What to Eat to Manage Anxiety

March 22, 2020

Two nutritionists share five steps to take today to manage your anxiety. A timely topic as the world grapples with coronavirus and associated anxieties. Listen in, share with a friend.

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Transcript

KARA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today’s show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. As many of our long time listeners know, we like to educate about all aspects of nutrition. To make sure we're presenting accurate information, we really look carefully at the research to make sure that it's pure and not influenced by who's funding the study. Today we want to start the show by reading a couple of statements from Dr. Mark Hyman's new book. It's called Food: What the Heck Should I Cook? You may have heard of his other book, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? Now has one about cooking. Before we do that, I'll just quickly introduce myself and our topic. My name is Kara Carper. I'm a Licensed Nutritionist and I have a master's degree in Holistic Health. And I'm a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Today's topic is What to Eat to Manage Anxiety. I know this topic very well. If anyone knows me, you may know that I have struggled with anxiety, but also it's because every day I work to practice what I'm eating to manage anxiety. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, it seems that nearly everyone's anxiety level is off the charts.

CAROLYN: Absolutely.

KARA: It almost feels like our world has been turned upside down. Well, it sort of has. And people who were anxious before, they're now highly anxious. I would say they're even scared.

CAROLYN: Definitely scared I think.

KARA: There's a lot of fear, worry and anxiety going on. And today we want to share some food and nutrition habits that will support your nervous system and your brain function. And we're also going to talk about some foods that might be interfering with calming your nervous system and your brain function. So we have a lot of work cut out for us today. And I would also want to introduce my wonderful co-host, and we'll go ahead and get started. Carolyn Hudson is with me. She's a Registered and Licensed dietitian. She has many years of experience working with clients of all ages and a variety of health issues.

CAROLYN: Well good morning everyone. You know also since the Coronavirus outbreak, more and more people are concerned about trying to maintain a very strong immune system. In Dr. Mark Hyman's new book, Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?, he wrote, “Science confirms that a poor diet can create poverty, violence, and social injustice due to its effect on behavior.” Isn't that interesting?

KARA: That's very interesting. I don't think a lot of people think of food in that way as having any influence on those aspects.

CAROLYN: Right; behavior; wow. So it is clear that each of us has a different immune system and our daily food choices are a key factor in maintaining a strong immune function. Boy, do we ever need this information today, don’t we? So there are several possible reasons for having a lower functioning immune system. So some of those reasons may be ongoing stress or eating a poor diet, obesity, lack of sleep. Oh, I don't know about you, but I've been a little bit struggling with sleep. So, or lack of physical activity. All the gyms are closed, so we got to get out there and do some, do some good activities, right? Walking at least; so or not eating sufficient amounts of protein. What we're trying to say is to have a strong immune system, you need to address all of these aspects of your health. Your immune function is so much more than just taking a little extra vitamin C.

KARA: Isn't that true? I mean, if you're not sleeping and you're eating poorly, you're highly stressed and not able to exercise, or your gym closed and you haven't figured out another routine, taking vitamin C is kind of…

CAROLYN: It’s kind of pointless.

KARA: It’s kind of pointless.

CAROLYN: You can't, you can't supplement your way out of…

KARA: A poor diet and lifestyle.

CAROLYN: Right; yeah.

KARA: I think one of Dr. Hyman's most powerful and meaningful statements in his book was, “What we put on our fork at every meal either has the power to transform our health and the economy, reverse climate change and environmental damage and help reduce poverty, violence, social injustice, and more.” And you know really, Carolyn, again, that's a new thought I think, but how we, how we eat really affects our brain chemistry, our moods, our behaviors and just kind of how we go about our life.

CAROLYN: Yeah. I like how he put it: “What we put on our fork.”

KARA: Yeah.

CAROLYN: Right?

KARA: Right.

CAROLYN: We really should be thinking about that every single time you put your fork into something. Am I helping my body?

