One of the complaints I hear from my clients is that at menopause they suddenly have feelings of anxiety and stress that they’ve never experienced before.
This is one of the “symptoms” of menopause.
I am putting the word symptoms in inverted commas as they are actually symptoms of an unbalanced system, and there are things you can do to alleviate them.
Back to anxiety.
It’s something I have “suffered” from both in the past and more recently. And recognising it prompted me to take a look at my nutrition, fitness, and mental and emotional health.
If you reach for sugary or carb loaded food or alcohol when you’re stressed and worried...you’re not the only one.
I am the first to admit that I do not always eat well. I love food, and sometimes feel the “need” to eat things with loads of added sugar, like ice cream, and cakes at a cafe, and chocolate.
But I also know first-hand how much better I feel when I’m eating whole and real food. I have more energy, remember where I put my keys, am less grumpy, and find it easier to manage my anxiety and stress.
Why is this? It turns out the way you eat has a big influence on your mindset. Research is finding that what you consistently put in your mouth impacts your mental health.
“The ongoing exploration of the human microbiome promises to bring the link between the gut and the brain into clearer focus. Scientists are increasingly convinced that the vast assemblage of microfauna in our intestines may have a major impact on our state of mind.”
Your gut talks to your brain all day through nerve connectors and hormones. In fact, over 90% of serotonin – called the “happy hormone”– is produced in your gut!
In order for the right messages to be sent to your brain, you have to feed your body the right food. Scientists have called this nutritional psychiatry.
“Your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That “fuel” comes from the foods you eat — and what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.”
The message is clear – you need to eat whole and real food!
What does this look like?
Well, it’s simple! It’s food that has no or minimal processing. You can still recognise what it is. A veggie, a fruit, a piece of meat, a bean.
Minimally processed are foods like cheese, milk, bag of oats.
Here are 5 substitutions for you so you can make a start and eat more whole, real food:
So if you’re feeling stressed or anxious at the moment, make sure that what’s on your plate not only fills your tummy but also feeds your mind.
I have something to help you with this. Sign up for my newsletter and get a meal planning resource to help you put together healthy, real food meals as a Thank You 😊 Click the button below to sign up.
Click below to listen to a podcast episode I was interviewed for, about building resilience and my journey to being a Health Coach