Foods for Reducing Anxiety with Liana Werner-Gray
"Food supports our mood and our mental health. "
Is it possible to reduce anxiety with food?
If this year has been giving you more anxiety and stress than usual, we want to share with you some simple tips you can use today!
To talk about this topic, I’m thrilled to welcome back Liana Werner-Gray. She is a #1 Bestselling Author, International Speaker, Health Coach, and natural food chef with an amazing story.
In this episode, we brought Liana back to talk about her new book, Anxiety Free with Food, and how what we eat has a major impact on our mood and mental health.
With one of three people showing severe signs of anxiety, she reveals that anxiogenic foods are the direct cause of the anxiety many of us experience daily.
Take note as we learn more from Liana about replacement therapy and how food can be the medicine to cure many, if not all, of our ailments.
- The last time Liana was here we talked about her book, Cancer Free with Food, where she shares her story of healing.
- The theme of today is all about needing a reset because it has been a pretty challenging year for people, our audience, and students, all over the world.
- We know that what you eat matters, especially to your gray matter.
- When we were last in the kitchen with Liana, we were cooking with dark chocolate, one of my favorite brain foods. As it turns out, cacao powder is great for reducing anxiety.
- Food can be delicious and nutritious at the same time. It’s like having our cake and eating it too.
- You can reset your brain, your business, and your life, but it really starts with your mood.
- Some foods help to reduce anxiety and some actually help to create it.
- Science shows that food called anxiogenic foods can cause anxiety immediately.
- As soon as we put anxiogenic foods in our mouth, it triggers our neurotransmitters in a negative way. The neurotoxins increase our stress levels and fire up our nervous system, creating a fight or flight response.
THE WORST OF THEM
- The biggest neurotoxin is refined sugar — white sugar, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Sweet’n Low, and Splenda.
- Instead of refined sugar, try natural sugar like coconut sugar, honey maple sugar, or stevia monk fruit.
- Replacing the sugars in this way is called replacement therapy, which prevents us from craving refined sugar or having withdrawal symptoms when giving up sugar.
- Liana has always done books about how food is medicine because she healed herself from a brain tumor when she was 21 years old.
- She advocates that food is a powerful medicine that creates our body’s chemistry.
- She felt this was the perfect time to write a book about the connection between food, depression, and anxiety considering the pandemic this year.
- Studies have shown that one in three people have severe anxiety.
- More than any other health subject on earth, there is more evidence that food can help reduce anxiety more than any other health issue.
- Food supports our mood and mental health.
- We are what we eat. Food is something that people are doing three times a day or more and are not always aware of how much it is affecting their mental health.
- Stay away from processed foods — food with many preservatives or additives, or that are created in a lab.
- Get back to nature and eat as many whole foods as possible.
- Gluten and commercial dairy are also not good for anxiety and depression.
ANXIETY REDUCING FOODS
- In her book Anxiety Free with Food, Liana lists the top ten foods that help reduce anxiety and stress levels in the body.
- Dark leafy greens are number one for reducing anxiety because it contains anxiety-reducing elements like magnesium and antioxidants.
- Examples of dark leafy greens are broccoli, spinach, kale, spirulina, and cruella.
- You can eat these vegetables or you can drink a smoothie or take a supplement to implement them into your diet.
- If you have children, one way to make kale taste good is to tear it off the stem and massage avocado into the kale. The kale will become soft, taking away the strong, bitter texture and flavor.
- There is a recipe for superfood kale in her book that includes nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, amino acids, sun butter, and pumpkin seeds that amounts to a delicious, creamy, and fulfilling salad.
- Many people have referred to this salad as their “soul salad” which converted them to liking salads.
- The dressing is made with apple cider vinegar, amino acids, and sun butter.
- It has all the elements for reducing anxiety.
- Other anxiety-reducing foods include avocados, coconut, coconut oil, olive oil, turmeric, and blueberries.
MEASURING AND TREATING PHYSICAL ANXIETY
- Flexibility is so important when doing a reset. You may not be able to do everything but do something consistently.
- Making food changes can be overwhelming. One simple thing to do is add a green drink to your diet every single day.
- Doing that will give you many benefits including magnesium, antioxidants, and live energy.
- Something else to try is chlorophyll drops or greens powder in water or spirulina and cruella supplements.
- Liana has created her own supplements to be released in December that have cruella and spirulina, which is a great way for people to get their greens every day.
- The best thing is to find what works for you.
- Keep a journey or check-in with yourself to measure for anxiety. People with anxiety know right away what their level of anxiety is on a 0 to 10 scale.
- You will notice after having a green juice or hot chocolate that your levels can go down as much as four points — from a 10 to a 6, for example.
- People have anxiety for many reasons. Some anxiety is not emotional or mental, but purely physical because of their diet.
- Liana challenges us to find out if we are experiencing anxiety caused by physiology through a blood test.
- If you are deficient in omega fatty acids, aminos, magnesium, and vitamin D, chances are you have anxiety. If that’s the case, you have an easy fix. Eating those foods or taking those supplements to reintroduce those nutrients will correct your brain chemistry.
- Talk to a doctor and have a nutrient profile and food sensitivity panel done.
- It’s not just about what you eat, it’s about how you eat. People are stressed out because of how they are eating.
- It’s important to be present while eating. Many people are not properly digesting food because they don’t chew their food well before swallowing.
- Eating quickly and without fully chewing creates a stressed out gut which creates a stressed-out mind.
- When you need to perform your best, you won’t do it in fight or flight mode. You won’t study well for an exam or give your best presentation for work or be the great partner you desire and deserve when you are stressed out.
- If food is contributing to your stress, this is a little bit of a wake-up call and check-in to make some changes if necessary.
- Part of a reset is taking note of what we are doing and seeing if those thoughts or behaviors are serving us the best.
SHARE WITH US
- Take a screenshot of this episode, tag me on social media (@JimKwik & @TheEarthDiet), and share your greatest “aha!” moment from this episode with us.
- What is your favorite anxiety-reducing food?
- Pre-order Liana’s book, Anxiety Free with Food, here.
Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy
Episode 201: Reset Your Mind with Movement with Aaron ALexander
Episode 200: Five Steps to RESET Your Brain
Episode 197: My Morning Routine for a Limitless Day
Episode 127: 5 Brain Damaging Foods You Need to Avoid with Liana Werner-Gray