A Recipe For Your Mind and Body

Did you know that your mind and body work closely together? Taking care of your digestive health can play a valuable role in the management of anxiety symptoms. One way to take care is by eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show there may be a link between gastrointestinal microbes and gene regulators in the brain. Additionally, bacteria in the gut influence the amygdala, the brain’s center for emotional processing.

The link between gut and brain explains how nerve-wracking situations, such as giving a presentation, may cause abdominal discomfort. Mindfulness allows you to bring awareness to the present moment and accept the physical sensations being experienced. This can improve stomach discomfort or other physical symptoms of anxiety. As mentioned, eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties can also be quite helpful in managing your mental health. Eating salmon is beneficial for your gut health and for anxiety as well. Salmon is an oily fish and is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which often have comforting and soothing effects. See below for a quick and easy recipe.

Baked Salmon Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1.25 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on salmon fillet, preferably center-cut
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Mix the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Mix the panko with the parsley, butter, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper in another small bowl.
  5. Place the salmon skin-side down on the prepared baking sheet and spread the surface with the Dijon.
  6. Place the brown sugar mixture all over the salmon, then top with the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Crimp all four sides of the foil to create a border around the salmon. This will help collect the juices so they do not spread and burn.
  8. Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, and the salmon is firm and flakes easily when pressed (15 to 18 minutes).
  9. Cut into four equal portions for serving.

If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about topics, such as the one featured in this blog, and are in the Chicago area, please contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.

Written by Liz, Mental Health Counseling Master’s Level Intern


Food Network. (2021). The best baked salmon. Food Network. https://foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/the-best-baked-salmon

Harley, J. (2020, March 17). The Mind-Gut connection: How the gut and brain work together. Mindset. https://www.mindsethealth.com/matter/mind-gut-brain-connection 

Laurence, E. (2020, January 24). There’s even more evidence that anxiety and gut health are related. Well + Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/gut-health-anxiety/

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