How to Soothe Anxiety with Nourishing Food and Spices
This week we’re talking about how to soothe anxiety with nourishing food, we’ve also added some seasonal and cleansing tips to this podcast as we receive a lot of questions about health anxiety. The suggestions here are for foods and spices that calm anxiety, but can also support overall health and immunity. Health anxiety naturally settles when we know we’re doing the best we can to look after ourselves.
Points covered in this podcast:
Choices, beginning the day
Breakfast is important. And ideal choices for anxiety sufferers would be warm, grounding and nourishing.
Avoid jolts from coffee and favour sustaining breakfasts that won’t spike your blood sugar only to have it crash mid-morning.
Alternatives to caffeine - cereal coffee
Ananga’s favourite: Whole Earth Organic no caf. made with organic barley, ground chicory, roasted figs and malt. It tastes great with oat or almond milk.
Barleycup is another alternative - it’s also available on Amazon.com
Oatmeal with almond milk and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Add a little maple syrup for extra sweetness to taste.
Almond milk is a very soothing and nourishing drink. It’s grounding and naturally sweet, which is great for easing anxiety. Look out for clean brands like Rude Health that don’t add gums and preservatives.
How to make your own almond milk
You can make your own almond milk in a blender: use one cup of almonds (soaked overnight) to a litre of water, blend and strain. You can add maple syrup or vanilla for a little extra sweetness.
Choices, for the sensitive mind
Considerations from Ayurveda on ahimsa. Anyone familiar with yoga will no that ahimsa is a Sanskrit word meaning “no harm”.
Ayurveda is primarily concerned with supporting and developing spiritual consciousness. It’s methods help us look after our body and mind so that we might enquire more deeply into our life’s purpose. A diet that is free from causing harm to others and based on grains, fruits and vegetables is recommended for peace of mind.
Ayurveda recommends nourishing one-pot meals: grains, rice, vegetables with add warming spices to help digestion. For example, cumin, fresh ginger and black pepper. Key words for calming anxiety are warm, wet and slightly oily (that means adding a little high quality oil, like olive oil to your meals).
Favour warm meals like soups, veggie stews, dal, baked squashes and pumpkins.
Avoid cold - especially cold drinks like iced coffee. Ice negatively affects digestion and brings too much cold inside the body, especially during the winter months.
Try hot lemon water for cleansing in the morning
Hot water strengthens digestion and is ideal for sipping throughout the day.
Think of washing up: if you have a greasy plate and you use cold water to try and wash it the fat will cling, but if you use warm water it will melt away. Adding lemon or cleansing spices to your water like ginger, or a few black peppercorns, is like adding detergent.
Keep hydrated with hot water or detox herbal teas throughout the day. We recommend Pukka Teas Cleanse: a blend of organic fennel, nettle and peppermint.
Chamomile, lemon balm, peppermint and fennel are all good for calming anxiety.
Ginger tea is very uplifting during cold, grey months. It’s warming, clears congestion, stimulates digestion, lifts the mind and it’s anti-inflammatory.
How to make simple ginger tea: thinly slice an inch of ginger root and bring it to the boil in two cups of water, then let it simmer for a few minutes. You can add a squeeze of fresh lemon and honey to taste, but let it cool to drinking temperature before adding honey as heat destroys the good properties of honey (also look for raw honey where possible, for the same reason).