Experiencing anxiety is considered a normal life issue. The current global pandemic has caused great distress among the world population. People have different ways in which they deal with anxiety, one of the most common being the use of food as a way to relieve anxiety and worry.
Consumption of junk food i.e., food that is rich in sugar, salt, carbs, and salt, and has very low nutritive value, is considered as a simple way of relieving yourself from anxiety and worry. Eating junk food is believed to help in activating the brain's reward system. Even though it acts as a relief to anxiety, the result is short term, and one is always left craving for more junk food whenever they are experiencing anxiety. The result could lead to you developing worse anxiety, thus feeling ashamed and regretting about consuming such foods. Consuming junk food has a huge effect on your gut health. It affects the bacteria that are responsible for managing diseases and inflammations in the body.
The healthy bacteria are also responsible for managing your mood. Scientific research and studies indicate that the gut system has more mood receptors when compared to other body parts. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and serotonin, which are responsible for managing anxiety, mood, and stress, are produced by the gut bacteria. Other than managing anxiety, the gut bacteria also play a major role in the regulation of your immune responses. A disruption of the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria can result in both mental and physical health complications.
Therefore, to maintain your gut health as well as protect yourself from depression, anxiety, and illness, you should be very careful with the foods that you eat, especially at this time of general stress due to the pandemic.
There are many other things that you can do to protect your gut health. First, you could start by minimizing your consumption of processed and packaged foods. This will reduce the amounts of preservatives and additives that you add to your body. One way of reducing your consumption of junk food, especially snacks, is by using homemade seasoned and roasted kales and cauliflower, which are very rich in vitamins and carbohydrates.
You could also boost your immunity by always having fresh fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables can be frozen for later use without adding sugar to them. Always ensure that you have enough stock of fresh seafood, lean meats, and eggs. For anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting, you should opt to flavour your dishes with herbs and natural spices such as ginger, basil, and turmeric and natural sugar substitutes e.g., stevia, honey, and sweet berries. It is also good to add some plain Greek yoghurt to the diet. Greek yoghurt is rich in proteins and probiotics that play a significant role in boosting the immune response in addition to balancing your gut health.
Even though there are other factors associated with anxiety, immunity, and mood, knowing the effects that food has on your health is one major way of effectively managing such issues.
Your health, stronger for longer!
If you’ve found this helpful, please share. And if you have any further questions, please let me know below and I or one of my team will do our best to provide you with answers.
Jamie Wood, Founder & CEO