Natural Ways To Reduce Anxiety
You can recover from anxiety and feel better about yourself by eating a healthy diet. You can lower the risks of developing anxiety by consuming diets rich in whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and fruits. The other natural way to reduce stress is by eating fermented foods and probiotics because they enhance mental health. You can also reduce anxiety by limiting caffeine, quitting smoking, regular exercise, and abstaining from alcohol.
Slow Absorption Of Glucose Into The Bloodstream By Consuming Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates are carbohydrates that are naturally paired with fiber. Examples include whole grains, beans, starchy vegetables and fruits. The fiber within these carbohydrates holds onto glucose within the digestive system, making it more difficult for the body to absorb glucose. Complex carbohydrates provide the brain with the glucose it needs, but in small amounts over time.
Nutritional Strategies To Ease Anxiety
- By Uma Naidoo, MD, Contributor
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Thats 40 million adults18% of the populationwho struggle with anxiety. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand, with about half of those with depression also experiencing anxiety.
Specific therapies and medications can help relieve the burden of anxiety, yet only about a third of people suffering from this condition seek treatment. In my practice, part of what I discuss when explaining treatment options is the important role of diet in helping to manage anxiety.
In addition to healthy guidelines such as eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine, there are many other dietary considerations that can help relieve anxiety. For example, complex carbohydrates are metabolized more slowly and therefore help maintain a more even blood sugar level, which creates a calmer feeling.
A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is a healthier option than eating a lot of simple carbohydrates found in processed foods. When you eat is also important. Dont skip meals. Doing so may result in drops in blood sugar that cause you to feel jittery, which may worsen underlying anxiety.
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Getting Or Staying Sick
Amino acids in your blood help your immune system make antibodies that activate white blood cells to fight off viruses, bacteria, and toxins. You need protein to digest and absorb other nutrients that keep you healthy. There’s also evidence that protein can change the levels of disease-fighting “good” bacteria in your gut.
Low Carbs And Depression
In an article worth noting from the February 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology News, the author interviewed MIT researcher Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., about findings on low-carbohydrate diet in rats. Wurtman explained that, when a person stops eating carbohydrates, his brain stops regulating serotonin, a chemical that boosts mood. She noted that only carbohydrate consumption naturally activates the production of serotonin.
Wurtman, also interviewed in Psychology Today in March of 2004, provided additional insights on the connection between eating insufficient carbohydrates and poor mental health. She said many people who go on low-carbohydrate eating plans report feelings of depression, anger and irritability. Wurtman advocates a diet high in complex carbohydrates to prevent such mood disorders.
An April 2019 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine reviewed studies investigating the effects of dietary interventions on mental health. The authors concluded that healthy diets can reduce symptoms of depression. One of their dietary recommendations is to eat meals high in fiber and vegetables while cutting back on refined sugars. In other words, they advocate the intake of complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates.
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Low Carbs May Cause Anxiety
An April 2017 study published in the British Medical Journal Open explored the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on psychological stress. Prior research shows increasing evidence that diet is linked to mental health, note the researchers. Results of the investigation revealed moderate daily intake of vegetables was tied to a lower incidence of stress, a finding consistent with earlier discoveries.
An older case report from March-April 2006 published in Psychosomatics and featured in the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute gives an account of a woman who had been successfully treated for panic attacks. After starting on the Atkins diet, a high-protein and low-carbohydrate eating plan, she suffered a recurrence of panic attacks, which had been resolved for some time. Upon quitting the diet and resuming consumption of carbohydrates, her symptoms gradually reduced and were completely gone after several days.
While the Psychosomatics case report involves only one person, it provides a real-life illustration of what studies such as the British Medical Journal Open have found. Healthy carbs, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are loaded with nutrients that enhance wellness in innumerable ways. Any diet that restricts such an important food group is likely to have downsides. The bottom line is that low carbs may cause anxiety or at least increase the risk of the disorder.