KARA: Is this supporting my body and my brain or hurting it? At Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we believe the more you understand about good nutrition and the more that you practice positive lifestyle habits, the stronger your immune system will be. Dar and our staff created a special podcast to share with all of you and it's on our website: weightandwellness.com. Now this website is specifically talking about how to eat to support your immune system during this extremely stressful time with Coronavirus. Additionally, they're going to suggest key supplements that you can take for extra support during this highly stressful time. So again, weightandwellness.com; it's right there on the homepage. I just listened to it last night. It's a…

CAROLYN: Wow, it's already up! I didn't even know that.

KARA: I didn't either. I knew they were working on it and they obviously did it very quickly for the benefit of all of you listeners.

CAROLYN: Oh, that's really great. I'm really happy to hear that. So we understand your concern about wanting a clearly defined direction to take in order to have this good functioning immune system. That is why we want to help you manage the added stress and anxiety that's being caused by the Coronavirus. So here's a question for you: to manage your anxiety, what are you putting on your fork? I want to go back to Dr. Mark Hyman and his new book, Food: What the Heck Should I Cook? So many of you are familiar with Dr. Hyman, but if you're not, Dr. Hyman is a very popular functional medicine doctor and author of many health books. And he experienced a major health crisis but was able to overcome it through eating real foods. So in this book he asks many questions. I particularly like the questions… a couple of his questions like “What about the U.S. dietary guidelines? Shouldn't they be guiding our health in the right direction? Absolutely they should be, but really they are not.” He went on to say that, “Rather than reflecting science, they are heavily influenced by the big food lobby.” Essentially, Dr. Hyman is saying that what doctors, nutritionists and consumers are basing their recommendations on are not really based in all of the scientific research, but yet are more about what food manufacturers want us to know or believe.

KARA: So it sounds like what he's saying in that quote and in his, the overall theme of that chapter is it's all about the bottom line for these food manufacturers. It's about the money.

CAROLYN: Yeah.

KARA: And not the consumer health interests.

CAROLYN: Right.

KARA: That's unfortunate, but it's really important that people understand that. And Dr. Hyman continued to write, “Important research which shows saturated fat is not connected to heart disease and that cereal grains can actually have harmful effects.” None of that information has been ever revealed in the literature.

CAROLYN: Yeah.

KARA: And Dr. Hyman is saying that there was, there was really good quality research showing that saturated fat was not the cause of heart disease, but for some reason, you know, as consumers, we haven't been told about that research.

CAROLYN: Yeah, yeah. That was a long time ago, right?

KARA: It was.

CAROLYN: Unfortunately I think that, yeah, I think the New York Times did a piece on that a few years ago about, who was it; Ancel Keys?

KARA: Yes.

CAROLYN: Yeah; Ancel Keys’ research out of the University of Minnesota. So that was, that was really very, very sad. So I think right now we are all trying to eat to support our immune system so that we can have less anxiety and fear about the Coronavirus. So however, we really need to rely on scientific research and not research funded and supported by food companies. So I think it's about time to go to break.

KARA: It is time for break. Maybe you could finish that as soon as we get back. And you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Nearly one-third or one out of three adolescents age 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. In addition to that hospital admissions for suicidal teens, it actually doubled over the past decade.” These are really alarming numbers and today we're going to be discussing some information about what to eat to manage anxiety or better yet, to prevent anxiety. Stay tuned to hear some simple solutions that you can use to support you and your family's immune system. And we will be right back.

BREAK

CAROLYN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you or your child is struggling with an anxiety disorder, Kara and I want to suggest a few more easy habits to put into practice to help you manage your anxiety or your child's anxiety. We will also recap the ones we discussed earlier. So really we believe habit number one: you have to eat breakfast. Mother was right; grandmother was right. Right? And that should be containing at least two to four ounces of protein. And we really love animal protein. It is a great building block for the production of all your neurotransmitters. And I think, you know, people that have listened to us know that we talk about neurotransmitters and I think that lots of people don't, it's hard to sink in. We are actually building those neurotransmitters or making those neurotransmitters in our gut by eating that protein. And so it's really important to have a protein for your breakfast. So we suggest maybe a couple of eggs or adding a scoop of whey protein powder to a morning shake or eating a half a cup to three-quarters of a cup of full-fat cottage cheese; not those low-fat varieties. And you can throw in some berries or that could be the full-fat yogurt, plain yogurt. Any of these breakfasts ideas will supply the raw materials that your body needs to make your dopamine and serotonin. And that's going to help support good brain function.

