Anxiety: 4 Anti-Anxiety Foods

My heart was racing.  I began chocking and then I couldn’t breath.  I felt light headed as if I was about to pass out.  Terrified, I struggled trying to figure out what has happening to me.  This lasted 5 to 10 minutes and then the feeling passed.  It was my first anxiety attack.  

anxiety

What caused my anxiety attack?

  1. Poor diet
  2. Lack of sleep
  3. Lack of exercise
  4. Stress
  5. No balance

In January of 2016, I moved to a small island in the West Indies to start medical school where I didn’t know a soul.  I quickly learned my way around and made new friends.  As I settled into caribbean life, student life began to take off like a straight up rollercoaster ride.  One minute you’re feeling the high and the next minute you’re questioning the meaning of life.  

While most of us medical students feel a sense of pride and gratitude for our opportunities, we neglect to talk about the dark side of a medical student’s lifestyle.   No one knows the stress that we’re under and the constant hit our psyche takes day after day.  We’re constantly worrying if we’re studying correctly, have we learned enough, and will we remember it all.  Check out how CNN describes depression in the medical field.  

anxiety

For me, I knew what I was getting into.  I was willing to let my personal life take a hit to follow my passion.  But you need people.  You can’t do this thing alone.  Medical students struggle with reaching out because we’re so use to doing everything ourselves.  Often times, we feel outsiders won’t understand the struggle we go through.  Trust me, the struggle is real!

It’s not all doom and gloom.  Number one, I freaking live in paradise and the beach is always a short distance away.  Number two, it’s always 80 degrees.  Yes, 80 degrees!!  Also, I’ve met some really cool people and some lifelong friends.  Lastly, we know what we’re learning will change and hopefully save lives and that’s an awesome feeling.  Not to mention, I love learning about how amazing our bodies are.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t change a thing except how I handle stress.  Oh, and maybe going to the beach a little more often.  (adding to my to-do list)

anxiety

What have I learned? 

I can’t neglect myself.  I need to eat well, exercise everyday, and I need sleep.  All this sounds simple right?  Well, let me tell you.  Once you sit through your first week of class, you quickly realize your behind and you begin to sacrifice the basics to keep up.  So, I’m taking back to the basics and incorporating food that will help keep my stress and anxiety levels down.  

4 Anti-Anxiety Foods

  1.  Spinach is high in folic acid and helps with depression.  It’s also rich in magnesium which helps to control the stress hormone cortisol.  anxiety
  2. Wild Salmon is rich in B12 and B6 and deficiencies are linked to anxiety, panic attacks and depression.  B vitamins are important for healthy nerves and brain cells.  Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which is an anti-inflammatory.  Omega-3 helps controls the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. anxiety
  3. Guavas are very high in vitamin C which also helps control the stress hormone cortisol.anxiety
  4. Seeds & Nuts.  Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan which helps with the release of serotonin, the feel good hormone.
    anxiety

Now that I’m starting a new semester, I’m going to make it a point to make sure I don’t neglect myself especially my diet.  I’ll also be incorporating more time in my schedule for exercise.  The combination between the two will definitely help my anxiety.

What strategies do you use to combat anxiety?  Let me know.

Check out my article on eating real food and find me on pinterest.

Make practical changes for healthier lifestyle.  

Tiffany Rebekah

St. George’s University

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Maurice Bishop International Airport in the beautiful St. Georges, Grenada.  Local time is 3:08 p.m. and the temperature is 81 degrees.”  I looked out the window and thought to myself, “OMG, I finally made it.  I’m actually here.”  St. George’s University school of Medicine, here I come. 
St. George's University

On September 16, 2015, I received my one and only acceptance letter into St. George’s University Medical School.  Considering this was the only school I applied to I was ecstatic when the letter came.  Why did I only apply to one school?  Well, there are many reasons which I’ll address later.  What I will tell you is that I really wanted to go SGU and I got in.  Yay me!

St George's University Medical School

St. George’s University Medical School is arguably the most respected medical school in the Caribbean.  The school out ranks all other Caribbean medical schools with residencies.  It also has a higher first time pass rate for the USMLE step 1 exam that rival US and Canadian medical schools.  With this type of reputation, I didn’t want to be any where else.

On top of SGU’s outstanding test scores and residency placement the campus is gorgeous.  SGU is located on the beautiful island of Grenada in the West Indies.  How lucky am I to be able to study medicine in such a beautiful place?  I’m so thankful.  

St. George’s University Medical School

St. George's University

St. George's University

St. George's University

St. George's University

St. George's University

My journey took me on many detours before I landed here.  However, all the hard work and studying has paid off.  The admissions committed saw something in me and I’m so thankful St. George’s University decided to take a chance on me.  Many people stress and struggle getting into medical school and when you finally make it the feeling is unparalleled.  

SGU started me in the Charter Foundations Program, aka Foundations to Medicine.  It’s a 6 month program, to prepare you for term 1.  After successful completion of the program you go straight into the school of medicine.  Here I plan to document my journey.  I’ll talk about the ups, the downs and everything I’ve learned.  I’ll even tell you what I’d do different if I could start over.  

Make practical changes for a healthier lifestyle.

Tiffany Rebekah