Nutrition and Anxiety
Anxiety is real.
It’s a natural response to stress, and it can be helpful in some situations. For example, feeling anxious before a big presentation can help you focus and do your best. However, when anxiety is constant or excessive, it can be disabling.
There’s growing evidence that food has a connection to anxiety. For example, diets high in processed foods, high histamine foods, caffeine, and sugar may increase the risk of developing anxiety and can worsen symptoms. On the other hand, diets high in omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics may help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Here are some specific foods that may help manage anxiety:
Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for mental health. They help reduce inflammation, which is associated with mood disorders such as anxiety.
Probiotics: Probiotics are bacteria that have positive effects on the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is thought to play a role in mood disorders, including anxiety. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi, or taken as supplements.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that’s important for nerve function and mood regulation. Deficiencies in magnesium have been linked to anxiety symptoms. Foods high in magnesium include leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and beans.
Zinc: Zinc is another mineral that’s important for nerve function and mood regulation. Deficiencies in zinc have been linked to anxiety symptoms as well as depression. Foods high in zinc include meat, poultry, seafood, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
It’s important to note that there is no one “magic” food that cures anxiety. Rather, it’s important to eat a varied and balanced diet that includes plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables.