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Nourishing Your Mind and Body: How Nutrition Can Help with Anxiety

Updated: Mar 18

nutrition can help with anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can manifest in various forms, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, and others. While therapy and medication are commonly used to manage anxiety, the role of nutrition in mental health is gaining recognition. As a nutritionist, I believe that a holistic approach to health includes nourishing both the mind and body. In this article, we will explore how nutrition can play a role in managing anxiety and supporting mental well-being.

Balancing Blood Sugar Levels:

Blood sugar levels play a crucial role in mood and energy regulation. Consuming a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash, leading to mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. As a nutritionist, I recommend opting for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, which provide a steady source of energy and help stabilise blood sugar levels. Including protein and healthy fats in meals and snacks can also aid in blood sugar balance and promote stable mood and energy levels.

Incorporating Nutrient-Dense Foods:

Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in key nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, have been linked to anxiety and other mental health disorders. As a nutritionist, I emphasize the importance of incorporating a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods into the diet to support optimal mental health. Foods such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, eggs, dairy or dairy alternatives, and fortified foods can be excellent sources of these essential nutrients.

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Supporting Gut Health:

Emerging research has shown a strong link between gut and brain health, highlighting the importance of gut health in managing anxiety. As a nutritionist, I often recommend including fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which can promote a healthy gut microbiome. Fermented foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kefir can also be beneficial as they contain probiotics that support gut health. Reducing the intake of processed foods, added sugars, and artificial ingredients can also help promote a healthy gut and support mental well-being. Read our advice on how to get a healthy microbiome article.

Coffee and anxiety

Managing Caffeine and Alcohol Intake:

Caffeine and alcohol are known to impact mood and anxiety levels. Excessive caffeine intake can lead to increased heart rate, restlessness, and anxiety symptoms in some individuals. Similarly, while alcohol may initially provide a sense of relaxation, excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt sleep, impact mood, and exacerbate anxiety symptoms. As a nutritionist, I recommend monitoring caffeine and alcohol intake and being mindful of their potential impact on anxiety levels.

Incorporating Mindful Eating Practices:

Mindful eating involves paying attention to the eating experience, including the taste, smell, texture, and satisfaction of food. It also involves listening to hunger and fullness cues, eating slowly, and avoiding distractions while eating. Practicing mindful eating can help individuals develop a healthy relationship with food, reduce emotional eating, and promote overall mental well-being.


As a nutritionist, I believe that a healthy diet can play a significant role in managing anxiety and promoting mental well-being. By incorporating nutrient-dense foods, balancing blood sugar levels, supporting gut health, managing caffeine and alcohol intake, and practising mindful eating, individuals can nourish both their minds and bodies for optimal mental health.

However, it's important to note that nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle, and a holistic approach to managing anxiety should include professional medical advice, therapy, and other appropriate interventions. If you are struggling with anxiety, it's always best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalised guidance and support. Please do contact us to see if we can help you, or try our healthy eating meal guides filled with tasty and nutritious meal ideas and nutrition advice.

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