KARA: Right, good brain function, focus, memory, and moods, all of that; less anxiety for sure. Carolyn, before break, you started talking about just what to do to support our immune system so that we can have a little bit less anxiety and fear about this virus, but we really need to be looking at the scientific research and not the research that you mentioned earlier that's the supported by the food companies. So one question that we should ask is “Does saturated fat support the immune system? And does saturated fat support our brain health?” Well, when we look at the trillions of cells in our body and in our brain, each cell has a membrane and the membrane is made up of good healthy fats. So half of our cell membrane is made from saturated fat, so similar to the fat in butter or coconut oil. A quarter of that membrane is made from unsaturated fat. So that would be more like an olive oil or avocado oil; and then a quarter or the other quarter is made up of polyunsaturated fat. And that would be similar to the oil that comes from nuts.

CAROLYN: Yeah, nuts and seeds. So isn't that amazing? Every cell in our body is made, every cell membrane has to have that fat. And how many years have we been told saturated fat is bad? Saturated fat is bad. So you really need all three kinds, right?

KARA: We do, we do. And so we shouldn't be afraid of foods that contain saturated fat.

CAROLYN: Right.

KARA: Or cholesterol for that matter.

CAROLYN: Right; we actually need cholesterol.

KARA: That's a whole other show. And you do have shows about that.

CAROLYN: Right; exactly. So to have these strong cell membranes that protect us, guess what; from things like viruses, we actually need that saturated fat. We need to eat our butter or coconut oil to give our cells that structure and strength to help protect us against disease. So now let's talk about foods that can actually create some of this anxiety and foods that help support good brain function and help keep that anxiety in check.

KARA: When putting together information for a show or a podcast, I like to read what researchers and authors have found to be true. I also want to share with clients what our nutritionist staff and myself have found that's going to help our clients that we work with clinically in the counseling field. In the book, it's called The Happiness Diet. And its authors Dr. Drew Ramsey and Tyler Graham, they shared a study that found elderly adults who had the highest rates of anxiety had the lowest levels of a nutrient that's called choline. So now I'm sure most of you are thinking, “Well, what can I eat that's going to supply my brain with more choline?” As nutritionists and dietitians we know that choline is abundant in eggs and fish. So if you kind of recall the, the old myth, the misconception that we shouldn't be eating eggs, right?

CAROLYN: Yeah. We're still getting that.

KARA: I think it’s really lingering.

CAROLYN: Yep.

KARA: Even though that myth has been debunked now in the science, but it's, so it's, it's a tape that's playing from the last 60 years. But perhaps, you know, if you, if you've heard, “Don't eat eggs because it's going to increase your cholesterol,” you know, we're getting less choline because we're avoiding things like eggs.

CAROLYN: Right.

KARA: And a deficiency in choline can create higher levels of anxiety. And actually I start my day almost every day with three eggs and I do cook the eggs in a saturated, mostly saturated fat of butter.

CAROLYN: Oh, that's so good!

KARA: So I'm getting choline from the eggs. I'm getting that good saturated fat that's coating trillions of my cell membranes from the butter. And that's helping… both of those things are helping to support my brain and my immune function.

CAROLYN: Yes; yeah, exactly. So I like the following sentence from The Happiness Diet book. It said, “Proper brain nutrition creates a strong foundation from which you can create the life you want.” Isn't that lovely? So no one wants a life riddled with anxiety and fear. So what should you eat to support good brain function?

