Anxiety is something most of us experience at some point in our lives. While prescription medications are available, it’s important to explore natural remedies that can provide effective relief. Oats are one of those remedies that can support your emotional well-being while adding some deliciousness to your life!
Understanding Anxiety Disorders:
Before we delve into the remarkable benefits of oats, it’s important to understand the various types of anxiety disorders. These include anxiety disorder due to a medical condition, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, substance-induced anxiety disorder, and other specified/unspecified anxiety disorders. These conditions can significantly impact our daily lives, making even simple tasks seem overwhelming. So if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you’re not alone, and there are solutions.
The Power of Nutritious Foods:
While anxiety can be challenging, making positive changes to our diet can help manage its symptoms. By selecting foods that promote emotional balance and support our overall well-being, we take a step towards a happier and calmer existence. Eating healthy is not just about nourishing our bodies; it’s about feeding our minds and souls too.
One incredible food that fits the bill perfectly is oats. Not only are oats affordable and easy to cook, but they also offer numerous benefits for anxiety relief. Let’s take a closer look at how oats can positively impact your emotional well-being:
- Boosts Serotonin Levels: According to the Mayo Clinic, the carbohydrates found in oats help increase serotonin levels in our brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation, making it a powerful ally in the battle against anxiety.
- Superfood Goodness: Oats are a true superfood! Packed with essential nutrients, they provide a wide range of health benefits beyond anxiety relief. Oats are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which aids in regulating blood sugar levels and promoting a healthy digestive system.
Creative Ways to Enjoy Oats:
Now that we understand the remarkable benefits of oats for anxiety, let’s explore some delightful recipes that incorporate this fantastic grain into your diet. The nice thing is that oats can be eaten raw or cooked. Below are some recipes to consider that contain oats. I do my best to avoid adding sugar to my recipes. If you need to sweeten things up, consider alternatives like fresh or dried fruit (watch your portions with dried fruit because they are concentrated in natural sugars). Honey or agave nectar will also do the trick, but again use it in moderation since they still contain sugars. Stevia and Monk Fruit can also be great options, as well as unsweetened nut butter.
Some recipes to consider:
- Oatmeal Cookies – Indulge your sweet tooth while enjoying the anxiety-reducing properties of oats. Remember, avoid as many processed ingredients as feasible.
- Oatmeal Fruit Bowls – Start your mornings off right with a nutritious and refreshing bowl of oatmeal combined with your favorite fruits.
- Traditional Cooked Oatmeal – Experiment with different toppings like berries, nuts, or a drizzle of honey to add a touch of excitement to your breakfast routine.
- Home-made granola – Create your own homemade granola using oats as a base. Combine them with your favorite nuts, dried fruits, and a touch of sweetness, then bake to golden perfection. Enjoy it as a snack or sprinkle it over yogurt for a delightful crunch.
- Oats in Cereal: Elevate your cereal game by using oats as a base or mixing them with your favorite low-sugar cereals. Look for whole grain, low-sugar options such as bran flakes or unsweetened puffed cereals. You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon, a handful of nuts or seeds, and fresh fruits to enhance the flavor and nutritional value without relying on added sugars.
Here is my dairy-free recipe for overnight oats:
1 cup oats- old fashioned oats work best
I cup milk- any milk works for this recipe (I like coconut milk)
I tbsp chia seeds- Optional
2 tbsp yogurt of your choice (I enjoy almond milk yogurt)
1 tbsp honey or sweetener if desired
1 tbsp nuts of choice- (I enjoy almonds and pecans)-Optional
1/2 tbsp coconut flakes- Optional
1/3 cup fresh fruit
Combine all dry ingredients
Add milk and yogurt then stir to mix
Add fruit on top (do not mix in until ready to eat)
Cover and refrigerate overnight.