When overall wellness is discussed, physical health is an obvious parameter to gauge well-being. However, physical health cannot be looked at in silos; being mentally healthy is an equally important factor in every being’s wellness. According to WHO, 7.5% of Indians suffer from mental disorders like Anxiety & Depression. They often coexist, with Anxiety affecting over 300 million globally.
While getting professional help is recommended to deal with negative, unwanted thoughts and other symptoms of Anxiety, the treatment beyond that can be continued by making small changes in our eating habits. Harvard Medical School talks extensively about the gut-brain connection, noting that the stomach is sensitive to all emotions (positive or negative). For example, the sense of nervousness before a big interview or the uneasy feeling before a big presentation. Therefore, how we feel has a direct impact on our gut and vice versa.
While a balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats, protein, fibre is crucial for individual well-being, there are certain foods that aid in reducing stress and anxiety, thereby curing some symptoms of this invisible disease.
Dharana Wellness Centre, a holistic wellness retreat centre in India, has geared its food philosophy toward Ayurvedic practices. Being deeply rooted in this age-old tradition, it believes that no individual is the same, and our unique biological makeup determines our nutritional needs.
Treating Anxiety with food does not limit food choices. There are plenty of options for varying dietary preferences & restrictions.
- Research suggests that magnesium-rich foods work as a natural treatment for anxiety. Eg. Leafy greens like spinach & kale, dark chocolate, nuts (almonds, cashews). legumes (beans, chickpeas, peas), seeds (pumpkin seeds, chia seeds), whole grains
- Fruits & Vegetables like Avocados, Cherries, Apples, Berries, Asparagus are great food options to lower anxiety.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid foods possess multiple health benefits, along with reducing stress. Eg. Salmon, Soybeans, Walnuts, Flax Seeds.
- Vitamin C & E are found in most Citrus fruits, Kiwi, Guava, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Olive Oil are essential if you’re feeling anxious. They release Serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with happiness.
- Herbal remedies like Turmeric, Lavender,Basil are a common and holistic approach to reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
- Infused teas like Ginger, Chamomile, Lavender, Sage are soothing and a great start to mornings.
Taking the first step towards holistic living may seem hard, but the programmes offered at Dharana can be undertaken by individuals with varying food backgrounds; they help determine your nutritional needs and offer expert advice. Each programme can be designed as per requirement, thereby making it simpler to start your holistic food journey, leading to overall better health.