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How to Use Food as Medicine to Help Quell Anxiety, Sleep Better, and Feel at Your Best

How to Use Food as Medicine to Help Quell Anxiety, Sleep Better, and Feel at Your Best

Food is medicine. In our ever-evolving world, we should – now more than ever – take our health seriously. Between COVID-19, political tensions, and social unrest, we’re all feeling stressed and burnt out. Though how exactly do we use food as medicine, to help quell anxiety, sleep better, and feel our best? We spoke to Daily Harvest‘s team of nutritionists for their top tips on all the above. Keep reading for more!

1) Eat foods rich in vitamin B.

B vitamins have been shown to help boost our moods, promote brain function and decrease anxiety and depression. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B include dark leafy greens (collards, kale, spinach, romaine), legumes, and pulses ( notably lentils and peas).

2) Experiment with adaptogens.

Adaptogens are very on-trend right now as they help our bodies handle stress. They are said to help attention, decrease fatigue, lower stress, and balance hormones – including cortisol (our stress hormone). You can add adaptogens to your food, smoothies, lattes, supplements, teas, and tinctures – or turn to a food delivery service like Daily Harvest that incorporates adaptogens into their recipes, so you don’t have to do the leg work!

3) Eat whole foods.

Whole foods come packed with nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and more. They contain only what nature provides us and they help our bodies remain healthy.  Processed foods on the other hand tend to contain more sugar, chemicals, preservatives and other ingredients that don’t support our health.  Limit processed foods and fill up on foods that will fuel your body.

4) Hydrate.

Often when we are dehydrated we feel tired, lethargic, edgy, we have a headache, reach for food and snacks more than we should – where all we really need is a glass of water! I recommend drinking anywhere from 64 – 80 oz of water per day and making sure you include hydrating foods in your diets, such as fruits and veggies to keep your energy up, and your focus steady to prevent additional stress to your body.

5) Be intentional.

I practice something called the “M.E.L.O.N.” method for intentional eating. I go over it with all my clients to help them build a more intimate relationship with food. The steps include: meditate, evaluate, linger, observe, and nourish. You start with “meditate” by acknowledging the food decision. Then you “evaluate” your hunger level before you get to “linger” by taking your time eating so that your stomach can pick up on the “fullness” hormones. Next, “observe” your fullness and satisfaction throughout the meal, and “nourish” by judging your fullness internally instead of what is still left on your plate. I find that this helps us make decisions that are healthier and more satisfying. Plus, you can still eat the foods you want!

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6) Add!

Instead of focusing on what to remove from your diet, focus on what to add. And when it comes to boosting your immune system and overall well-being, the one most important, powerful, universally agreed-upon action: Add colorful fruits & vegetables. Their natural plant compounds nourish our cells to be healthy & strong.

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