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Friday, 06 December 2013 16:25

5 Foods that can help you to Deal with Anxiety

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Anxiety and Food Anxiety and Food

The Prevalence of Anxiety

Anyone who has experienced anxiety, and according to statistics that’s almost 1 in 10 of us at any one time in the UK, knows that it is much more than a state of mind. Characterised by tension, worry, restlessness, irritability, insomnia and an array of other symptoms, it can severely impact on everyday life. Whilst there are a multitude of drugs targeted to treat and manage this condition, for those who want to take a more natural approach, can anything be done through food and nutrition?

Supporting Anxiety through Diet

When stressed and feeling anxious, the temptation is to go straight for the quick fix- the caffeine, the sugar, the slice of cake that’s going to give you a big hug from within! However, the “high” these types of food bring are short-lived, and the energy crash that inevitably follows can leave you feeling jittery and even more anxious than before. A kinder approach to your body is to eat foods that settle, not stimulate your anxiety. By making choices that nourish your adrenals (the glands that regulate your bodies’ response to stress), support your nervous system, and keep your blood sugar levels balanced, your body will be best equipped to deal with everything that life throws at it. So eat your way to calm, with the following nutrient-rich, anxiety-busting foods that expert recommend:

Top 5 Anxiety Foods

 

1) Salmon and other oily fish are bursting with omega-3 fatty acids. An increased intake of omega-3s has been associated with reduced risk of anxiety in many studies, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-zone/201201/anxiety-and-omega-3-fatty-acids. Omega-3s aid in blood sugar regulation and help to prevent the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from spiking during periods of stress. They also form the building blocks for a happy brain, and a deficiency has been linked to both low mood and depression. For vegetarians and vegans, chia seeds and flaxseeds are the best plant-source of omega-3s.

 

2) Spinach is rich in folate, an important B vitamin that is converted to folic acid in the body. Depression and anxiety have both been linked to folic acid deficiency. Spinach also boasts high levels of magnesium and vitamin C which are both highly important for our adrenal glands and our body’s ability to cope with stress

 

3) Turkey- great news for the festive season, turkey is a fantastic source of the amino acid tryptophan which produces chemicals in the brain that boost mood and encourage relaxation. It helps to provide a sense of calmness, and may also aid sleep. Seafood, nuts, beans and pulses are also all great sources.

 

4) Oats are one of the best foods for boosting levels of the “happy hormone” serotonin in our brain, low levels of which are linked to anxiety. Oats are also packed with B vitamins, which are essential for the creation of important neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system that affect mood.

 

5) Almonds make the perfect on-the-go snack during times of stress. High in both protein and fibre they help keep the blood sugar levels balanced, and cortisol levels in check. They are also rich in magnesium, otherwise known as “nature’s tranquilliser” which has a calming effect on the nervous system and promotes feelings of wellbeing.

 

To boost your intake of these important nutrients further, you may also consider a dietary supplement. In times of intense stress, our adrenals are under a lot of pressure and are likely to benefit from additional B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. And as a last tip, eat little and often. This will keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and provide you with the vigour to deal with bouts of anxiety in the best way you can.

Last modified on Friday, 06 December 2013 16:58

8 comments

  • Comment Link Want2bFree Tuesday, 27 January 2015 02:27 posted by Want2bFree

    I would love to see this site come up with a straight forward list of foods that help with all the different symptoms. I realize what works for one may not work for another, but a starting point is always good. Exercise always seems to help me, but of course trying to schedule it in gets messed up with work and family and here it comes again... anxiety. LOL a vicious circle. All of the posts here have been great, will try out some, others I have. Still trying.

  • Comment Link oland Friday, 26 December 2014 05:39 posted by oland

    I am into the first week of a Ketosis MCT (medium chain triglyceride,aka coconut oil) diet. I seems that my anxiety level is down considerably. I can't be certain if it is the fats or the lack of sugar that is helping me but my suspicion it is the calm satiated feeling that comes after eating fats.

  • Comment Link oland Friday, 26 December 2014 05:39 posted by oland

    I am into the first week of a Ketosis MCT (medium chain triglyceride,aka coconut oil) diet. I seems that my anxiety level is down considerably. I can't be certain if it is the fats or the lack of sugar that is helping me but my suspicion it is the calm satiated feeling that comes after eating fats.

  • Comment Link TheMexican Thursday, 28 August 2014 05:59 posted by TheMexican

    Is it only me?
    why is it that I get high anxiety In the afternoon to late afternoon. You mention here that we should eat little and often. Does this mean that when our sugar levels drop we can experience anxiety or panic attacks.Is there a correlation. I try telling that to my Doctor and tested me for diabetes. No diabetes here. But I feel, shaky and scared,nerves worried, tired and then depressed.
    Can someone relate?

  • Comment Link TheMexican Thursday, 28 August 2014 05:59 posted by TheMexican

    Is it only me?
    why is it that I get high anxiety In the afternoon to late afternoon. You mention here that we should eat little and often. Does this mean that when our sugar levels drop we can experience anxiety or panic attacks.Is there a correlation. I try telling that to my Doctor and tested me for diabetes. No diabetes here. But I feel, shaky and scared,nerves worried, tired and then depressed.
    Can someone relate?

  • Comment Link mandobueno90 Sunday, 19 January 2014 06:19 posted by mandobueno90

    hey, im brand new to this site and have researched a lot into natural remedies to anxiety and depression which I have been dealing with the past 6 months. Most leafy greens help a lot, also dark chocolate. I myself have been taking st. johns wort, 5-htp, vitamin B5, ginseng and other supplements in my fight against this illness. Walking or running helps a lot. I recommend at least a 10-15 minute walk every morning. If theres anymore holistic remedies or cures I would love to hear them. I am trying to avoid pharmaceuticals.

  • Comment Link Julie Turek Saturday, 04 January 2014 07:41 posted by Julie Turek

    I don't know about the UK, but in the USA, they poison the shit out of animals. They add growth hormones, etc. I would NEVER eat animals due to the cruelty factor, but I also wouldn't due to the chemicals, gmos that they are force-fed, etc. Not good for you here.

  • Comment Link Hope Springs Eternal Saturday, 14 December 2013 01:34 posted by Hope Springs Eternal

    I find this post very interesting. When I am at my most anxious I do eat tend to eat sugary snacks rather than a proper meal. It has certainly given me something to think about.

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