Did you know that recent polls have found that over 41% of Canadians have claimed to struggle with anxiety in their daily lives? Over one-third have been formally diagnosed – making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the country. And since the onset of Covid-19, more and more people have been struggling to cope with feelings of fear, uncertainty, and isolation brought on by the pandemic. 


The key takeaway here: you’re not alone. Between the unprecedented events of the past year and general everyday stressors, anxiety is something that plagues a multitude of people. There are a myriad of ways people try to manage their anxiety – from seeking professional help and removing themselves from uncomfortable situations to meditation and exercise.


But, have you ever considered how food plays a role in your journey towards better mental wellbeing?


Everyone knows the common idiom, “you are what you eat” and, frankly, there’s some merit to that statement. Throughout the years, scores of studies have shown that food can directly affect your mental health.


In fact, there’s even an anti-anxiety diet that exists. To help improve your mental health, here’s a look at how food can be used to reduce feelings of anxiety.


Have a Protein-Heavy Breakfast

Having a breakfast that’s high in protein will make you feel fuller for a longer period of time while helping you maintain a strong blood sugar level – subsequently fueling your body with more energy at the start of each day. By starting your day on a high note, it’ll help you maintain a more positive mental state throughout the day.


Complex Carbohydrates Are Good

When we consume complex carbohydrates, it effectively increases serotonin levels in our brains – a chemical that produces both a calming and feel-good effect on the body. Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates include whole grains such as oatmeal and quinoa. Compared to simple carbohydrates, complex carbs take longer for us to digest – providing more stable energy for our bodies. 


Steer Clear of Simple Carbs

Simple carbohydrates are high in sugar and cause a spike in blood glucose levels – a.k.a. what we often refer to as a “sugar rush.” Candy, soda, and foods made with ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup can quickly cause you to feel fatigued and sluggish. 


Try to Temper Your Alcohol Consumption

Consuming alcohol may “take the edge off” momentarily, but drinking can negatively alter serotonin levels and other neurotransmitters in our brains. As a result, alcohol consumption can actually increase feelings of anxiety. What’s more, alcoholic beverages often interfere with our ability to get a good night’s sleep, which is imperative for both physical and mental wellbeing.


Eat Lots of Fruits and Veggies

By eating more fruits and vegetables, you’re nourishing your body with the nutrients and vitamins needed for optimal health and wellness. An article published by the Psych Congress Network noted, “Consuming fewer than 3 sources of fruits and vegetables a day was associated with at least a 24% higher risk of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, according to a study of factors linked with anxiety published online in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.”


Limit Your Consumption of Caffeine

If you’re like the majority of Americans, you likely start your day with a cup of Joe in hand. While grabbing an iced latte on your way to work (or, let’s face it, as an afternoon pick-me-up) may feel like a necessary part of your daily routine, consuming caffeine has been linked with increased feelings of anxiousness. 


Not only can caffeine worsen anxiety, but it could also interfere with your sleep. According to Harvard Health, scientists “discovered that sleep disruption — which affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, among other things — wreaks havoc in the brain, impairing thinking and emotional regulation.” 


What we choose to eat can have an enormous impact on emotional wellbeing. It’s okay to treat yourself here and there, but by following a healthy diet, you’ll reap both physical and mental benefits.  

On top of adopting a nutritious diet, getting help from a professional is also highly-recommended when it comes to managing your anxiety. Our team of specialists at My Winnipeg Therapist are equipped with the expertise and resources needed to help you learn how to control your anxiety.


  1. […] professional help may feel overwhelming, but managing and treating symptoms of anxiety is integral to living a happy, healthy life. Here are 5 signs it’s time to treat your […]

  2. Great blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m
    totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Appreciate it!

    • Kevin Richardson July 5, 2023 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Write about what you know is rule number one. And if you’re passionate about something, just write and write until it sounds good enough (not perfect, good enough). Good luck, –Kevin

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