Food + Mood
As the pandemic rages on, ya gotta wonder, what the heck can we do to keep the blues away?! Well, food can help!
A huge part of what we tackle in my small group coaching program, FUELED FAST FIERCE, is making sure women athletes are eating ENOUGH food to help support performance. And while eating enough carb, fat and protein does wonders for controlling never ending RUNger, it also can help reduce anxiety!!
We are gona dive into some tips and tricks for helping you manage depression and anxiety in this post, but if you're wondering how you can better fuel your active body to run better and feel better during training, then be sure to apply to August's FUELED FAST FIERCE group by clicking here
Sooooo... why does eating enough help with anxiety??? Because undereating activates our "reptilian brain" and keeps us in a stressed out state. Now toss in a little bit of pandemic and racial tensions and VOILA! UNCONTROLLABLE ANXIETY.
So yeah, ya gotta eat. And there are even some awesome foods that have evidence to reduce anxiety and depression even more than your average PBJ sandwich (although, YUM, how good are PBJ sandwiches when its 100*F outside!?!).
Reducing Anxiety and Depression through Diet
1. Increase your intake of prebiotic and probiotic foods. Prebiotics include legumes and vegetables. Probiotics include yogurt (even dairy-free varieties), kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
- How to put it into practice: Have Bubbie’s or FarmHouse Culture Sauerkraut with your eggs, add kombucha to your smoothie, switch up your favorite brands of yogurt.
2. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods rich in this anti-inflammatory fat include walnuts, chia/flax seeds, macadamia nuts, grass-fed dairy, grass-fed meat, and fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies).
How to put it into practice: Add nuts to cereal, add fish to salad, swap out conventional meat/dairy for grass-fed brands (Organic Valley, Kerrygold, etc). Eat salmon burgers instead of hamburgers! Use chia or hemp seeds in your smoothies.
3. Avoid alcohol, since it’s a natural depressant. I know its tempting to have a cocktail when you're sad or stressed, but it's not actually serving you. Sometimes the comfort of an oral fixation can help, so why not make yourself a cup of (iced) tea? Watch a funny movie and relax.