Mental Health: Foods That Might Help Cure & Foods That Worsen Anxiety
Continue reading for a list foods to eat and steer clear of if you frequently suffer from anxiety.
Anxiety can cause mental and physical strain on the body but can be partially managed by diet
Anxiety affects about 7.3% of the world's population, making it among the most common mental health illnesses. It is an umbrella term used to represent a number of disorders, including social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and phobias, and is typically characterised by persistent feelings of tension, worry, and uneasiness that can interfere with day-to-day activities.
Medication is frequently needed as the primary form of treatment in many situations. There are, however, a number of methods you can employ to lessen the symptoms of anxiety, from exercise to breathing exercises.
In addition to treatment, you can eat a variety of foods that, mostly because of their brain-boosting qualities, may enhance brain function and lessen the severity of your symptoms. However, some foods can worsen anxiety. Read on as we share a list of foods you should eat and foods you should avoid if you experience anxiety often.
Foods that help reduce anxiety:
Eggs are abundant in a variety of nutrients. Tryptophan, another amino acid found in eggs, aids in the production of serotonin. Serotonin aids in the regulation of behaviour, memory, sleep, and mood. Serotonin is supposed to enhance mental performance and reduce anxiety. Foods and medications containing serotonin do not directly give serotonin to the brain since it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, but they can cause chemical reactions that increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Legumes are nutritious sources of fibre and protein. According to research, eating a diet rich in fibre may lower the chance of developing depression and anxiety symptoms. Moreover, fibre promotes slower digestion and greater daytime blood sugar stability. Blood sugar swings can cause erratic energy levels and the sense that you are "crashing" throughout the day.
3. Fatty fish
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, trout, and herring. Omega-3s, which comprise the health-promoting substances eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid, are best found in fatty fish (DHA). In order to support brain function, omega-3 fatty acids work with neurotransmitters to minimise inflammation. According to one study, eating salmon three times per week improved with anxiety symptoms and emotional regulation.
Foods that can worsen anxiety:
Strangely, the beverage that is frequently used to ease social anxiety is in fact making it worse. Alcohol can have a bad effect on hydration and sleep, two things that, when neglected, can provoke anxiety symptoms, despite the fact that it could appear like it calms your worries. Serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain are altered by alcohol, which exacerbates anxiety. Also, you can feel even more worried after the alcohol wears off.
In terms of reducing anxiety, our favourite morning practise might be counterproductive. Excessive caffeine intake not only makes people more tense and anxious, but it also inhibits the body's ability to produce serotonin, which lifts moods out of depression. Caffeine is typically harmless in small doses. However, large doses might have undesirable side effects, such as anxiety and jitters.
Sugar consumption has been connected to sadness, mood swings, and anxiety symptoms. Many people continue to crave sugary foods and beverages because ingesting sugar gives them an immediate energy boost. After the energy boost has peaked, however, blood sugar levels drop fast, which causes tiredness, depression, and further cravings. Blood sugar levels that are constantly rising and falling can cause the release of adrenalin and cortisol into the bloodstream, which can lead to anxiety and occasionally even panic attacks.
Make sure to be mindful of what you eat. Similar to your physical health, your mental health is also greatly influenced by your eating habits and diet.
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