KARA: Well, salad greens are a great way to get some of those key brain nutrients. It can be a lot of different kinds of greens; beet greens, spinach, romaine, arugula, and kale. They're all very nutrient-dense foods. One cup of arugula contains most of our daily requirement for folate, vitamin K, calcium, fiber, and beta carotene. Generally speaking, the darker the leafy green, the better because the dark leaves contain more magnesium. Now, magnesium we know is a super common deficiency.

CAROLYN: I think it’s 60% or something like that?

KARA: I think it's almost three out of four people are deficient. And magnesium, if we have adequate levels, that's going to help ease our nerves and relax our blood vessels. We also need that for good brain function. We certainly need enough magnesium to lessen anxiety. So it's really important to be supplementing the brain with nutrients from a variety of foods. And greens are just so dense.

CAROLYN: Yes.

KARA: …in vitamins and minerals, fiber. So you can't go wrong with any kind of greens.

CAROLYN: And I, you know, I got to throw this in here. You know, the toilet paper and paper towel aisle is empty, but the fruit and vegetable aisles are stockpiled. I just really, I kind of laughed when I was in the store the other day. I thought what is going, what are people thinking? You should be flocking to the fruit and vegetables.

KARA: I think with the fear, I think people are, they're stocking up on canned and boxed goods and things, but I would, I would just suggest: take advantage of the fresh food while there's access to it.

CAROLYN: So it's time for break again.

KARA: Time for break again. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Are you aware that anxiety can have a negative effect on your immune system? We talked a little bit about that today so far. During this time of the Coronavirus outbreak, we all need our immune systems as strong as possible to help keep us safe. Anxiety has a complicated relationship with the immune system and unfortunately that will weaken our immune system. So we'll be back in a minute.

BREAK

CAROLYN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Here's another habit we recommend to help you manage stress and anxiety. So habit number two: eat at least four times each day. Each meal or snack should include that animal protein that we already talked about, vegetables or fruit, and natural beneficial fats and oils. So eating all of these will help support your nervous system and your immune function.

KARA: That's right. I, you know, I have an interesting fact that I want to share with all of you about health problems that can affect how strongly your immune system functions. It's just an interesting bit of research and is found that obesity can weaken the body's immune system and reduce its ability to fight off infections. It's because obesity causes a state of chronic inflammation and that just can create, you know, more of a compromised immune system.

CAROLYN: Yeah, and that's really interesting. So obesity causes a weakened immune system because of that chronic inflammation; very important.

KARA: Right, right, right. So anything that we can do to reduce inflammation is going to help boost the immune system as well. And researchers in Canada, they analyzed the flu records for 12 previous years and found that the people who were obese were more likely to be hospitalized for respiratory disease compared to those who were not obese. So they concluded that, you know, again, it's just a more weakened immune system and weakened ability to fight off infections.

CAROLYN: So important; so important. So as our long time listeners know, we encourage everyone to eat things like brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, because these vegetables contain antioxidants that support the detoxing of harmful artificial estrogens, which in turn may help prevent mental decline, heart disease, and cancer. So researchers actually have found that “these foods are so high in antioxidants that they can literally put a stop to precancerous or even cancerous cells.” Pretty powerful statement isn't it?

KARA: That's unbelievable. Yes. One of my favorite foods that helps control depression, slows down the aging process of the brain, and it actually helps to lower blood pressure as well; But it's gotten kind of some bad press. So you probably won't believe what I'm about to say. But this food is potatoes. It's a carbohydrate. Now, it's a little known fact that the potato skin contains vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and even iodine.

CAROLYN: So if you enjoy eating a potato with a meal, we suggest choosing a small red potato or a fingerling potato or two, depending on their size, and be sure to cook your potato with the skin on. You know, as we mentioned, the potato skin contains vitamin, excuse me, B6, folate, potassium, and even iodine. And the new, the small new potatoes and fingerling potatoes have much less starch and sugar and more nutrients than those big, large, baking potatoes. So other than size, there really is a difference. So remember that low-fat, high-carb phase we all went through, you know, and all of the nutrition experts were recommending eating, you know, a baked potato with low-fat yogurt or…

KARA: …low-fat sour cream.

