Copyright 2006 Christopher Green
You are what you eat.
How many times have you heard this statement? In a world where the food police virtually have an open book to hassle everybody about their eating habits, they hammer this message home to educate people about the benefits of healthy eating.
In cases where individuals have become grossly overweight, then this statement rings true. If your diet is based on junk food sugar, fat, fast food etc., then your body will reflect your eating habits and you will put on weight and your arteries will clog. You increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer.
But when we look at people who suffer from stress, depression or anxiety, this statement has no foundation whatsoever. The reason is simple. Foods, no matter what they are, cannot make you stressed, depressed or anxious. And no matter what the food police say, foods cannot cure these problems. There are some foods that can help you feel better, but they wont cure you. Ill reveal my choice picks shortly.
Many people who suffer the torment of a depressive, stressful or anxious episode do so because of reasons entirely unrelated to their diet. Also, I have personally known people whose diet has been anything but healthy and yet they are pictures of happiness. A very good friend of mine is a great example of this. She eats junk food day-in, day-out and yet, as anyone who knows her will testify, she is one of the happiest and friendliest people you could wish to meet.
Depression, stress and anxiety can and will arise no matter how healthy your diet is. Foods dont cause these problems and foods dont cure these problems. However, they can help to boost mood and heres 3 quick, simple tips I have personally used to help me boost my moods. Give them a try and see how you get on.
1. Cod liver oil. Liquid is best but its harsh to taste. Try capsules. Failing that, try oily fish like mackerel. I loathe oily fish but the capsules are fine. Oily fish is high in Omega 3, an essential fatty acid. If youre taking aspirin or youre on prescribed drugs, just check with your doctor before you take an Omega 3 supplement.
2. I dont eat refined sugar, especially full sugar soda. I cannot sleep if I drink just one can of full sugar soda so I avoid it like the plague. I sleep better and Im not as fidgety during the day. Although sugar doesnt cause depression, stress or anxiety, there are links to hyperactivity and Im definitely less hyper than I used to be. See how you feel without sugar.
3. Sometimes, when youre feeling a bit down, comfort food can be the equivalent of a hug. There are many comfort foods but my favorite is just a simple bowl of buttery mashed potato or failing that, creamy chicken soup. I love to do this when I just want to shut out the world and have my own company. I light the candles, play some nice music or watch a good film curled up on the sofa with my comfort food treat. It never fails to raise my spirits and its a great way to unwind and gather my thoughts.
The reason why food can only help and not cure stress, depression or anxiety is because food doesnt cause these problems. If youre depressed for example, changing to a healthy diet wont cure you because it isnt as simple as that. To permanently conquer stress, depression and anxiety, the root cause has to be addressed. Diet can help, but only if it is part of a complete program that addresses all of the issues, especially the root cause.