Anxiety & Food
Foods that reduce anxiety is actually not a new concept. In the health industry and before modern medicine natural products including food have been used for many years to heal all kinds of ailments, but can it really help to reduce anxiety and improve our mental wellbeing?
Scientific evidence suggests that depression and anxiety can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Serotonin which is a chemical that helps send messages from one brain cell to another is how the cells in the brain communicate. If serotonin levels become imbalanced then communication can be disrupted which leads to depression and anxiety.
Pharmaceuticals have found the solution to this with antidepressants so your brain can perform at its best and there products help restore a fine chemical balance. Interesting marketing, no wonder food and natural remedies are overlooked to improve mental wellbeing.
I do not advocate for people who are prescribed antidepressants to stop taking them. I think antidepressants can be very useful in the right circumstances and for a period of time. However if like me you would like the opportunity to explore all your options you may wish your doctor had told you this before writing a prescription for medication. For some people a healthy diet will need to be part of a holistic plan that considers medication, talking therapies and other help.
Food is the most abused anxiety drug so if you have been suffering for years, struggling to face the day, experiencing chronic tiredness at different parts of the day, beating yourself up and feeling like a failure. Perhaps you are thinking could food really be the cure for my anxiety but I want to show you how changing your food can change your mood.
7 Foods to Reduce Your Anxiety
1) Substitute processed grains for wholegrains. Substitute white bread, white pasta and white rice for Wholegrain pasta, rice and bread. They are rich in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can lead to anxiety. Wholegrains also contain tryptophan which becomes serotonin a vital chemical for the brain. Avoiding complex carbohydrates like white processed foods will create a healthy energy while reducing your hunger.
2) Increase your super foods. Blueberries & acai berries both contain antioxidants that are extremely beneficial for relieving stress. They are also full of vitamin C which is great stress buster.
3) Omega 3. These fatty acids help keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when your feeling tense. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega 3 and spinach is also good too.
4) A handful of Almonds each day. Contain zinc which is good for maintaining a balanced mood and have iron and both healthy fats. Low iron levels can increase anxiety. They also contain vitamin B2 and E which boost the immune system.
5) Drink plenty of Water. Dehydration is known to cause more anxiety. However generally drinks plenty of water is good for you. Aim for at least 1.5 litres a day.
6) Avoid caffeine. Any stimulant will increase you anxiety. Substitute tea and coffee for herbal teas. Valerian and Chamomile are good for creating a calming effect.
7) Treat yourself to chocolate. I bet you thought you would never be encouraged to eat chocolate and yes there is a but. Dark Chocolate reduces cortisol the stress hormone that causes anxiety and it contains other compounds that improve your mood. Preferably dark chocolate with no added sugar or milk.
If you have been in a desperate place for long, then these simple steps could be a life changer, a message of hope. It is hard to believe that something as simple as food can be unbelievably successful in treating anxiety. This really does work to calm your anxious mind but it also will improve your mood and end cravings.