CAROLYN: …low-fat or no-fat sour cream, right?

KARA: Fat free.

CAROLYN: And no butter. Oh, I love butter and full-fat sour cream on my potato. But that large, large baked potato has approximately like 57 grams of carbs. So that breaks down to 14 teaspoons of sugar or glucose in your body. And wow, that's just way too much starch and sugar for any kind of good health. So as consumers, we certainly were given really false information. So once again, and that may be one reason that about 45% of adults are obese in the U.S. so get rid of that false information.

KARA: Right, the information that we should be eating fat-free sour cream and things like that. So just to kind of recap what you were saying about potatoes, so not all potatoes are the same, you know, and if you're going to eat them, have the skin on and focus on a smaller portion of the red or the fingerling.

CAROLYN: Yeah, the small potatoes.

KARA: Yeah, just try to avoid those really large baked potatoes or the super high sugar ones Carolyn mentioned. But I believe this is the time when everyone should truly consider healthy eating to help manage their anxiety and to keep immune system strong. And at this time we have, we obviously have a lot to be concerned about with the Coronavirus, but we can still work on making some of these healthy habits and developing these even in even in this worrisome time because that will help us to manage our anxiety levels both now and in the future. Before the outbreak of the Corona virus, the National Institutes of Health reported that nearly 20% of American adults had an anxiety disorder just in this past year.

CAROLYN: Wow, 20%?

KARA: 20 percent; one in five.

CAROLYN: In adolescents, sadly, almost 32% of adolescents had an anxiety disorder this past year. And in that 32%, unfortunately more girls than boys were experiencing this anxiety disorder. So there's such a large percent of teens experiencing anxiety. So it begs the question, “What is going on?” Of course we could look at social media or the pressure of high expectations to succeed. But you know, as a longtime dietitian, I would first look at what are our teens eating at this time compared to what I ate or what, what my parents ate as teenagers.

KARA: Exactly. So let's take the mystery out of this really big health problem that's going on. And for my own experience, I believe that the number one reason for anxiety is low blood sugar. Now I'm saying that professionally. I'm seeing that personally. I'm saying that after working for over 10 years with clients, and as a teen I was not eating exactly the Weight and Wellness Way with balanced meals. You know, I often would skip meals. Maybe I was busy. Maybe I just, you know, wasn't hungry. But that, you know, sometimes when you're not hungry it's still… to balance your blood sugar, it helps to have some, some healthy food. So for breakfast back then I may have grabbed a bowl of cereal or even a cereal bar that would have four teaspoons of sugar. I might just skip breakfast, or you know, maybe I'd have a bagel with fat-free cream cheese. So what happens with breakfast like that, the blood sugar spikes too high and then, you know, it's going to crash down within an hour or two. And it's that crashing of the blood sugar where, you know, personally, still to this day, if that happens I can feel myself becoming anxious.

CAROLYN: That's when that anxiety attack is hitting you, right?

KARA: It sure does. And so if you, if this resonates with you, a simple solution is just to start by eating a breakfast that's going to balance out your blood sugar. And Carolyn mentioned that earlier. I tell clients to start your day with breakfast. If you like eggs, I mean I shared that I have three eggs almost every day that are cooked in butter with a nice side of vegetables. I might sauté the vegetables and another healthy fat: avocado oil. And you could add a variety of veggies. You could do spinach, asparagus. It's that type of breakfast that's going to keep me full and satisfied. It's going to balance my blood sugar so I don't have that crash that could lead to heightened anxiety.

CAROLYN: Yeah; right. So, you know, I want to take a closer look at some of the grab-and-go breakfast foods that often set teens up for that anxiety attack later. So many teens and I guess a lot of adults too I have to say are on the go. And what do we do? We grab one of those fruit-flavored strawberry yogurts, low-fat for breakfast. So this small container of yogurt has over six teaspoons of added sugar. So when they take out that fat, they always add more sugar, right, because it's got to taste better. So another favorite grab and go might be a cereal bar, like the Clif bar or this Sierra Trail Mix energy bar. But that energy bar has 10 teaspoons of added sugar. So what happens? Up goes your blood sugar and the pancreas starts releasing insulin, which it’s supposed to do, but then the blood sugar drops. And that's what can lead to that low blood sugar and anxiety. So I think eating a balanced breakfast, like this morning I had two eggs. I, the hard boiled eggs; I made them last night because…

KARA: Oh, that's a good idea because we get up early today for these shows.

