatively slowly. This is great for consistent energy levels as well as consistent mood.

The best things to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta and legumes.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dietary choices that encourage feelings of anxiety!

Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, are often favoured for the quick burst of energy that they can provide, but after the high comes the inevitable crash – and this can impact your mood as well as your energy levels! Furthermore, studies have shown that the presence of caffeine can actually inhibit serotonin production. This can quickly cause you to be more prone to feelings of irritability, anxiety and depression!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

How to Handle Your Hormones

Mood swings can strike at any time and although there are certain common likely causes, it is something that can’t always be managed in the same way.

What Are Mood Swings

Your mood swings may be characterised by a variety of things, such as unexplained crying or unjustified irritability. It is important to remember that although your emotions may seem out of proportion, your feelings in each moment are still valid and true, and there is no need to beat yourself up about this!

Diet & Gut Health

A hormonal imbalance is a likely cause when it comes to mood swings, and this can be handled by addressing your lifestyle and making positive changes where necessary. This will largely be in relation to your diet. Your diet can impact your emotions in several ways, and it will also have an impact on the health of your gut. Your gut health is linked to your mood, and it is important to play close attention to this aspect of your overall health. The bacteria in your intestines will influence your hormones, and this of course will then impact your mood. So, a large presence of good bacteria will go a long way to helping!

Blood Sugar Levels

Keeping your blood sugar levels consistent is one of the best ways to keep your mood from fluctuating. You may think that skipping a meal will help you to lose weight, or save you time if you have a busy schedule. But doing so can actually wreak havoc with your hormones and leave you feeling annoyed, fatigued and generally unhappy. Fortunately, you can keep your blood sugar levels up by regularly eating nutritious foods, and avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks!

Sleep & Stress

In addition to your diet, certain lifestyle factors such as sleep will also influence your hormones and therefore your mood. When you do not get enough sleep your body will produce excess levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. This will put unnecessary stress on your adrenal glands, and can cause your serotonin levels to drop. Serotonin is super important for keeping your mood up, and you should always try to get between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If you have trouble getting to sleep, or find that you are often waking in the night, then you may find some relief by drinking soothing herbal teas before you go to bed.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Avoid These Foods & Improve Your Mood!

Diet and nutrition often appears to be such a complex topic. Knowing the right things to eat in order to maintain the optimum health of our bodies, both inside and out, can take a while to get to grips with. However, once you get there and you understand what’s good, what’s bad, what you need and what you don’t, then there are no limits to how great you can feel physically. However, the same thing also applies when considering your mental and emotional wellbeing.

The foods that you eat will have a great impact on your mood, making it all the more important that you choose wisely. Several ingredients found in common food items can have a serious impact on the nervous system which will not only affect energy levels but can also leave you feeling anxious and depressed. When considering this, one of the biggest problems is that even the smallest amounts of these ingredients can have cause these things to occur. That means that if you’re not avoiding these ingredients entirely then you’re at risk of disturbing your mood each and every day.

So, what ingredients am I referring to specifically?

First of all, sugar. It’s absolutely no secret that I detest this as such a huge part of the modern day diet. When it comes to processed and packaged foods, it is included in abundance and it is making us sicker and fatter the more we continue to consume it. It wreaks havoc with the pancreas and the liver, often leading to insulin resistance. Over consumption of sugar can quickly cause diabetes as well as severe problems with your thyroid gland. It will also cause blood sugar levels to spike which will then mean an imminent crash – and with this crash will come with an irritable mood. Sugar is best avoided altogether or at least only consumed in small, sensible portions rarely.

The next major culprit is white flour. You might think that you don’t consume that much white flour but it is frequently used in things like soup and salad dressing as a thickening agent. It does crazy things to our blood glucose levels without providing any real nutrition. Consuming white flour will quickly cause mood swings and can also actually leave you feeling hungrier than before. The best way to avoid the detrimental effects of white flour is to choose whole grain varieties.

Refined oils can also have a huge impact on our mood when we include them in our diet. Refined oils contain high levels of trans fat which will increase levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body. These kinds of oils will also cause you to gain weight easily. As they are difficult to digest, you will find your body sapped of energy which will of course leave you feeling unhappy and tired. Choose unrefined oils instead, such as coconut oil, olive oil or flax seed oil. You’ll soon notice the difference in your mood and your health!