Election 2016: Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Nutrition

Why is it when we’re sad or stressed we tend to reach for cookies or a pint of ice-cream instead of tofu or a bowl of kale? Consuming sugar and fat feel like they provide emotional support because high sugar, high carb foods release a blast of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter. This triggers a response in the brain similar to taking an opiate. Even though this might temporarily improve your mood in the short term, the long term consequences include weight gain, energy crashes, candida overgrowth, and lower serotonin levels.

So the question is “how can I improve my mood without a quick rush of sugar and fat?” The answer is very simple: consume Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fats. B12 plays an important role in energy production and hormones affecting your mood. The easiest solution is supplementing with a B12 or B-complex vitamin. I often take a sublingual B12 supplement to feel the positive effects quickly. B12 is also readily available in food like grass fed beef, eggs, salmon, and raw dairy. It’s highly recommended for vegans and vegetarians to supplement with B12 as their diets alone will not provide enough.

Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation and improve overall brain function. Study after study prove that it has a positive effect on reducing depression. The easiest way to get more omega 3 fats into your system is taking a fish oil supplement. I recommend carefully reading the label and choosing a brand like Carlson’s or Green’s First for the most positive results. Costco and Walmart budget brands are known to include several fillers and additives with little to no nutritional benefit. I also recommend at least once a week consuming oily wild-caught (not farm raised) fish.