CAROLYN: We have to show up really early. I mixed it with a tablespoon of avocado oil mayonnaise. And I had one of my favorite dark rye pumpernickel breads.

KARA: Oh gosh, that really sounds delicious. And it sounds simple and I like that you prepared the eggs ahead of time for this early morning. So we're going to go to our last break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And as I said earlier, I believe the number one reason for anxiety is low blood sugar. So here's a habit to help you manage or avoid stress and anxiety. Habit number three from today… Carolyn has shared one and two. Number three is keeping your blood sugar level even. You want to prevent it from dropping. That means eating in balance every two and a half to three hours, avoid eating sugar and processed foods. And we want you to remember all of these habits. So I'm going to talk about two more. Habit number four is drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated; plain water. You know, not added with sugar or artificial sweeteners. And number five: get sufficient sleep most nights; seven and a half, preferably eight or nine hours.

CAROLYN: Yeah.

KARA: And we're going to, I think we touch on both of those things when we come back from break.

CAROLYN: Yup.

BREAK

CAROLYN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are concerned about your immune function or your weight or your overall health, I suggest you sign up for one of our Nutrition for Weight Loss classes. These are 12 classes and two individual nutrition appointments. So the classes are available online, so we're doing everything virtual these days. And, but if you prefer a group class setting, we're hoping that by May, May 19th is when the next 12-week series starts. That will be in all of our seven Minneapolis and St. Paul locations. So, and then all of our nutrition appointments right now are all virtual. So I've been using Zoom and of course regular old telephone. You know?

KARA: That's an option too if people don't have Zoom.

CAROLYN: Yup; yeah, absolutely.

KARA: Or Skype.

CAROLYN: Absolutely; or Skype. So, and before break we were talking about being overweight and how that can lower your immune function. So eat better to feel better and to have a better immune system. So you can call our office at (651) 699-3438 and sign up before one of these life-changing classes. Or you can just ask a few questions and if you prefer you could sign up online at weightandwellness.com. And if you have questions about immune-supporting supplements, be sure to listen to our special podcast that's now available on our free Dishing Up Nutrition app or as you said earlier, I think it's right on our website.

KARA: Yeah, I came across that. I just went to weightandwellness.com and it's right on the homepage.

CAROLYN: Isn't that great? I'm going to have to listen to that when I, when I get home today. So, you're going to hear some very effective and highly recommended immune-supporting supplements and other helpful tips and ideas that you can use during this challenging time. And I want to say that all of our supplements now are free delivery, right; if you order them.

KARA: That's right.

CAROLYN: So, you know, obviously all of this social distancing we have to, we don't really want you coming into our offices.

KARA: Right; right.

CAROLYN: So we're trying to deliver them to you free.

KARA: That's really nice. So there's free shipping on our products. And Carolyn, you had just given our office number and I just wanted to clarify that people probably know this that are local in Minnesota or just if you're, if you're typically going to our office, our offices are closed but they are being staffed. You know, there's like one person at the desk taking calls, so you can call our office but don't go to our office right now; just kind of wanted to clarify that. So before break we were talking about low blood sugar, how that really is, you know, probably the main thing that leads to anxiety is having that low blood sugar level, and it puts the body into a stress response. And you know, I've had a lot of struggles with anxiety over the years. So it's something that I really have to focus on every single day. So to keep, to lessen my anxiety, I have to eat and balance about every three hours and I have to pair the three macronutrients: protein, healthy carbohydrate and healthy fat. So you know, eggs for breakfast. It could be meat or fish or full-fat dairy. Vegetable carbohydrates are the best type of carbohydrates to prevent the spikes and crashes in blood sugar. And of course our healthy fat is the number one thing that really stabilizes blood sugar. And so I'm happy to say that with my diligence in eating real food in balance over the years, it's really become a habit. And it does, it rubs off on family members as well. And I'm encouraging my daughter to eat this way too. And she does a pretty good job. I, you know, I want her to follow this type of eating plan because I want to make sure that she doesn't struggle with health problems, anxiety, immune function problems, things like that.

