557: Why does eating food help calm my anxiety?

This week on the Anxiety Slayer podcast we’re responding to a question from our inbox: Why does eating help my anxiety?

According to Ayurveda, India’s ancient science of life, our interest in food and it’s effect on how we feel after eating varies according to our body type.





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Points covered in this week's episode:

According to Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, our interest in food and it’s effect on how we feel after eating varies according to our body type.

For some, eating can be a way to temporarily silence or numb out uncomfortable emotions. For others it gives a sense of feeling full, nourished and grounded that helps maintain balance.

The three Doshas / body types of Ayurveda and their relationship with eating:

Pitta - irritable when hungry, needs regular meals and plenty of hydration

Vata - may not notice hunger, can experience loss of appetite, and may skip meals

Kapha - most inclined to eat, may eat for comfort

Take our dosha quiz to learn more about your mind/body type

Vata Dosha - the body type most prone to anxiety benefits from nourishing meals that help bring balance

Signs and symptoms of increased Vata include

  • nervousness and anxiety

  • dry, or chapped skin

  • constipation

  • aversion to cold and wind

  • insomnia or easily interrupted sleep

  • feeling spaced out, scattered, disassociated, or ungrounded

  • runaway thoughts, and over thinking

When we feel empty it provokes Vata. The challenge for Vata types is that they are the most erratic eaters, they often skip meals or go for quick snacks like potato chips, or an apple, which don’t serve them well.

When Vata types eat a warm healthy meal they feel nourished and grounded and that brings into balance the airy and ethereal nature of Vata that can cause anxiety.

But it’s not just eating that helps it’s what you eat

What we eat may bring balance or cause further imbalance, depending on our body type.

For Vata body type / anxiety...

Eat for nourishment:

warm wet and slightly oily are the keys to remember

squash, nuts - especially almonds, carrots, beets.

warm milky drinks with cinnamon and nutmeg

use warming spices; ginger, black pepper, cumin in your cooking

favor foods that are naturally sweet and salty

Stay away from:

stimulants: coffee, energy drinks

cold, dry foods

refined sugars

be wary of alcohol

cold and carbonated drinks

Eating regular meals - will help keep your blood sugar steady

Eat breakfast

Choose a warm nourishing breakfast like oatmeal made with almond milk and cinnamon or stewed apples with cinnamon

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If you’d like to learn more about Ayurveda, we invite you to join us on our Patreon where we talk more about understanding body types, Ayurveda and the mind and share guided practices for calming anxiety.

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