As many as 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mood disorders in their lifetime, with depression and anxiety being the most common disorders. With so many factors involved in effecting the delicate brain balance, I’m surprised that number isn’t higher. It probably is, many are just suffering in silence.
Two major contributors to feeling the blues are nutrition and stress. With the fast pace of life that we have created for ourselves, its no wonder we are so prone to depression and anxiety. The good news is that we are able to control these two contributing factors. We can use the food we consume to help our body cope with stress, and in turn help to lift our mood.
The anti-stress diet is composed of whole foods that nourish our adrenal function and nervous system, providing vitamins and minerals essential to combat stress.
Here is what’s on the anti-stress, feel good menu:
Vitamin B Rich Foods: Leafy greens, egg yolks, whole grains. B vitamins are essential for the adrenal glands, which are vital to combat stress. People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid) are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs.
Vitamin C Rich Foods: Bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus, goji berries. During periods of stress, our body requires this antioxidant vitamin to replenish the adrenal glands.
Magnesium Rich Foods: Pumpkin seeds, spinach, oat bran, almonds, raw cacao. Magnesium helps balance blood sugar, calm the nervous system, harmonize various mental and emotional imbalances, including depression, bipolar disorder and sleep disorders.Adding magnesium to your nightly routine can help you get a deep relaxing sleep, one of the most important factors in reducing stress levels.
Tryptophan: Chicken, tempeh, turkey, salmon, beans, sardines, collard greens, almonds, pumpkin and sesame seeds. This amino acid has been widely subscribed to relieve symptoms of depression, calm the mind, and promote sound sleep.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Chia, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, sardines, wild salmon, anchovies. Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The Feel Good Smoothie
This smoothie is boasting with feel good ingredients from vitamin c rich goji berries and blackberries, magnesium rich pumpkin seeds, raw cacao and spinach, omega rich flaxseeds and vitamin B rich bee pollen.
2.5 cups filtered water
1 cup blackberries
2 cups spinach
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp goji berries
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, soaked for an hour or more
1 tsp bee pollen
1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 scoop vanilla plant based protein powder ( I used Sunwarrior)
How to make:
Rinse pumpkin seeds and add to blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Buzz until smooth.
Makes enough to have for a breakfast shake or 2 snacks. Enjoy immediately:)
Find many more recipes and self empowering recipes in the Online Combating the Blues Workshop