Vitality

Anxiety Problem? Here’s What You Should Be Eating According To An Expert

Over 40 million American adults are experiencing anxiety or anxiety-related disorders.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only 36.9 percent of those suffering from the disorder receive treatment despite being treatable.

Fortunately, certain food choices can alleviate the mood disorder according to Ali Miller, R.D., L.D., C.D.E., author of The Anti-Anxiety Diet and The Anti-Anxiety Diet Cookbook.

Here’s what she recommends to eat.

Magnesium

Magnesium's chief role is to suppress the body’s stress inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline by inhibiting the release of the adrenal stimulating hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) from the pituitary gland.

Magnesium is also capable in penetrating the blood-brain barrier, thus blocking the entry of stress hormones into the brain.

Low levels of magnesium is often linked with growing anxiety, therefore eat foods such as green leafy vegetables, cacao, avocado, nuts and seeds.

Choline and B vitamins

These water soluble vitamins are also associated to stress and mood disorders. Choline, for example, affects the production of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that controls stress response.

Research shows that low serum choline levels leads to high anxiety and panic.

B vitamins such as B-12, biotin, B-6 and folate are also essential in neurotransmitter production since it provides proper nerve signaling.

B-5 or pantothenate in particular is important in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat for energy production, and especially in keeping healthy levels of stress hormones.

Examples of foods with plenty of choline and B vitamins are egg yolks, salmon, shellfish and offal.

L-theanine

Matcha, herbal tea and mushrooms are examples of food containing L-theanine, a compound influencing alpha brain waves. L-theanine also increases clarity and focus when awake and modulates neurotransmitters in the brain.

Research shows that L-theanine supplementation can reduce IgA production, which is associated with stress response, thereby decreasing anxiety. 

Probiotics

Strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are good flora found in the gut. They are the body’s inherent probiotics that work by producing the happy chemical serotonin and neuronal excitability inhibitor GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid).

Unless the gut is disturbed by small intestinal bacterial growth, candida or dysbiosis, epinephrine is produced and anxiety then spirals.

Serotonin and GABA in the gut may not cross the blood-brain barrier but they send signals to the central nervous system via the enteric nervous system to counter apprehension. 

Probiotic-rich foods are cultured veggies, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha.

Foods in a keto diet People with type 1 diabetes have to consult a registered doctor and dietitian to understand if their body is up to processing the keto diet without adverse consequences. Twitter

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