Naturally Help Relieve Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues faced by Americans.
The disorders associated with it affect 40 million American adults, nearly 14 percent of the total population, and even those of us who haven’t been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder may face feelings of nervousness from time to time.
But while the accepted medical course of treatment relies on medication and therapy, the foods and beverages we consume could actually play a role in our anxiety as well.
The brain requires certain nutrients to operate, and without them, we can become flustered and anxious. Meanwhile, overloads of chemicals in the wrong foods and beverages can trigger anxiety themselves.
Whether you’re being treated for a serious panic disorder or you occasionally suffer from anxiety, you stand to benefit from changing your diet.
Here are six foods that have proven positive effects on anxiety.
Neurotransmitters, the chemicals that produce our moods, are produced in different levels depending on our body’s functioning. If you have a healthy amount of digestive bacteria, your body will produce more serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters linked with happiness and sedation.
Yogurt is one probiotic that can help improve the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut, and thus your production of these positive neurotransmitters.
Magnesium is one nutrient that you might be deficient in if you suffer from anxiety. Magnesium-deficient diets have been shown to increase anxious behaviors in rodent studies, and it’s also been researched as a treatment for humans with mental health issues. This is likely because it’s important for the production of serotonin. One solution? Eat more eggs! They’re high in this essential nutrient and are a healthy source of protein as well.
Like yogurt, pickles are a fermented food that’s a probiotic, and thus aids in the production of neurotransmitters by your gut bacteria. In addition to serotonin and dopamine, gut bacteria is needed to produce gamma-Aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA, which is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter.
GABA is responsible for reducing neuronal excitability in the nervous system, meaning if you don’t have enough of it, you’ll be physically and emotionally shaky—another reason to load up on pickles and other probiotic foods.
If you’ve ever dozed off after a big turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, you’re likely already familiar with the effects of tryptophan. That contented, sleepy feeling comes from this amino acid, which is essential for serotonin production, helping you to sleep (important for anxious people) as well as keeping you calm when you’re awake.
Turkey is a great source of tryptophan and can make a great choice for a protein for dinner (since you don’t want to end up overdoing it and getting sleepy during the day).
Some of the foods that can trigger anxiety attacks by rapidly elevating your blood sugar (leaving you crashing once the initial rush wears off) are high-glycemic carbohydrates, often found in sweet snacks. .
Try replacing your sugary cereal or candy with almonds. Not only do they have a glycemic index of 0 (meaning they won’t cause blood sugar spikes), they’re high in B vitamins, which have been proven to decrease anxiety.
Some fats are essential for healthy brain function. One type that’s particularly important: Omega-3 fatty acids, which are unfortunately rare in our modern diet. A lack of Omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to be linked with feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
You can boost your intake of these anxiety-fighting fats by eating wild salmon. Other foods high in this super-fat include walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
You May Also Like: