Nutritional treatment for Scizophrenia

bridge-19513_640Patients suffering from schizophrenia require a lot of care, it is a mental disorder diagnosed when a person is between the late childhood to early adolescent phase. The symptoms are delusions, hallucinations leading to loss of touch with reality. In order to understand the condition clearly these are the phases.

Hallucination:

Hallucination occurs when a person hears voices that don’t exist, it can be hard on the affected person and family member. The voices occur like two people are talking to each other, or there is a voice telling the affected person to do something.

Delusions:

The person will believe things that are not true, to an extent of being determined to do unrealistic extraordinary things. There is even a perception of being controlled, and they feel other people are controlling their life.

Disordered thinking:

You will notice disordered thinking, when a topic emerges, the mind of a person with Schizophrenia will wander to another topic that is probably irrelevant or not connected.

There are certain behavioral patterns that could indicate schizophrenia

Reduced social involvement- The patient feels that mingling might result in someone to cause harm.

No interest in regular daily activities such as cooking, washing, arranging utensils and so on.

Lack of expression- The patient is unable to rationalize and differentiate between events that are thrilling or depressing.

The patient is unable to engage in organized thought process about planning their work, home and what to do during the week.

What causes a person to suffer from schizophrenia, there are many factors that cause it

Chemical imbalance is a primary cause, there is an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

It can be genetic- If a parent is diagnosed than the chances of the child having it is ten percent. If it is not in the family then the risk is one percent.

Environment:

Experts have not been able to come to a conclusion about environment causing the disease. However experts say obstetric complications and prenatal infections can trigger the condition.

Tension in the family:

There are a few patients who have stated that stress in the family has triggered relapse. However scientists have not been able to derive a scientific reason behind this fact.

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disease, characterized by symptoms such as paranoia, delusion, hallucination that affect the mental state and quality of life. The main concern for caretakers and friends would be a diet plan for people with Schizophrenia. There are dietary modifications that need to be implemented, but it is also important to discuss the condition with a doctor.

Diet plan for patients with Schizophrenia:

Consume good amount of antioxidant foods:

Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that can cause cancer, and foods rich in antioxidants is good for schizophrenia patients and the good sources are plums, apples, berries and beans.

Eat foods with essential fatty acids:

Patients with Schizophrenia suffer a deficiency of essential fatty acids like omega-3 fats in the brain, and hence regular intake of foods such as olive oil, nuts, fish and flax seed, can help in managing symptoms. Patients suffer from severe body inflammation and omega-3 fatty acids is known to fight inflammation.

Eliminate gluten from diet:

Gluten does not agree with patients suffering from schizophrenia and other mental diseases. Caretakers should understand that gluten should be eliminated from the diet for better management of symptoms. Avoid these foods, baked goods, soy sauce, cereals, crackers, bread and alcoholic drinks that have gluten like beer.

Decrease sugar consumption:

Sugar worsens symptoms, it induces series of chemical reactions resulting in chronic inflammation. Sugar inhibits activity of BDNF Brain Derived Neurotrophic factor a growth hormone, the level of this hormone is extremely low in patients with schizophrenia and depression.  A low carbohydrate diet is essential packed with fiber, and avoid foods such as coffee, crackers, bread, candy, soda. It is important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and hence opt for low Glycemic load (GL) foods, and the good sources are apple, watermelon and carrots.

A combination of diet, psychotherapy and anti-psychotic medication will help patients live the best quality life they can. It is important for family and friends to show concern and offer a source of strength and positive energy to the patient.

 

 

 

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Avoid hangover with nutritious foods

food-3062139_640There are open spaces available to party, but it is important to drink in healthy amounts, and it is advised to consult with doctor on how much alcohol you can consume. It is not good to have excess hangovers, and can result in series of side effects making anyone feel uncomfortable. You will experience nausea, headache, irregular heart beat, lack of concentration, dizziness and mood swings. Remember it is not safe to have hangover, too much drinking results in alcohol poisoning and the symptoms are extremely severe such as extreme shivers, irregular breathing, bluish pale skin, seizures, vomiting and faint.

