When you’re stressed or anxious, the thought the kind of food you wish to eat probably the last thing on your mind. But certain foods have been shown to act as natural anxiety remedies.
There is a recognised link between the gut and the brain – what we eat affects our chemical makeup. When the body doesn’t get the necessary nutrition it needs, there is a direct correlation with increased anxiety.
For anyone who wants to reduce their anxiety, one of the best ways is to remove processed foods from the diet – foods lacking in nutrition or high in sugar and salt.
If the thought of doing this makes your anxiety flare-up, don’t panic.
You can do it yourself, or you can hire a private chef to create you wholesome meals to ease the pressure.
Foods that reduce anxiety
So what should you be eating to help reduce your anxiety or stress?
Studies show a clear correlation between people who suffer from anxiety and depression and a folate (folic acid, vitamin B9) deficiency.
Folic acid can be found in many different foods, including:
- Legumes – These are the fruit or seeds of plants in the Fabaceae family, such as beans, peas and lentils. As well as being an incredible source of folate, legumes are also packed with protein and fibre, filling you up for longer. Add a portion to your plate with every meal – a cup of cooked lentils contains 90% of your folic acid RDA (recommended daily allowance).
- Asparagus – These funny little stalks don’t just taste good blanched with a hollandaise sauce, they are full of folate. A half-cup contains 34% of your folic acid RDA. Not sure what to eat them with? Swap your fries for a side of asparagus and fill up on their gut-friendly fibre (they are an excellent source of fibre with one serving dishing up 6% of your fibre RDA).
- Eggs – Eggs are a cheap and easy way to increase your intake of folic acid. One egg contains 6% of your RDA. Whip up a hollandaise sauce and go nuts with the asparagus and you’ll hit 100% RDA folic acid in one sitting. Eggs are also great little nutritious powerhouses full of protein, riboflavin and vitamin B12 among others.
- Leafy greens – Your mother always told you to eat your greens, and she was right. Leafy greens are not just fantastic fibre providers, they’re bursting with essential minerals and vitamins too. Spinach, kale, rocket, it doesn’t matter which one you pick, they’re all great sources of folic acid. One cup of raw spinach contains 15% of your folic acid RDA. Add a side of these to any dish for a tasty, nutritious accompaniment.
- Beetroot – This vibrant vegetable adds a lovely dash of colour to any plate, but that’s not all it brings to the party. Containing essential nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C, these are also a rich source of folic acid – one cup contains 37% RDA. Whizz a couple up in a smoothie with a handful of leafy greens and get all your folic acid in one easy sitting.
- Broccoli – No list of folate-rich foods is complete without a mention of the humble broccoli. This folate filled vegetable is renowned for its multiple health properties, including being high in vitamins C, K and A. A quick blanch is all it needs to retain some crunch and it goes with pretty much any dish.
- Nuts and seeds – One of the easiest ways to increase the folate in your diet is to replace your mid-morning or afternoon snack with a handful of nuts and seeds. As well as being protein powerhouses, these little nuggets of nutrition are rich in fibre, and jam-packed full of essential vitamins and minerals including folic acid. Not a fan of nuts? Add a handful of flax seeds to a beetroot smoothie and you won’t even know you’ve eaten them.
- Bananas – If you want an easy, on the go snack that comes in its own protective packaging and delivers nutritionally, you need look no further than a simple banana. Containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals, not only will a banana keep you feeling fuller for longer, it is high in folic acid and packed with potassium and vitamin B6. Eat on its own, in a smoothie, or slice thinly and top your jam and toast with it.
- Avocados – The go-to brunch choice for many a millennial isn’t a fad food, it’s an excellent source of vitamins K, C and B6. Just one half of an avocado contains 21% of your folic acid RDA, so go on, smash one up and smear it on toast, it’s delicious and nutritious.
But if you aren’t confident cooking yourself, why not outsource your meal preparation to a personal chef?
Hire a Blues Agency Chef…
If you’re looking to hire a private chef, get in touch with Blues Agency. Blues Agency London recruits the most highly qualified and experienced personal chefs, and with over 40 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Blues is the leading hospitality and chef agency.
Let us take care of your health.