7 Drink Recipes to help with Anxiety

Healthone Medical And Wellness Centre | May 4, 2020

Anxiety disorder has become one of the most common psychiatric disorders affecting nearly 3 million Canadians each year.

Over the past few months, HealthOne Wellness has received requests for drinks that lower anxiety.   In response, our wellness team put together this list of refreshing, DIY drinks for lowering anxiety during times of stress.

HOLY BASIL (Tulsi) – Ocimum sanctum

This beautiful herb has been used for centuries to treat stress and anxiety and has many special and unique properties.  Holy Basil, has beneficial properties that can be antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and adaptogenic.

Because of these unique properties, Ocimum sanctum is known as “Mother Medicine of Nature”, “The Queen of Herbs,” and is revered as an “elixir of life”.

All with all basil plants of the Ocimum genus, holy basil has edible leaves (dried or fresh) and flowers.

Modern studies reinforce its therapeutic effect on neurocognition, and its traditional use of effective treatment for lifestyle-related psychological stress (Jamshidi & Cohen, 2017).

Holy Basil Lemonade

This is an amazingly refreshing drink for summer and can be stored in the freezer for more than a week.

  • Preparation time: 5 Minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 Minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients: fresh basil leaves, half cup sugar, lemon juice, soda, ice cubes

Instructions:  Make a sugar syrup by cooking the sugar and water over medium heat in a saucepan and reduce to a syrup.  Withdraw from the heat and add some fresh and clean basil leaves in syrup.  Allow it to cool down to room temperature.

Pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of basil syrup in a glass.  Mix in lemon juice, ice cubes, and salt (optional) and stir.  Fill the rest of the glass with soda and garnish with a few fresh basil leaves.  Serve chilled.

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LAVENDER – Lavandula angustifolia

Lavender has been used for centuries for its anxiolytic and calming properties.  Recently, clinical trials have substantiated lavender consumption as a safe and effective treatment of anxiety, depression, restlessness, agitation, and disturbed sleep (Sayed et al, 2020; Kasper et al, 2014, 2018).

It contains more than 160 different chemical compounds, the active anxiolytic compounds are linalool and linalyl acetate is present in its oil.  If you are going to ingest it, be sure to use food-grade lavender oils or petals to avoid pesticides.

As a Refreshing Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade serves as a refreshing recipe during summer.  The flavour of lavender along with lemonade makes it a delicious drink.

  • Preparation time: 10 Minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 Minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients: lavender flowers (dried or fresh), sugar, salt (optional), ice cubes, lemon juice and water

To make the lavender syrup:  Add lavender petals (a small handful) or edible lavender oil (a few drops) to the sugar syrup which is made by mixing sugar in boiling water.  You can make syrup with grapefruit or pineapple juice as well.  Blend, chill & serve.

As a Cozy Herbal Tea

Lavender is one of the most loved fragrances in the world. Lavender flowers give a subtle and aromatic flavour to the tea that boosts overall health, improves sleep, reduces inflammation, and aids in digestion.

Lavender tea is naturally caffeine-free and can be made by steeping half a teaspoon of dried lavender flower buds in water for 5 to 7 minutes.

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TURMERIC – Curcuma longa

Turmeric is a spice, made from the root or rhizome of the plant, that is used commonly in Asian food.  Many people know its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but recent research shows that turmeric can prevent anxiety-like symptoms.

This research has demonstrated that turmeric can help the body battle against fatigue during exposure to chronic social stress, which is a well-known risk factor for the development of mood and anxiety disorders.  (Aubry et al, 2019; Kawasaki, Muroyama, & Murosaki, 2018).

Turmeric protects the brain and increases the production of serotonin – the neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy.  It helps us to develop a better mental outlook and a healthier physiological response to stress.

The active ingredients in turmeric are called curcuminoids (collectively known as curcumin) which are, unfortunately, very hard to absorb.  The good news is that black pepper contains an ingredient (piperine) that increases curcumin absorption by 200% (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017).

Turmeric Health Shot

Health Shot: Blend coconut water with turmeric, black pepper and a squeeze of orange and/or lemon.

Juice:  Add to juices made with citrus (lemon, orange), and sweet potato or carrot for overall health improvement.

Smoothies:  Add powdered turmeric to smoothies made with banana, pineapple and coconut milk.

Tea: Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of grated turmeric to 4 cups of boiling water.  Allow the mixture to heat on sim for 10 minutes.  Strain the tea and allow it to cool.

  • Add honey to sweeten and add more of antimicrobial properties.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or coconut milk (types of healthy fats) to enhance the absorption of the turmeric
  • Add black pepper to further enhance its absorption and add a spicy tangy flavour to the tea.

 

MATCHA

For tea drinkers who like green tea but want to keep a handle on anxiety, matcha is a great option.  It contains an amino acid called L-theanine which slows a racing mind by lowering the level of excitaory neruotrasmitters (brain chemicals) linked to stress and anxiety.

In electroencephalograms (EEG), L-theanine converts bouncy beta-brain waves to the calmer alpha-waves and attenuates the caffeine jitters.  The result is attentive wakefulness, focus and relaxation without drowsiness.  This makes it a good option for being mentally productive during the demanding parts of your day.

Iced Matcha

  • Preparation time: 5 Minutes
  • Servings: 2

Add cold water in a jar, then add matcha powder and honey.  Cover and shake until the chunks are dissolved.  Complement it with fresh mint.  Simple, beautiful and a delicious drink for summers.

Iced Matcha Latte

  • Preparation time: 10 Minutes
  • Servings: 2

In a jar, add matcha powder with some honey and grind into a smooth paste.  Add your favourite milk (vanilla almond, dairy, coconut, oat), cover, shake and drink!   Don’t forget the ice – to make it extra cold and refreshing.

VITAMIN C

Vitamin C is a superstar vitamin that is easy to find in countless plant-source foods.  We know Vitamin C has tremendous antioxidant benefits, and now research is shows that regular intake of vitamin C plays an important therapeutic role for anxiety and that it may complement medical and psychological treatments for mental stress (de Oliveira et al., 2015) while also lowering blood pressure (McCabe et al., 2017).

The good news is, it’s easy to make our food taste good with vitamin C.  Whatever juice or vegetable you have, consider adding the following:

Juicing or Blending with Fruit

Grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, berries, black currants, guava, kiwi as all have an abundance of vitamin C.

Juicing or Blending with Vegetables

Bell peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, parsley, kale, broccoli and you get your daily requirement of vitamin C.

The HealthOne team hopes you enjoy these stress-reducing juice recipes!

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