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Your Diet and Anxiety: How They’re Linked

by Tatiana Alcazar

January 19, 2021

diet and anxiety
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Did you know that your diet and anxiety are linked?

In the US, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness. For instance, Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects 3.1% of the US population

Social Anxiety Disorder affects 6.8% of the population or 15 million adults.  

Anxiety disorders are treatable. In fact, 36.9% of those suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment. Particularly, anti-anxiety foods can help you beat the disorders and live a healthy life. 

So, want to know what foods to eat and what to avoid to overcome anxiety?  

Read on and learn how diet and anxiety are linked and what you can do.  

Diet And Anxiety Connection.

Anxiety is a symptom of stress. The food you eat is like a fuel in your brain. Our brain works 24/7, even when we are asleep. That means it requires a constant fuel for proper function.

The fuel comes from the food you eat, directly affects the function of your brain as well as your mood.

For instance, if you consume a breakfast rich in protein, the protein will make you feel full for longer and your blood sugar level will remain steady. So, this means you will have more energy as you start your day.  

The key hormone that may help you to stabilize your mood, and feeling of well-being is called serotonin. This hormone affects your entire body. It allows your brain cells and nervous system to communicate which other.

Apparently those people who unusually feel irritable or down for no reason may have low serotonin. Poor diet can cause a decrease in serotonin. 

Changes In Your Diet Fight Anxiety.

 Let’s face it. Coping with anxiety is a challenge. In fact, what you ought to know is that changing your diet can therefore make some difference in your well-being and mood. 

While food for anxiety has positive effects, the changes may take a while. 

Little changes in your diet can make a world of difference. To begin with, here are some suggestions that may help you deal with anxiety. 

1. Take supplements with Vitamin D.

 Low vitamin D is linked  to people suffering from various mental health issues, such as anxiety.

2. Include Omega 3's.

Omega-3 fatty acids are really important. It is good for maintaining brain health, but also for our skin and hair. 

3. Consider Taking Ashwagandha.

 Ashwagandha is a healthy herb, and it's an adaptogen that contains compounds that help you manage your anxiety. 

Apart from reducing stress, it lowers your cortisol levels and symptoms of anxiety. 

4. Avoid Gluten.

 The health of our gut is directly linked to mental health. When you stop eating gluten food, your energy may spike. Why? Because going on a gluten-free diet, you'll be putting less of a strain in your gut, chances your energy will benefit. 

5. Choose Carbohydrates.

 Selecting whole-grain breads and whole grain cereals can improve serotonin instead of sugary snacks and beverages. 

6. Try Keto Diet.

Keto diet gain popularity for many people who want to lose weight. In fact, this high-fat and low-carb can treat neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson's disease. It can also help treat ADHD and anxiety. 

7. Stay Hydrated.

Dehydration can cause moodiness, headaches and increase anxiety. Don’t forget to hydrate all day–8 to 10 glasses of water. 

8. Protein For Breakfast.

 Eating protein for breakfast is essential, so that you can have energy and maintain blood glucose level.

Remember, do not skip meals. By doing so, it results in a drop in your blood sugar levels. Instead of easing your anxiety disorders, you will make it worse.

9. Limit Alcohol And Caffeine.

 Too much alcohol and caffeine can cause anxiety after eating. Both can affect your sleep and feel nervous. 

Are There Foods to Avoid?

 There are foods and drinks you need to avoid. Most of these foods can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to certain food proteins. 

If you ingest such foods, they can trigger a range of reactions. For instance: 

  • Hives 
  • Swelling 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Rashes 
  • Digestive pain  

Identifying and removing sensitivities and allergies is important for your health. 

To control your anxiety, there are foods to avoid

  • Peanuts 
  • Corn 
  • Alcohol 
  • Eggs (in some cases) 
  • Processed and fast foods 
  • Soy 
  • Gluten rich foods  

Want to uncover food sensitivities or allergies? 

 Try the elimination diet. As a short-term eating plan, it works by eliminating foods that cause allergies.

 These foods are later re-introduced one after another. The reason is to find which you can tolerate and which you cannot.

 There are few rules to remember with nutrition for anxiety. Always eat a healthy balanced diet, cut back on sugar and processed foods. Avoid caffeine and cigarettes too.  

We recommend eating foods rich in zinc such as oysters, broccoli, legumes, and nuts. 

Achieving Better Mental Health with Diet to Reduce Anxiety

The relationship between diet and anxiety is beneficial and, by changing your lifestyle, you get to achieve success. 

Begin paying attention to a diet that can be beneficial not just in a moment but the next day. Remember, be patient as the lifestyle changes may take time. 

And if your anxiety is severe, seek immediate help from a qualified medical professional.

Shopping for natural health supplements that are all-natural, non-GMO and, vegan-friendly? We at Naravis can help. Contact us today and find answers to your questions.

Sources:

  1. "Facts and Statistics." Anxiety and Depression Association of America, https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
  2. Naidoo,Uma. "Nutritional strategies to ease anxiety." Harvard Health Publishing, 29, Aug. 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-strategies-to-ease-anxiety-201604139441
  3. " Ashwaganda." WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-ashwagandha
  4. "Food Sensitivity Explained." EveryWell, https://www.everlywell.com/food-sensitivity-explained
  5. Legg, Timothy J. "Everything You Need to Know About Anxiety." healthline, 3 Sept. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety
  6. Lehman, Shereen MS. "One-Week Healthy and Balanced Meal Plan Example." verywellfit, 29 Jul. 2019, https://www.verywellfit.com/an-example-of-a-healthy-balanced-meal-plan-2506647

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About the author 

Tatiana Alcazar  -  A software engineer, former IBMer, co-founder of Naravis Corporation and a mom, with a passion for finding the solution and root cause to everything that comes across, including health. It has been a long journey since founding Naravis and trying to find solutions to my leaky gut syndrome and pursue natural health. Throughout this journey I have learned an enormous amount of information (acquired knowledge) and I feel it's my duty to share my knowledge and my experience with you.

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