MyMT™ Blog

The MyMT™ Kitchen: Discover the power of Parsley to reduce menopause anxiety.

Many of us know that depression and anxiety are major mental health problems in all parts of the world, including for women in their menopause transition. These illnesses are associated with a number of risk factors, including oxidative stress and inflammation.

Mental health challenges are so ubiquitous that even the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by 2030, depression, as a potentially fatal disease, will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide. (Friedrich, 2017).

For midlife women, it’s not only depression that may be challenging, but also anxiety.

Most of us know the feelings of anxiety don’t we? The elevated heart rate, holding our breath or breathing more rapidly, and the feeling that there is so much more to do in our day that we hurry from one task to another.

Understanding menopause-related anxiety is important for all women transitioning menopause. For many, it may necessitate medical intervention. It also necessitates changes to lifestyle. 

Defined as a state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear arising from the anticipation of a realistic or imagined, threatening event, often impairing physical and psychological functioning, women with anxiety may appear highly stressed. This anxiety may also trigger more than five (5) hot flushes/ flashes an hour – an elevated risk that is also aligned with changing cardiovascular health in midlife. 

The link between chronic inflammation and disorders and diseases of the neurological system, including anxiety, is gaining momentum in mental health research. (Norwitz & Naidoo, 2021]. So too, is exploring specific nutrients in certain foods, that help to allay anxiety and improve mental health.

This is why, taming anxiety takes more than pills. It also takes sorting out nutrition as well as gut health, so the body can absorb nutrients that are known to alleviate anxiety. These nutrients (like medications) are known as having ‘anxiolytic’ compounds. 

Parsley is one of these foods because it contains a beneficial flavonoid called, apigenin. 

Apigenin is a bioflavonoid that appears to reduce anxiety, affect immune health, modulate hormones, reduce inflammation and improve neuro-transmitter function. It is found in chamomile tea and a variety of vegetables and herbs, including parsley. 

Nutrition regulates anxiety disorders by influencing the gut microbiome and inflammation. The gut microbiome and inflammation are inter-related and therefore, work in a two-way relationship with the brain. This is why, for women who experience increased anxiety as oestrogen production declines, dietary changes may allow the body to adjust to this important phase of life. 

One of the ways you can achieve this, is understanding the nutrients that are evidenced to improve mental health. My Parsley, Carrot, Raisin and Walnut Salad is easy to make and not only is it high in fibre, but it is tossed through with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh lemon juice – both of which, are also known to improve serotonin production in the brain, which reduces depression, anxiety and improves sleep. 

Parsley and Carrot Salad by MyMT™

[If you use 2-3 large carrots, this fills a medium salad bowl)

  • 2-3 large carrots grated 
  • 2 large bunches of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (preferably spray-free)
  • juice of one small-medium lemon
  • 2-4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (depending on size of salad)

Place the grated carrots, chopped parsley, raisins and walnuts into a salad bowl. Mix the lemon juice and Olive Oil together. Toss through the salad and serve with your protein and starch vegies of choice. I generally have this salad with small pieces of baked salmon and some roasted sweet potato with garlic. 


Breit S, Kupferberg A, Rogler G, Hasler G. Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders. Front Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 13;9:44. 

Brown, Lydia & Hunter, Myra & Chen, Rong & Crandall, Carolyn & Gordon, Jennifer & Mishra, Gita & Rother, Viktoria & Joffe, Hadine & Hickey, Martha. (2024). Promoting good mental health over the menopause transition. The Lancet. 403. 10.1016/S0140-6736(23)02801-5.

Es-Safi I, Mechchate H, Amaghnouje A, Kamaly OMA, Jawhari FZ, Imtara H, Grafov A, Bousta D. The Potential of Parsley Polyphenols and Their Antioxidant Capacity to Help in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety: An In Vivo Subacute Study. Molecules. 2021 Apr 1;26(7):2009. doi: 10.3390/molecules26072009.

Friedrich MJ. Depression Is the Leading Cause of Disability Around the World. JAMA. 2017 Apr 18;317(15):1517. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.3826.

Hantsoo, L. & Epperson, N. Anxiety Disorders Among Women: A Female
Lifespan Approach. Focus Psychiatry Online, Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 2017.

Ly TTG, Yun J, Lee DH, Chung JS, Kwon SM. Protective Effects and Benefits of Olive Oil and Its Extracts on Women’s Health. Nutrients. 2021 Nov 27;13(12):4279. doi: 10.3390/nu13124279. 

Norwitz NG, Naidoo U. Nutrition as Metabolic Treatment for Anxiety. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 12;12:598119. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.

Wilcox HH. Changes in nervous system with age. Public Health Rep (1896). 1956 Dec;71(12):1179-84. 

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