Make any one of these recipes tonight and reduce anxiety.
These nutritional drinks are all about calming the nervous system by relaxing your muscles.
It’s not the only thing that can reduce anxiety. That requires changing your thinking ie. your thought patterns which take a lot more work and time to do.
But, you can help that along because you know that what you put into your body needs to work in tandem with the inner work you’re doing on your mind ie. your mental health.
These are a great way of forming a healthy, pre-bedtime habit of calming your nervous system and reducing anxiety.
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Warm Golden Turmeric Milk
Combining turmeric with warm milk creates a soothing bedtime drink that promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing properties. It contains an active compound called Curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Turmeric root is also considered an Adaptogen and has a long history of use in traditional Indian medicine and culinary traditions. Its health benefits make it a popular ingredient in many health-promoting dishes as well as supplements.
What’s the difference between turmeric spice powder and turmeric root (whole food)? Turmeric spice powder – it is nearly identical to turmeric root, but the potency of the Circumin compound is less than the root
Health benefits of turmeric root:
Anti-inflammation: Turmeric root contains a compound called curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory effects. It helps reduce inflammation in the body, especially in terms of heart health.
Rich in antioxidants: Turmeric root is rich in antioxidants that help fight off the harmful effects of free radicals. Its antioxidant properties may help protect against chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
Beneficial for joint health: Its anti-inflammatory properties are known to be beneficial for joint health. It may help alleviate the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis1.
Reduces anxiety: Curcumin has been studied for its potential benefits in supporting brain health and reducing anxiety. It’s been used for many years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat anxiety and symptoms of depression.
Digestive Aid: Turmeric root also supports a healthier gut. What’s going on in your mind can be greatly affected by how healthy your gut is. Curcumin promotes the growth of healthy bacterial strains in the gut. If your gut is functioning well, you will be less likely to experience symptoms of anxiety. The brain sends signals to the gut when it is in distress and vice versa. A 2019 review suggests that the gut microbiota’s profile can be changed through stress and depression. So, when it’s under this stress, it releases toxins into your intestine and so forth.
You can read more on this topic here.
Warm Golden Turmeric Milk recipe:
- 1 cup of milk (dairy or plant-based – plant-based is better for your gut health late at night because it’s anti-inflammatory
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey
Tip You can use nut, seed, or coconut milk for this recipe. I recommend cashew, walnut, or Brazil nut milk. A combination of oat and macadamia nut milk is also delicious.
Seed milk is a great alternative for those allergic to nuts. And there’s coconut milk as an alternative too. It does have a less neutral taste though, so just bear that in mind. But then again, what a delicious flavor pairing!
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat until warm but not boiling.
- Add the turmeric and cinnamon to the warm milk and whisk well.
- Continue to heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If desired, add honey for sweetness and stir until dissolved.
- Pour the warm milk into a mug and enjoy before bedtime.
Did you know? Cashew milk does not need to be strained through a nut milk bag.
If you have a high-powered blender, you can blend the cashew nuts with filtered water, and once done, pour straight into a glass and enjoy. Very handy when you’re pressed for time, making a flavored drink like this one, or simply don’t have a nut milk bag on hand.
Nutritional cooking is about taking the stress out of cooking and meal prepping. The more relaxed you are in your kitchen, the more efficient and less anxious you are. Remember, life is about enjoying the experience of making healthy food as well as eating it. And you need to be calm and relaxed to benefit from that.
Chamomile and Lavender Tea
This tea lowers stress and promotes a sense of calm.
Chamomile tea is renowned for its calming properties and is often used as a natural remedy to reduce anxiety and insomnia.
Chamomile tea is derived from the dried flowers of the chamomile plant. The tea is known for its mild, floral aroma and slightly sweet and citrusy taste. It is widely consumed for its soothing properties.
The health benefits of Chamomile:
- It promotes sleep and relaxation: Chamomile tea is used as a natural remedy to promote relaxation and improve sleep. It contains a flavonoid called Apigenin, which induces muscle relaxation and has a sedative effect.
- It aids with digestion: Chamomile tea is also recognized for easing digestive discomforts, such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. Chamomile tea may help relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and help reduce inflammation. It has a general soothing effect because it offers gentle relief.
- It is anti-Inflammatory and is rich in antioxidants: Chamomile tea contains various beneficial compounds, including flavonoids, terpenoids, and antioxidants. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Its antioxidant content may also help combat oxidative stress, protecting cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
- Reduces stress and symptoms of anxiety.
Tip Chamomile is generally regarded as a safe tea to consume. But, it is also known to induce allergic reactions in some people2. Also, it does not replace any kind of medicinal treatment for an ailment or disorder. Always consult your doctor first if you’re unsure if this is safe for you to consume.
Lavender has soothing and sedative effects. It makes for a potent bedtime drink to promote deep sleep and relaxation.
The health benefits of Lavender:
- Reduces stress: Lavender stimulates activity in certain areas of the brain and this produces a calming effect and boosts overall mood.
- Alleviates symptoms of anxiety: It calms the nervous system and the aroma of the tea itself can induce feelings of relaxation. It also promotes better sleep.
- Reduce symptoms of depression: Lavender reduces feelings of fatigue and depression.
- Improves respiratory health: It soothes coughs and reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract.
- Contains antioxidants: This prevents damage from free radicals at a cellular level.
- Boosts the immune system: It strengthens the respiratory tract and has potent antiviral qualities3
- Ease symptoms of headaches and migraine: This can also be beneficial for pre- and menstrual symptoms
Tip Lavender tea should be used with a degree of caution, as with most herbal teas. There has only been one case reported where heart palpitations were experienced. Do not ingest Lavender oil, this is for topical and aromatherapy use only.
Chamomile and Lavender Tea recipe:
- 1 chamomile tea bag
- 1 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
- Place the chamomile tea bag and dried lavender flowers in a mug.
- Pour boiling water over the tea bag and lavender to fill.
- Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and lavender flowers.
Tip Don’t discard the tea bag or leaves. Place these into a condiment bowl or saucer and save them for later. I always find that once I’ve almost finished my tea, it just needs a top-up. So, all you do is place the saved tea bag and leaves back into the cup and top up with some freshly boiled water.
- If desired, add maple syrup or raw honey for sweetness. Stir until dissolved.
- Sip the chamomile tea with lavender slowly to experience its calming effect.
Cherry, Banana and Almond Milkshake
I’m calling this a milkshake because it’s closer to an after-dinner dessert. At that time of day, everyone prefers a sweet, comforting late-night drink rather than an icy smoothie.
Health benefits of Cherries:
- Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles.
- Melatonin is produced in our bodies naturally, so supplementing with tart cherry juice can give you an extra boost of the sleep-inducing hormone – it’s helpful when you experience a bout of insomnia
- Tart cherries also have anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s good for heart health
- It also boosts immunity because it’s rich in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin A and C
Health benefits of Almonds:
- Calms the nervous system: Almonds contain magnesium, which helps to relax the muscles and calm the nervous system. These nuts contain a moderate amount of amines and salicylates, so if you are allergic to these natural allergens, leave them out. Replace with cashews instead.
Did you know bananas reduce anxiety?
Health benefits of Bananas
- Anti-inflammatory: Banana Peel is known to prevent inflammation because of the antioxidants in its Vitamin C content. Antioxidants prevent the damage of cells from free radicals.
- The peel and pulp contain some amines, so if you’re allergic, you may want to exclude them. Allergic reactions vary from person to person, so rather test to look for a reaction or omit it and then reintroduce it back into your diet (after 2 weeks).
- Rich in Magnesium: Bananas contain a high amount of Magnesium. This mineral has anti-inflammatory effects and is regarded as an effective treatment for anxiety.
Tip It is recommended to take no more than 350mg of magnesium per day2 as it can have negative side- effects.
Combining these three foods in a nutritional milkshake can aid in achieving deep, restful sleep.
Cherry, Banana and Almond recipe:
- 1 cup of tart cherry juice
- 1/2 cup of almond milk – or substitute with cashew milk
- 1/2 ripe large banana
- 1/2 tsp of maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon (contains salicylates – omit if you’re to this natural allergen)
Tip Cashews are a low-fat nut that is also lowest in natural amines and salicylates. Cashews are a versatile nut to stock up on in your nutritional pantry essentials. Use it to make cashew cream cheese or solid cheese, cashew milk, and cashew butter.
- In a blender, combine the tart cherry juice, almond milk, banana, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- You can add ice cubes for a cool smoothie, but you may want to leave this for a breakfast smoothie rather.
- Pour the cherry and almond shake into a glass and sip gradually before bedtime.
Remember, slow down in order to wind down.
These three deep-sleep drinks are a good start to forming the habit of reducing unnecessary anxiety and stress. It’s important, even if you are not prone to depressive symptoms to be able to wind down from your daily activity.
And it’s beneficial to your brain health and gut health to do so in a slow, calming, and conscious manner. There’s no better way than to do this with a hot cup of chamomile and lavender tea if that’s your preference.
Try to have these drinks at least one hour before you are actually in bed and ready to fall asleep. That way you can take your time and sip slowly to bring your mind and body to a state of relaxation.
If you liked this blog post, you’ll love this article on Adaptogens. Here you can read about more potent foods and spices that bring your body back into alignment.
Feel free to leave a comment, I value all feedback.
*cravenutritionalcooking.com does not give medical advice. Where there is a reference to it, the phrasing is used to illustrate a point or give context to food and cooking for nutrition. It is not related to a specific condition or any specific individual. Always consult your healthcare professional for medical and dietetic advice before embarking on any type of eating plan or ingesting nutritional supplements.
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