How Nutrition Helped With My Anxiety

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This week, we invited one of our volunteers, Sari, to share with you how she uses nutrition to cope with her stress and anxiety. Read on to see her 7 tips for eating healthy and feeling better.


There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment plan for those with mental health issues. There are many different ways that individuals choose to manage their mood disorder. I want to share with you how maintaining a healthy diet has helped me to cope with stress and anxiety.


Here are 7 ways that helped me cope:

  1. Eliminate caffeine.  I discovered that coffee and even caffeine in regular tea made me anxious and lightheaded.  I switched from coffee to herbal teas (I prefer relaxing ones like chamomile) and green tea before 4 p.m.  I will also often substitute a homemade concoction of turmeric, ground ginger and honey to give me extra energy in the morning.
  2. Learn to cook. This saves money and makes me more aware of what I am eating.  I used to eat out all of the time and didn’t always eat healthy.  Often, processed foods toxified my system and stressed me out.  I was afraid to cook because I came from a family of gourmet cooks and was intimidated by their expertise in the kitchen, even though I’ve always loved food.  Once I learned to cook, I found that I loved it! I find it therapeutic and relaxing to make my own meals and even have fun doing it.
  3. Buy organic.  I stick to organic meat (mostly poultry and I try to stay away from red meat) and fish to eliminate hormones, pesticides and antibiotics that can stress the body and the mind.
  4. Supplements and sunshine.  I found that a high Vitamin B complex, Vitamin D and Vitamin C twice daily decreased my stress and anxiety.  I also took homeopathic remedies such as calm pills and Bach flower essences.  At least 15 minutes of sunshine daily also gives me enough Vitamin D. Check with your doctor to find a dosage that is right for you.
  5. Eat a proper breakfast.  For me, breakfast gives me the energy to carry on with my day. When I miss it, my blood sugar drops and I get lightheaded and anxious.
  6. Eat calming foods.  Ever since I learned that what you eat can have an effect on your mood, I try to eat more “calming” foods like almonds, seeds, oats and plenty of vegetables help my digestion.
  7. Finally, eat mindfully.  I took several classes in mindfulness and the first exercise was to chew a raisin slowly. Setting a time to eat without distractions like television and not eating too fast or on the run eased my anxiety and stress.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll try switching up your eating habits to see if it has a positive effect on your mood!

- Sari


*Note: Opinions reflect those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by MDAO.