CAROLYN: And I have a granddaughter and I'm watching my son and my daughter-in-law feed her all of these healthy things. So it sinks in.

KARA: That's great, Carolyn.

CAROLYN: And you know, now hopefully, you know, she will have a really, really strong immune system. But, you know, I mean I think we always worry about our kids because at times they do kind of stray. But if we teach them well now they will come back to it and maybe stray a little bit somewhere in their college years probably.

KARA: And that's what happened to me, you know, but I came back to it in my twenties definitely.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So another easy anti-anxiety habit to practice is to drink at least eight glasses of plain water daily. So I think right before we went to break, that was one of your key habits, right?

KARA: Yes.

CAROLYN: So there was a research study that was published in the World Journal of Psychiatry in September of 2018 that found “drinking plain water is associated with a decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults.” Wow.

KARA: Wow.

CAROLYN: Hydration then is key to resolving many health problems and wow, such a simple solution. Who would have known drinking plain water, you know, is a habit that you can use to actually lessen your anxiety?

KARA: It is so simple. It's just a matter I think of remembering. Some people even use apps and set timers to just as reminders to drink that water.

CAROLYN: Yeah, but once you get in the habit, it's like we both have our water bottles here. We're taking sips in between talking.

KARA: It gets easier once you get into that habit. Another key factor I had mentioned, you know, just prior to break, was that we really need to be getting sufficient sleep most nights to reduce anxiety. So that is, that looks like seven and a half hours and some people need more; some people do much better with their moods and they have less anxiety if they're getting eight to nine hours per night. And we have a lot of great podcasts on weightandwellness.com and iTunes. And I've done several shows sharing sleep and tips for sleep cause that was something that I used to struggle with and a lot of people do. So if sleep is an issue for you, we really recommend that you make an appointment with a nutritionist or dietitian and they can develop a sleep plan that's individual for your needs.

CAROLYN: And remember those are going to be virtual now for awhile.

KARA: They’ll be virtual: Zoom, Skype or, or old-fashioned landline or cell phone. A sleep plan is critical, especially at this highly stressful time. And Joann Ridout; she's one of our wonderful dietitians here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness. She was on last week's Dishing Up Nutrition, and you know, she also struggled with sleep problems. Thankfully her sleep problems have been corrected as a result of eating real food in balance. And also she takes some of our high quality Nutrikey supplements.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So lack of sleep affects, you know, a lot of things, you know, your memory, your weight. That's a big one. When I'm talking to a lot of my clients that are wanting to lose weight, and they're not sleeping well I always tell them, “Oh, we got to fix those sleep problems if you really want to lose weight.” Your moods; and then today's topic: our immune function, so, and your anxiety; both of those topics today. So, give our office a call at 651-699-3438 to get your personalized sleep plan, especially if you suffer from high stress and anxiety. And right now we're just all full of this high stress. We're trying to adjust to this new normal. So we encourage you to set up an appointment so that you can work with one of our dietitians or nutritionists to create a personal plan that's going to support your health. So this new normal of social distancing; just want to remind you that all of our appointments will be virtual. We're using Zoom, phone calls, all of those things. And we understand that eating clean, basic foods takes education, support and habits, right? Lots of habits. So call (651) 699-3438 or go online to weightandwellness.com.

KARA: And thank you so much for listening. You know, eating real food is a simple, but it's a really powerful message. And eating real food is life-changing. We wish you all well and be healthy.

 

CAROLYN: Thank you for listening.

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