If you have to go to work tomorrow, then it is important to avoid a hangover, to feel fresh the next day. It is essential to drink in moderate amounts and not cause physical and mental stress on the body. Take note of these important tips to avoid hangover

Methods to prevent hangover:

Do not drink on empty stomach, food helps in slowing down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed and hence there is lesser chances of experiencing hangover.

Dehydration is a common symptom of hangover, to avoid excess of it consume water and soft drinks in between.

It is advised to avoid drinking before the end of the evening or day because it takes one hour to metabolize a unit of alcohol. This way there is a lesser chance of suffering from hangover and you will feel fresh the next day.

Hydrate your body well by consuming good amount of water before sleeping.

It is imperative to not lose mental balance while in a place where there is alcohol, also remember there are effective diet remedies to treat hangover.

Honey:

A spread of honey on toast or a spoon of it in hot water is refreshing in the morning, it is rich in antioxidants that removes toxins and alcohol from the stomach. The sweet taste of honey is a good way to start the day.

Toast:

Toast in the morning works well in flushing out alcohol from the system, there is a fall in blood sugar when alcohol is consumed and the liver produces glucose to help in alcohol metabolism. To balance the blood sugar levels toast is good contributed by carbohydrate that maintains blood sugar levels and there is less room to feel moody and uncomfortable.

Watermelon:

Watermelon is crunchy and cooling and excellent to fight hangover, the high water content helps in hydrating the body, this is essential because alcohol is a diuretic. When there is hangover there is less flow of blood to the brain, and watermelon has high amount of L-citrulline that elevates blood flow.

Cracker:

During the time when liver is metabolizing alcohol, there is an imbalance in blood sugar, and there are chances of low blood sugar. Crackers are carbohydrates that provide instant energy increasing blood sugar with lesser room to feel faint and uncomfortable.

Eggs:

Eggs have high amount of cysteine which is an amino acid that helps in producing glutathione an antioxidant. Glutathione is essential to break down toxic substances formed from metabolism of alcohol. Eggs are enriched with cysteine that elevates glutathione levels that reduces symptoms of hangover.

Oatmeal:

An oatmeal for breakfast is fulfilling, it is a complex carbohydrate that helps in slow sugar release in bloodstream thereby reducing symptoms of hangover.  It also fights other conditions caused from hangover such as fatigue and anxiety.

Oranges:

The high vitamin C content in orange prevents depletion of glutathione antioxidant that removes alcohol from the system. Orange works wonders in removing hangovers.

Coconut water:

Alcohol is a diuretic and coconut water helps in hydrating the body, needed to reduce hangover symptoms. It is loaded with electrolytes as well, in a 240 ml cup containing coconut water there is 17% of daily volume of potassium and 11% of daily volume of sodium. It is packed with antioxidants and has higher amount of potassium than banana, a combination of electrolytes and antioxidants works marvelously in treating hangovers.

Meat and salmon:

The high protein content in meat is good to fight hangover, studies have shown excessive alcohol intake prevents absorption of amino acids, and can result in amino acid deficiency. The protein is broken down to amino acids hence reducing the severity of hangover. Salmon has high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids that reduces inflammation.

Nutrition plays an important role in reducing hangover, it is also important to know the drink you are consuming and the side-effects it can cause when had in excess. It is recommended to not have drinks loaded with congeners, a toxic by-product of alcohol fermentation. Congeners slow down the alcohol metabolism process and the hangover symptoms remain for a longer period. The drinks high in congeners are bourbon whiskey, cognac, whiskey and tequila. The low congener drinks are rum, vodka and gin.

Experts stress on healthy breakfast, eight hours sleep and good water intake to overcome hangover symptoms. Remember it is not good to suffer hangover and hence know your drink and be cautious to balance it with food and water.

