Anxiety is a phenomenon that exists in day to day life and the occurrence is unpredictable. An unexpected event can trigger anxiety and it is a reaction to a situation that is stressful. It has an adverse effect on overall well-being, and according to American Psychological Association anxiety is an emotion that causes worried thoughts, tension and increases blood pressure, sweating, fear of surrounding and increased heart beat.
Nutrition is a critical component of overall well-being, those who are feeling anxious should take note of nutrients that can help ease anxiety. It is also vital to take the recommendation of your health care practitioner before considering consuming certain foods.
Below are the foods that can ease symptoms of anxiety:
Brazil nut is an excellent source of selenium, which helps in improving mood by lowering inflammation. Selenium is an antioxidant and has anti-carcinogenic properties, the other good sources of selenium are soybeans and mushrooms. An important point to take note of is not to consume selenium in excess and the recommended intake for adults is 400 (mcg) micrograms in a day. The needed amount of Brazil nuts to be consumed is not more than three per day.
Brazil nut is a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps fight depression and anxiety.
Egg yolk has high amount of Vitamin D, a deficiency of it causes anxiety and depression. Recent studies have shown Vitamin D to ease symptoms of depression and improve mood in pregnant women and those suffering from seasonal affected disorder in winter.
Eggs have tryptophan an amino acid that stimulates production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is essential for good well-being. It helps in regulating behavior, sleep, mood and memory.
Fatty fish have high level of omega-3 fatty acids and the good sources are sardines, mackerel, salmon and trout. Omega-3 rich foods have alpha linolenic acid that produces essential fatty acids called docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and these are neurotransmitters that trigger excellent cognitive skills and lower inflammation. Experts recommend to have a couple of servings of fish a week and there was a reduction in anxiety levels in men who have salmon three times a week.
Dark chocolate has high levels of tryptophan, the body uses this to help in production of feel good neurotransmitter serotonin. Dark chocolate has good amount of magnesium as well that helps in easing symptoms of depression. Experts advise to consume dark chocolate that has 70% or more cocoa content.
Green tea has an amino acid theanine known to lower symptoms of mood disorders by increasing production of feel good neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
Studies are being conducted that could indicate that fermented products are beneficial for brain health caused by the presence of healthy bacteria Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. According to recent research fermented foods have shown to reduce social anxiety in few young people and there is also evidence that healthy bacteria increases happiness.
Recent studies have indicated that curcumin in turmeric may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in people with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Studies have also shown that good amount of curcumin in diet lowered anxiety levels and there was an increase in DHA.
Pumpkin seeds have very high levels of potassium that helps in maintaining blood pressure and regulates electrolyte balance. It has high concentration of zinc as well, proven to work wonderfully in easing anxiety and stress. There was a study on 100 female high school students that showed a deficiency in zinc has a negative effect on mood. Zinc is also excellent for brain and nerve development and the most prevalent sites of zinc are stored in brain regions involving emotions.
Folate deficiency is a cause of depression and anxiety, asparagus is a rich source of folate, and to meet dietary requirements it is sufficient to consume one cup.
Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C known to reduce symptoms of anxiety, a recent study has shown individuals who consumed blueberries experienced reduction and prevention of anxiety.
Avocado has good amount of vitamin B6 that aids in production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin that helps in improving mood. It is also rich in niacin, riboflavin and thiamine that contributes a healthy nervous system. Studies have shown people who do not consume sufficient levels of vitamin B6 experience elevated levels of anxiety.