REAN Foundation Blog

Dealing With Anxiety – Can Your Diet Make The Difference?

A woman holding hands in her face due to anxiety under multiple colour background.
Globally, general anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental health problems. If you are feeling anxious today, you are not alone. Anxiety can be due to many things, from stressors at work to the foods we eat. Physical and emotional symptoms can manifest in the body in different ways. Symptoms vary, and some people only undergo them now and then, whereas others can experience the symptoms for a longer period. Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness that affects people of all ages. It can range from mild feelings in response to a particular situation or any individual to intense fears that prevent us from leaving our homes. Depression and anxiety are often interconnected, with approximately half of those with depression also experiencing anxiety. From prescribed antidepressants to daily walking, there are many ways to manage these symptoms. It is, however, important to look into a proper diet as one of the most effective paths. It is noteworthy how much the foods we eat can impact our brain chemistry and emotions. Generally, most of us do not realize the effects of diet on moods, thoughts, and feelings until they are altered. The food you eat can indeed help you face your day’s challenges and opportunities with less anxiety, less stress, and more confidence. Keeping your mood stable requires you to incorporate healthy eating habits into your routine. You can follow these steps to achieve healthy eating habits:
  1. Keep off processed snacks
  2. Make a meal plan in advance
  3. Consume adequate water
  4. Get some good bacteria for your gut health
  5. Keep away from inflammatory foods
  6. Find natural alternatives to sweets if you have a sweet tooth

Foods That Help Manage Anxiety

A healthy diet can play a huge role in helping you feel less anxious every day and prevent panic attacks. Get started toward a healthier lifestyle with simple steps that suit your unique health needs. Include enough functional foods that don’t just taste good but also provide you with essential nutrients.

  • B vitamin-containing foods, such as avocados and almonds, reduce anxiety.
  • Zinc-rich foods such as cashews, oysters, egg yolk, beef, and liver are known to lower anxiety levels.
  • Magnesium-rich food sources such as legumes, nuts & seeds, spinach, and whole grains help a person feel calm. Did you know? Dark chocolate, also rich in magnesium, works wonders in reducing symptoms of depression and curbing nervousness caused by inflammation.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have always been used in the diet to reduce depression. A study conducted in 2011 on medical students was the very first to prove that Omega-3s indeed reduce anxiety.
  • Brazil nuts are tasty and savory snacks that are high in selenium. Selenium is often cited as a mood stabilizer because it reduces inflammation, often aggravated in people dealing with mood disorders, such as anxiety.
  • Consuming foods rich in probiotics such as pickles, kefir, and sauerkraut were associated with less anxiety, further confirmed by this psychiatry research. Yogurt and other dairy products may also produce an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Including fermented foods helps maintain the gut bacteria and helps decrease stress and anxiety.
  • The possibility of psychological benefits associated with Theanine, which is found in green tea, is gaining growing scrutiny because of its potential for treating mood disorders. Theanine has anti-anxiety and calming effects and may increase the production of serotonin and dopamine.
  • An effective herbal remedy, Chamomile, has been proven to alleviate sore throat or upset stomach. But its anti-inflammatory effects also work great to reduce feelings of anxiety.

Mental Wellness And Gut Health - The Connection

Food is an essential contributor to proper body functioning. The brain is nourished and protected from excessive oxidative stress through a healthy diet full of vitamins, antioxidants, and other micronutrients. This method specifically holds when an individual experiences gastrointestinal issues with no obvious cause.

The brain and the gastrointestinal tract are interconnected. This implies that the food we eat matters for our overall mental wellbeing. The gut brain axis is improved when a person eats a healthy anti-anxiety diet that fosters good bacteria in the gut.

It is not surprising that you may feel nauseous before a presentation or experience intestinal difficulties during stressful times. This is due to the constant communication between your brain and the gut, which helps release neurotransmitters that influence and regulate your mood. The bottom line – eating healthy can keep you more clear-headed and energetic.

Calming Your Nerves - Some Simple Hacks

What can we do to overcome the feelings of worry, stress, and anxiety? How to avoid health problems due to anxiety. Are there any ways to keep the anxiety at bay? Most anxieties can be alleviated with some simple practices to calm yourself.

Self-care: Managing anxiety begins when you care for yourself. Live healthily, eat healthy foods, get sufficient sleep, and do regular exercise for your overall mental health and well-being.

Abdominal breathing: Take deeper, slower breaths to enable oxygen saturation and tell your body and brain that everything is okay and not in danger. When your brain receives these signals, it stops releasing those stress hormones and slows down your heart rate, thereby reducing your anxiety levels.

Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness is all about turning our focus to our daily routine and the activities we normally rush through. It’s all about keeping the volume down, of the voices in your mind, and focus on your body. The advent of mobile health technology has resulted in numerous apps that enable guided mindfulness sessions without burning your pockets from the comfort of your home.

Live the moment: Anxiety is often characterized as being future-oriented. Whenever you feel anxious, observe what is going on in your mind and shift your focus to reduce your anxiety. Bring balance to your thoughts and activities. Enjoy the peace and calm and live the moment.

The Takeaway
Good nutrition has enormous positive effects on an individual’s mental wellbeing. It is a topic that still needs a substantial amount of research about the relationship between food, mood, and anxiety. However, it is certainly worthwhile to experiment with healthy eating. By following anti-anxiety diets and, in general, keeping your diet wholesome, you can correct the nutritional deficiencies behind your anxiety.

Enjoy an improved overall mood, better sleep, fewer cravings, and optimal health by freeing yourself from anxiety, the natural way! Keep your daily dose of nutrition in balance. Download the REAN Health Guru App today, or visit us at https://www.reanfoundation.org/ to know more on our unique healthcare platforms.

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