To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, a leading dietitian revealed how changing the way we eat can help fight stress and anxiety.
The easing of lockdown restrictions is good news for many Britons, but for others, the return to pre-pandemic lifestyles will seem daunting.
Ali Todd, Registered Dietitian at the Functional Gut Clinic, advises following some basic rules to help keep your mind and body happy.
She said, “I would encourage people to eat regularly and to avoid skipping meals. If you skip a meal, the resulting hypoglycemia triggers survival mechanisms designed to make you eat.
“Then you can end up craving salty or sugary foods that lack the nutrients our bodies need.
“And I would advise against coffee on an empty stomach. It can cause stomach pain and bloating, but coffee is also a stimulant and can cause anxiety and palpitations in the chest. ”
Carbohydrates are often thought of as a food to avoid, but Ali says they’re essential for keeping your emotions in check.
She said: “People, especially those who suffer from stress or anxiety, should eat whole-grain carbohydrates such as brown bread, brown rice, or pasta or quinoa, with every meal.
“Carbohydrates help balance blood sugar levels, which has a calming effect on the brain. They are really important.
While maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut can help regulate blood sugar levels, a balanced belly can also help regulate neurotransmitters – the chemicals in the brain responsible for happiness, sleep and motivation, experts say.
But if you have trouble sleeping, it can have a negative impact on the gut.
Ali said, “I see a lot of people who are not sleeping well at the moment. Often times, a lack of sleep can make you crave sugars because you want energy.
“But a rise in blood sugar can actually cause anxiety – so it’s a vicious cycle.
“I also see people who depend heavily on ready meals that are not as high in fruits and vegetables and who have added preservatives.
“These are foods that don’t support the brain and don’t give the body the nutrients it needs.
“We’ve been on lockdown for a year now and I get people coming in to tell me how they wish they had done something before the lockdown was relaxed because now things are opening up and they want to eat with their friends and don’t want to change their diet.
Ali also protects against excessive alcohol if you are battling stress and anxiety.
She said: “Alcohol is a stimulant and can have an effect on the gut and sleep. Everything is connected. ”
Ali advises to eat healthy with lots of fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts.
The Functional Bowel Clinic – which has bases in London, Manchester and Cambridge – specializes in testing and diagnosing gut health issues, including acid reflux, abdominal pain and bloating.
Regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), it is the only gastrointestinal physiology service in the UK to receive IQIPS (Improving Quality in Physiological Services) accreditation.
More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-05-12 06:29:00