Anxiety is not something you can just ‘get rid of’ with one or two paths. Often, people attempt to recommend a quick fix for anxiety (like the ever-popular “just take CBD oil!”) but everyone is so different and what works for one person may not work at all for the next. Like our bodies, our health issues are holistic and generally require a time investment and a money investment in the many different attempts at finding balance. It took me over a year of trial and error to find the right foods, supplements, exercise and emotional/therapy to feel like I have found balance with my anxiety. There is one pre-requisite reading for this post is to [Read my anxiety story: 5 Self-Care Rituals You Need in Your Life]
Here I’m sharing my top 5 supplement and food tools in my life to help my body cope better, and these may not work for you, but perhaps in different combinations they would. You have to play around and learn to listen to your body. Anxiety is a serious cyclical condition of mind games that feels real and can feel hard to escape, and while we'd like to lean on the hope that we'd all eventually be free of those nerves, it takes time. It's important to be aware of these remedies to help bring you some balance, that’s why I’m sharing what I’ve done.
1. “Magnesium” I had taken magnesium on and off in my life because I used to suffer from restless leg syndrome. (I haven’t had it since I started doing yoga 9 years ago.) For mental calm, I take one teaspoon (200mg) of my Natural CALM magnesium powder - I got mine from the awesome ladies at Vitamin King in Penticton. You can take up to 400mg per day (taken with dinner) or an epsom salt bath (heavy on the salt!) can also help a lot. [Try Floating!] Dark green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are rich in magnesium and B vitamins, so are grains like quinoa and millet. If your anxiety keeps your tossing and turning, and affects getting a good night sleep, a magnesium supplement is a must.
2. “B Vitamins” Thankfully, there are literal chill pills you can take. It turns out B-complex vitamins can be helpful when it comes to keeping your mood lifted and stabilized. A good B-complex vitamin include thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid and the cobalamins (vitamin B12), all of which play a role in keeping your mood stable. [Order Yours from my Dispensary!] Again, dark green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are rich in B vitamins, as are grains like quinoa and millet. Green tea is a fantastic source of theanine, and I do my best to get at least 1 cup per day of green tea!
3. “Fats” Our brain requires fat for proper balance and health. Saturated fat is a fundamental building block for brain cells. I make sure I am getting fat in my daily diet, and the right fats [Read: The Easy Guide to Fats & Oils] are key. I cook with them, or put them raw on salads or cooked vegetables. If I haven’t gotten any that day, I’ll put a tbsp of coconut oil in my evening tea.
4. “Feel Calm” One of the tools in my tool box I used for my anxiety was Feel Calm from Harmonic Arts Botanicals. [Buy it Here] I am not a pusher of supplements, but I do believe that supplements can be FANTASTIC in times of need, in times when re-balance is required. But as the chemical imbalance is re-worked, other elements join in to create a harmonious healing combined with your nutrient-dense whole foods diet..... as more of these foods are introduced: more exercise and a happier routine, these are SO powerful to bring balance. I personally loved this wild-crafted herbal blend, and it worked well for me. It’s a blend of traditional herbs used in herbal medicine to help bring peace to the mind and calm to the nerves. Make sure you talk to your doctor, naturopath or herbalist about taking any herbal blends for safety with any other medications you are taking. If you get a green light, it’s worth trying to see if Feel Calm can help get you feelin’ alright ;)
5. “Probiotics” Fermented foods and probiotics are so important for our mental health. The connection between our gut and our brain is more well-known as of late, and it’s exciting that research is starting to back up what Holistic Nutrition has been promoting for decades: how important supporting our digestion is. I started drinking more of my own kombucha to support the probiotic supplement I was taking (yes, you can do both!) because before that, I didn’t wanna “drink my own supply!” Now I make sure to get at least 2-3 oz of kombucha daily, and more if I’m craving it. [Read: Kombucha - You’ve Been Drinking it Wrong]
I hope the above can give you some guidelines of where to start. There’s loads of links to get you more aid.
For your anxiety, you can also try things like meditation and building yourself a strong support network. In addition to taking supplements, your balanced [Whole Foods] diet helps improve your anxiety responses, so make sure your diet is supporting your mental and physical health needs.
If you want a coach to create you a tailored nutrition plan for your wellness, I know anxiety inside out and I know how you feel. I can help - let’s chit-chat.