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Can You Curb Anger, Release Fear & Reduce Anxiety With Food?

Joël Robuchon
October 26, 2014
Joël Robuchon
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Image by Cameron Whitman / Stocksy
October 26, 2014

French chef Joël Robuchon, who continues to hold the most Michelin stars of any chef in the world, is best known for his fine dining restaurants that serve his takes on decadent classics (and lots of foie gras). Previous cookbooks, like The Complete Robuchon, contained abashedly French recipes (with no regard to the amount of butter used), from the more involved like pot-au-feu to the most simple, like perfect scrambled eggs.

This is not the first person we'd imagine publishing a health-related food book.

But, together with Dr. Nadia Volf, a neuropharmacologist and an acupuncturist, Robuchon has released Food & Life, a celebration of whole foods and their nutritional virtues for both mental and physical wellbeing. Robuchon creates the recipes in the book, which are intended for all seasons and stages in life, while Dr. Volf explains the health benefits.

Ever wonder which foods are best for reducing anger? Freeing inhibitions? Fighting anxiety and sadness? Food & Life prescribes the following...

Food That Help Reduce Anger

Mollusks, oysters, clams, scallops, mussels; grains (sweet rice); vegetables (fennel, celery — also useful for high blood pressure — purple cabbage); black berries, black soy beans; mung beans; pecans, hazelnuts and coconuts; certain fish (carp, freshwater eels, sardines, herring, anchovies); egg whites (they may be added to soup); black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds.

Foods To Fight Anxiety And Sadness

Radish, turnips, lotus root, carrots, certain fruits (orange, pear—especially Asian pear— quince, persimmon, almonds, pine nuts), small white beans, millet, trout and carp, sea bass.

Foods To Fight Fear

Certain vegetables (zucchini, endive), mushrooms, seaweed, certain fruits (chestnuts, melon, watermelon, tropical fruits), legumes (black beans, black-eyes peas), shellfish, mussels, certain fish (catfish, shark, grouper), sesame seeds.

Foods For Fighting The Cold Or Overcoming Pain

(For instance, menstrual cramps): strong-flavored vegetables (garlic, onions, green onions), aromatic herbs, (parsley, chives), certain fruits (plums, cherries).

And a recipe…

Mushroom Broth With Scallops And Ginger

A Note On The Health Benefits Of Broth: Broth is an extract, a way of accessing the essence of meat, fish, seafood, or mushrooms. To absorb it well requires no digestive effort: The nutrients and minerals it contains in great quantities enter the blood directly through the walls of the stomach and small intestine. For this reason, broths were traditionally used as first foods for babies, and also for convalescents and patients with digestive difficulties.

Excerpted from Food & Life by Joël Robuchon and Dr. Nadia Volf. Courtesy of Assouline.

Joël Robuchon author page.
Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon was a French chef and restaurateur. He had more than a dozen restaurants in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York City, and at the time of his death in 2018, he had the highest number of Michelin stars of any chef in the world with 31.