Why does eating help my anxiety?


In this week’s podcast, we’re responding to a question from our inbox: Why does eating help my anxiety?


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Ananga gives some answers from Ayurveda, including a quick overview of the three body types

Vata dosha - the body type most prone to anxiety

Signs and symptoms of increased vata include:
nervousness and anxiety
dry, or chapped skin
aversion to cold and wind
insomnia or easily interrupted sleep
feeling spaced out, scattered, disassociated, or ungrounded
runaway thoughts, over thinking

Vata lives in the spaces in our bodies:
  • Head
  • Ears
  • Belly button
  • Colon - the main site of vata
  • the bones
When we feel empty it provokes vata. The challenge for vata types is that they are the most erratic eaters, they often skip meals or go for quick snacks like potato chips, or an apple, which don’t serve them well.

When vata types eat a warm healthy meal they feel nourished and grounded and that brings into balance the airy and ethereal nature of vata that can cause anxiety.

But it’s not just eating that helps it’s what you eat

  • eat to nourish: warm wet and slightly oily are the keys to remember
  • squash, nuts - especially almonds, carrots, beets. 
  • Warm milky drinks with cinnamon and nutmeg
  • use warming spices; ginger, black pepper, cumin in your cooking
  • avoid stimulants: coffee, energy drinks
  • avoid cold, dry foods
  • avoid refined sugars
  • be wary of alcohol
  • avoid cold and carbonated drinks
  • favour foods that are naturally sweet and salty

What else helps?

Apply warm oil to your ears, especially in the Autumn and Winter and cover them too.

Steady routine 
Try and get up and go to bed at the same time
Regular meals - this will also help keep your blood sugar steady

Eat breakfast:
favour a warm nourishing breakfast like oatmeal made with almond milk with some chopped dates and cinnamon 

warm baths
soft, warm bed

We hope you found this episode helpful and invite you to discuss further with us on our Facebook page