 

Diet Plan for Children and Teens to Combat ADHD

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Parents worry about the concentration level of kids, because the brain is not fully developed to focus on engrossment. Attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder is a condition where a person loses focus, becomes energetic and engages in impulsive behavior. Kids are playful and it is a challenge for parents to enable them to completely focus on homework, they may imbibe at the initial stage, but somewhere in between they are likely to throw tantrums.

Teens come under pressure with regard to being cool, fitting in a group, bullying, alcohol and drug use and sexual activity.

It is important to emphasize on healthy nutrition for kids and teens to focus and do well in school and college, a healthy diet plan from a young age is essential for good physical and mental well-being in the long run. The nutrients required for children and adolescents are high fiber fruits and vegetables,  calcium, healthy fats, protein and whole grains.

Healthy fats:

The concept of healthy fats should be well understood, comprising of monounsaturated fat such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds, polyunsaturated fats such as legume, soybean and corn, and omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, herring and walnuts. On talking about fats remember to avoid saturated and trans or hydrogenated fats. The foods under saturated fats are dairy, poultry and meat, opt for lean meat and low-fat dairy. Trans fat and hydrogenated foods consists of processed meats and snacks, margarine, fast foods and frozen pizza.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to fight ADHD, studies have shown kids with ADHD had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood compared to kids who did not have the condition. Based on a study conducted, the higher the amount of omega-3 fatty acids consumed, the symptoms of ADHD are managed better, in an experiment in Sweden, around twenty five percent of kids who ingested omega-3 fatty acids showed a drastic reduction in symptoms after 3 months and in 6 months the decrease was even more significant, around fifty percent.

Whole grains:

Load up on whole grains rich in fiber, selenium, magnesium, iron, B vitamins such as folate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. The good sources are whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, oats and corn.

Protein and iron:

Protein facilitates healthy growth of tissues and muscles, and it is important to chose lean proteins. The rich sources are dairy, nuts, peas and beans, these foods help in synthesizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin that prevents blood sugar spike resulting in increased hyperactivity. Experts say a combination of complex carbohydrates ( low sugar and high fiber) along with protein is beneficial in managing symptoms of ADHD. There is no room for worry because this combination works well even without medication.

Deficiency in iron can result in ADHD and studies have shown an increase can reduce symptoms and the good sources are beans, lean meat and shellfish.

Foods to avoid:

Caffeine and soda:

Soda has high concentration of sugar and the symptoms become even more severe, it is the combination of caffeine and sugar that worsens symptoms causing higher level of distraction and hyperactivity. Studies have shown that children who regularly drank soda exhibited higher level of social withdrawal and aggressive behavior.

Energy drinks:

For teens energy drinks in excess has deteriorating effects on ADHD caused by the caffeine, artificial colors and sweeteners and sugar. People have energy drinks for extra boost of alertness and the end result is increased hyperactivity, impulsiveness and lack of concentration.

High sugar sweets:

Sweets containing high sugar is not advisable, because it is loaded with sugar, particularly candy. It only makes ADHD symptoms more severe, and watch out for artificial coloring as well, it can be harmful. The combination of artificial coloring and sugar in high amounts is not good and should be avoided.

A healthy nutrition plan from a young age will work wonders providing the young generation to gain interests and passion leading to a successful future.

 

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Sugar Addiction through Nutrition

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Millions around the world enjoy sugar, it is just enjoyable to munch on anything sugary such as chocolates, donuts, cupcakes, pastries and so on. Having a sweet tooth might be a delight, but for some craving sets in and there is a need for more. We have heard of people being addicted to alcohol and drugs, but sugar addiction exists as well. Medical experts say sugar has a similar addictive effect on the brain as street drugs and upon consumption there is a release of neurotransmitters dopamine and opioids.

