I can’t believe we are almost 6 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Although so necessary, strategies crucial for public health puts us at greater risk of mental health issues. Humans need social interaction. However, we are forced to maintain distance while going through fear, uncertainty, grief, job loss, and so much more. Consequently, most of us experience stress and anxiety which often leads to poor sleep. And this vicious cycle continues.
Let’s talk about what we can do and specifically focus on nutrition and diet to alleviate physical pain, stress, and anxiety. Humans depend on hormones to feel happy and much of this is derived from food. People who live on the Mediterranean diet have less depression than those on less plant-based diets.
Our moods are dictated by 3 things: blood sugar, happy hormones (dopamine/serotonin), and sleep. When we over consume sweets, alcohol, and refined carbs, it results in blood sugar swings which leads to inflammation, lack of energy, and lack of the happy hormones we need to thrive. Fruits and vegetables help stabilize the free radicals in the “junk” that we eat. In addition, vitamin C in foods such as citrus and broccoli help make more serotonin.
Studies show that people who get 7-8 hours of sleep have higher levels of antioxidants, vitamin C & D, and carotenoids. A good way to remember what has high antioxidants is by the vibrant colors. All produce with bright colors have lots of antioxidants. Although cauliflower is white, it still has lots of antioxidants. Try purple cauliflower for more benefits.
The simple solution? Add fruits to breakfast, more vegetables during lunch and dinner, and snack on these too. Nutrition definitely helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression all the while helping us lose weight and improving our sleep which in turn, improves our mood.
If you need help understanding nutrition and all the mixed messages out there, give us a call. We will address your stress level, diet, exercise, cravings, emotional eating and overall health and happiness. Start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA