While chronic anxiety can be a sign of another medical condition, and it is important to tell your GP about your symptoms, adjusting your diet can be an effective way to get relief.
Chronic anxiety sufferers often experience trembling, nervousness, fatigue, increased heart rate, stomach or chest pain, excessive sweating, and difficulty concentrating. This can make life more challenging than it needs to be.
Refined or highly processed foods, caffeine and alcohol are all things to steer clear of if you experience frequent anxiety symptoms.
Instead, opt for foods which contain the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
Including these nutrients in your diet, by eating foods similar to HelloFresh’s baked barramundi, can raise levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter which regulates mood and anxiety), improve brain functioning, and regulate your blood sugar to stabilise your mood. It is also important to drink lots of water, as dehydration can lead to restlessness and irritability.
Here are 6 foods high in many of the aforementioned nutrients:
Fatty fish (aka oily fish) like Delicious’ pan-fried salmon is high in omega-3s DHA and EPA, which is linked with improved brain function and mental health. Research suggests that fatty fish should be consumed 2 times per week for optimal effect. Salmon and sardines are healthy options which are also loaded with Vitamin D.
Another rich source of Vitamin D, eggs are a delicious way to increase your intake of Vitamin B12, choline and tryptophan. Tryptophan is an excellent amino acid which boosts serotonin levels (similar to anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications), leading to improved mood and lowered anxiety. Choline helps create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with mood, memory and nervous system function, along with other things.
Pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack which helps you meet your RDA for potassium and zinc – essential minerals for relieving anxiety and stress, as well as managing blood pressure. Research has shown that zinc plays a big role in the brain areas associated with emotions.
Increase your intake of magnesium and antioxidants by nibbling on some brazil nuts. These little wonders are packed with selenium, Vitamin E and magnesium, which are all known to help regulate anxiety and mood. Try adding some to SBS’ Brazil nut chocolate brownies for a delicious yet healthy treat.
Asparagus is nutrient dense, with a single half-cup providing a massive 34% of the RDA of folate. It also contains potassium, antioxidants, fibre, and an abundance of vitamins. It’s no wonder asparagus extract has been approved in China as an anti-anxiety supplement! Whether in an omelette for breakfast or a stir fry for dinner, it’s super easy to add this veggie to your next meal.
If you have chronic anxiety, there is help available. Adjusting your diet, getting plenty of exercise, a good night’s sleep and aromatherapy may all be beneficial in alleviating your symptoms. Get in touch to learn more about how our team at Integrated Health can support you.