It is proven that sugar activates reward center opiate receptor in the brain and this triggers addiction, even when a person does not feel good about eating excess sugar and there are negative feelings of guilt and consequences like hormone imbalance, headache and weight gain. Moreover the addictive effect is greater than cocaine. Oreo cookies have a greater rewarding effect than cocaine, contributed by the fact that greater number of neurons are activated in the reward center in the brain. An experiment conducted by Princeton University found when rats binged on sugar, there was dependency, desire for increased consumption and even withdrawal symptoms were noticed. Excess sugar consumption causes increased risk of cancer, diabetes,  fatigue and weight gain.

Sugar is easily available and consumed by individuals of all ages, compared to alcohol or drugs and the addiction is therefore harder to break. The more sugar we eat, the more stressed we feel, because it is proven that sugar triggers stress hormones. Having a sweet tooth is not always bad, it is okay to munch on anything sweet, but just do not overdo it. It is essential to ingest the needed amount of sugar, according to The American Heart Association, the required amount per day is 100 calories a day for women which is six teaspoons or 25 g, and for men it is 150 calories a day which is nine teaspoons or 37.5 g.

It is necessary to know sugar has health benefits as well

It stores energy:

The body preserves excess of glucose that is not required for energy in the form of glycogen . The liver synthesizes glycogen and this is made of hundreds to thousands of glucose molecule chain attached by chemical bond and this mechanism is referred to as glycogenesis. The glycogen is broken down to glucose needed for energy when the primary source of energy is unavailable. This process happens during meals, during workouts and at night to avoid an extreme decrease in blood sugar.

Improved cognitive function:

Chocolate has cocoa rich in flavanols known to enhance thinking skills, and it also offers protection from brain damage. Dark chocolate is particularly good because of the higher concentration of flavanols and it is tasty as well.

Complex sugars maintain normal blood sugar levels:

Complex sugars are more beneficial than simple sugars, and the good sources are brown bread, oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. These foods helps in maintaining steady blood sugar levels and also provide fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Good mood:

Having the needed amount of sugar makes anyone feel good, the pleasure center in the brain is stimulated and there is release of dopamine. There is the instant feeling of happiness.

It is a treat and is tempting to have something sweet such as chocolate, cup cake, ice-cream and so on. It is important to limit the intake and to beat sugar cravings take note of these foods.

Chromium rich foods:

Chromium foods help in maintaining cholesterol levels and reduces sugar cravings, the good sources are eggs, whole grains, broccoli, apples and sweet potatoes.

Magnesium rich foods:

Eating a diet with insufficient amount of magnesium results in sugar cravings, and hence a magnesium rich diet is good, enjoy these foods to get a boost of magnesium like avocado, quinoa, brown rice, nuts, cacao and dark leafy greens.

Zinc rich foods:

Zinc is essential to maintain normal blood sugar levels and if not consumed in needed amounts, it can result in sugar cravings. The rich sources are oysters, pumpkin seeds, eggs and Brazil nuts.

Healthy fats:

Healthy fats help to maintain stable blood sugar and reduce cravings, the good sources are eggs, salmon, nuts, avocado, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.

Initially it might be hard to completely overcome eating excess sugar, but do it gradually and remember it should be consumed in moderate amounts. Also check with your doctor on the amount of sugar you can consume. Therefore indulge in moderate amounts and enjoy your sweet treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conquering Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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We do commonly hear of people who claim to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. People are conscious about being clean and performing certain rituals to an extent of sounding unrealistic. It is important to know that it is not impossible to feel this way, OCD is a mental disorder that is severe and can last for a long period of time. The individual has frequent thoughts and which are obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors that can take a toll on overall well-being.

Symptoms:

It isn’t comfortable to frequently have thoughts and behaviors with a feeling that certain items need to be in a particular place or certain rituals need to be performed. A majority of individuals are superstitious, but for people with OCD the notions are in excess. What are the obsessions and compulsions that trigger the disease?

Compulsions:

The compulsions faced are the person will count the number of clothes, or any item and arrange them in an order because he/she feels when things are in a certain place, they will experience luck and happiness. You will notice hand washing and cleaning or even both to a great degree, this comes from the need to be extremely clean facing fear of contamination. The individual will be particular about some rituals such as if door is shut, or oven is switched off or if windows are closed and so on.

Obsessions:

The obsessions involved are constant thoughts on placing items in a particular order, feeling of frustration on the thought of rituals not being performed in a certain manner and this leads to aggression on oneself and other people. The thought of having to be clean to an extent of the fear of contracting a disease. Rigorous thoughts that might not be appealing involving harm, religion and beliefs.

Causes of OCD

What makes a person experience numerous thoughts and compulsions, till today medical experts are unable to determine the exact cause of OCD. However experts say it is likely to be caused by genes, and if someone is prone to stress the symptoms can get more severe.  There are chances of having OCD if, a person is suffering from anxiety, tic disorder or depression, it can be genetic, if a parent has the disorder it can be passed on to the child, if there is an event that has built trauma in a person, there is a possibility of having OCD. People who have had a rough childhood such as sexual or physical abuse are likely to have OCD.

Diagnosis and cure

If you notice yourself or someone having constant thoughts or compulsions, then it is advised to visit a psychiatrist to check for the possibility of OCD. In order to confirm the condition, the doctor will recommend a blood test to check if other symptoms linked to the condition are ruled out. The doctor will want to know about your compulsive behaviors, rituals and feelings and if the habits interfere with daily routine than there are chances of OCD. There is no cure for this disorder, but the doctor will advise medication and a visit to the counselor to talk about the rituals and behaviors is needed. The goal behind talk therapy is to help the client to talk openly and find ways to lessen the frequent thoughts and compulsions, thereby improving quality of life.

There is an overburden of thoughts and worries in a mind of a person with OCD, when the obsessive thought strikes, anxiety sets in and this leads to compulsive behavior and then the relief of having performed tasks that according to the affected person will bring luck. It is not easy to break the cycle of having these thoughts. How to help yourself or someone with OCD.

If you or anyone are really determined to remove obsessive thoughts from the mind, write down what you feel, the thoughts and urges. Write it as many times as you want and see a mental picture of what you are going through. Gradually work on overcoming these urges by noting a positive thought. This way the unwanted thoughts is likely to disappear.

Allot a certain period of time to reflect on thoughts and behaviors and rest of the time tell yourself you need to focus on work and yourself. This way it is possible that your mind will be focused on the day to day activities and less on thoughts and compulsions.

Identify the reason behind why doing certain things makes you feel comfortable, and recognize the good things that have happened. Also try to reason if something negative happened on days arrangements and rituals have not been performed. You will get a clarity on what works and what does not.

Whenever you are at work or doing something and urges and thoughts surface, think back on whether you have completed the task or ponder on the urge and determine if it is worth a thought and you may be able to have a more rational frame of mind.

 

Foods that help beat depression

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Life is full of challenges, there are good times, productive times and unhappy times, and it is difficult to predict when a stressful moment can occur. When anxiety and stress strikes, a phase of sadness occurs and this is depression. Depression is a mood disorder that affects people to a great extent, and the activities once enjoyed no longer seems enjoyable and this can last for two weeks. The symptoms of depression are irritability, constant negative thoughts, difficulty in being productive and making important decisions, lack of energy or fatigue, digestive problems, cramps, headaches, slow movement and speech, noticeable changes in weight and appetite and not being able to sit in a place for long.

The treatment for depression is a visit to the psychiatrist and counselor, but for those who just want to overcome the feeling of sadness and feel good, there are foods that can help fight depression. It is also important to consult with doctor on the foods to consume based on health history. If you are feeling blue take a note of these foods that can make you feel better.

Densely colored leafy greens:

For years, doctors and nutritionists have emphasized on the importance of green leafy vegetables, and it does make you feel good. For a longer life there is nothing like seeds, berries, mushrooms, beans, greens and onions. These foods will give you a robust immunity and has anti-cancer properties. Richly colored green leafy vegetables are packed with nutrients such as phytochemicals and K, C, E and A vitamins that makes a person feel good and live life to the fullest.

Avocado a tasty and healthy fruit:

Have you ever dreamed of having rich avocado as a spread on healthy brown bread, yes it is good for you. It is filled with healthy monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, and it is filled with great amount of protein, vitamin E12, vitamin C, B vitamins such as B5, B6 and B9. It has 11 g of dietary fiber and low amounts of sugar.

Mushroom:

For the health conscious demographic, mushrooms are good for you, it maintains blood sugar level that thereby facilitates being in a good mood. Mushrooms help to maintain healthy gut bacteria and these contribute in the production of serotonin around eighty to ninety percent of it, a neurotransmitter that keeps people in a good mood.

Tomato:

Binge on delicious juicy tomato and you will feel good, it is rich in alpha lipoic acid and folic acid that combats depression. Based on a published report in Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, patients with folate deficiency suffered from a more severe depression found in one-third of patients. The folic acid in tomato curbs production of homocysteine in excess and this reduces the synthesis of feel good chemicals norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.

Apple:

Apples are crunchy fruits that are incredibly healthy with no room for being sad or in a bad mood. It is packed with antioxidants that help fight cancer and loaded with soluble fiber, essential to be in a good mood. So enjoy the juiciness of apples and feel good.

Berries:

First thing in the morning, enjoy a wholesome breakfast with berries and cereal and you will feel nothing but good. Berries such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are loaded with antioxidants needed to fight cancer and depression. Studies have shown people who were given antioxidants for two years had lesser chances of suffering from depression.

Beans:

Beans are excellent foods to feel happy, and it aids in fighting obesity and diabetes, the theory behind beans being excellent for happiness is the slow digestion that helps maintain normal blood sugar and it reduces cravings.

Walnuts:

Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids known to fight depression contributed by DHA and EPA proven to lessen severity of depression and anxiety symptoms. Walnuts have high amounts of tryptophan that increases levels of feel good neurotransmitter serotonin. Binge on walnuts and expect to feel happy, relaxed and on top of the world.

Dark chocolate:

Chocolate is delicious and dark chocolate is especially healthy, it has tyrosine known to increase dopamine levels. It also releases endorphins that plays a role in making a person feel good. When we feel stressed, there is an increase in cortisol, and dark chocolate helps in lowering cortisol. If you are feeling low and want something sweet, just much on a bar of dark chocolate.

Fish:

Fish is a delicacy in many parts of the world, and it is a food that makes you smart as well as reduces the burden of depression and anxiety. If you are someone who wants to be successful and productive, then fish is an excellent option, it improves cognitive function and reduces the likelihood of mood disorders. It is packed with good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that fights depression and it has tryptophan that reduces anxiety.

Eggs:

Eggs are refreshing and you will feel content after having it, it is packed with B vitamins known to lessen symptoms of depression. It has tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in producing feel good neurotransmitter serotonin. You will feel good after having an egg and it is tasty on toast.

Greek yogurt:

Greek yogurt has good levels of protein that help in producing neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Consume some Greek yogurt and enjoy it to the core, and you will feel nothing but amazing.

Whole grains:

Whole grain foods make you feel good such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, millet, barley and pop corn. These foods are loaded with tryptophan that help in the synthesis of melatonin and serotonin. Serotonin keeps a person calm and melatonin helps a person sleep well and also builds energy and reduces fatigue.

People strive to be strong and successful in their profession, and maintain a happy face, but underneath it there are challenges. Depression is a debilitating condition, and it takes a toll on mental and physical health. Everyone wants to feel joy, and if you are feeling sad, just binge on foods that will make you happy.

 

 

 

Foods that help beat anxiety

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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 nuts:

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.

Eggs:

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:

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:

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:

Green tea has an amino acid theanine known to lower symptoms of mood disorders by increasing production of feel good neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

Yogurt:

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.

Turmeric:

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:

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.

Asparagus:

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:

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:

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.