The Science Behind Carbohydrates And Mental Health
First, Im going to get a little science-y, so hang in there with me! All carbohydrates break down into glucose. Glucose is fuel for our cells. Specifically, glucose is the preferred source of fuel for the brain. If you look up the symptoms of hypoglycemia , youll find that many of these symptoms are brain related . Thats because while other organs of the body can utilize protein or fats as a fuel, the brain cannot utilize these nutrients because they cannot cross the blood brain barrier . That being said, low glucose levels leave the brain without fuel, leaving it susceptible to mood changes.
The good news is that, for most of us, our bodies do a really great job of regulating glucose levels. However, there are still a few things we can do to provide the brain with the fuel it needs to stabilize our moods as best we can.
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Signs Of A Protein Deficiency + How To Fix
Whether youre a weekend warrior, youre trying to lose weight or youre an athlete, protein is important for everybody, and you certainly dont want a protein deficiency.
Even though most people eating a standard Western diet consume enough protein overall, many people dont necessarily eat the highest quality sources of protein and as a result may be deficient in certain essential amino acids.
How do you know if you need more protein? The most common protein deficiency symptoms include weakness, increased hunger and fatigue.
In this article well look at the benefits of eating more protein foods in general, ways to add more quality protein to your diet, and how much you should consume based on factors like your weight, gender and activity level.
Anxiety Over Low Blood Sugar
A low blood sugar episode, which can include anything from confusion and shakiness to nausea, loss of consciousness, and seizures, can be very scary. It therefore makes sense that some people with diabetes also experience anxiety related to possibly having a low blood sugar episodeand not just as a physiological reaction to low blood sugar levels.
This anxiety is so common that the term “fear of hypoglycemia” is commonly used among healthcare providers and researchers. Research has found that a history of experiencing mild hypoglycemia increases FoH in people who have diabetes.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency
Few nutrients are as important as protein.
Protein is the building block of your muscles, skin, enzymes and hormones, and it plays an essential role in all body tissues.
Most foods contain some protein. As a result, true protein deficiency is rare in developed countries. However, some people may still be at risk.
Deficiency leads to various health problems, while low protein intake may also be a concern, as it can cause subtle changes in your body over time.
This article lists 8 symptoms of low protein intake or deficiency.
Whey Protein Isolate Powder Giving Me Anxiety/depression
I was diagnosed with Anxiety/Depression by my doctor back in 1997 and for a year I suffered from general Anxiety and Anxiety attacks. After about a year of meds I just kinda stopped taking it and I felt great for 10 years. Well last August all the anxiety and anxiety attacks came back suddenly about 3 months after I got married.I suffered with it for about 9 months when I finally got to the doctor and he put me on 50 mg of Zoloft per day. I began lifting weights at the same time and between the Zoloft and weight training, my Anxiety/Depression all but disappeared.I started getting really into lifting and am now taking it very seriously so I bought some GNC Wheybolic Extreme 60 which is 20g of protein per scoop. It says your supposed to take 3 scoops at a time but I only take 1 in the morning, and one at night. Ever since I started taking it my Anxiety/Depression has returned, when I stop taking it for a few days it goes away.I have been experimenting with this theory that they whey protein is causing my Anxiety/Depression symptoms to come back. I have tried other Whey proteins and I still have the anxiety/depression symptoms about 24 hours after I take a few scoops.Have you guys ever heard of this or ever had symptoms similiar?
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You Drink Alcohol In Excess
You might think happy hour is the ultimate way to unwind from your day, but the temporary effects of alcohol are just thattemporary. When you drink, alcohol increases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, and binds to and alters the neurotransmitter receptor GABA, which increases the effect of GABA and can have a calming effect in the moment. But it also interrupts other mood-regulating neurotransmitters, like serotonin. When these alcohol-induced effects wear off, you may experience a range of anxiety symptoms.
In the long term, excessive drinking makes neurons less excitable and permanently changes the mRNA and protein levels in GABA receptors. This makes the receptors less sensitive, so the brain needs more GABA. Without it, symptoms of anxiety can result. This doesnt necessarily mean you have to completely remove alcohol from your life, but take at least three nights off per week from drinking and always drink in moderation.
Youre Lacking In Vitamin D
If youve got a job that keeps you indoors most of the day, chances are you may be part of the 42 percent of Americans with a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is created by your body when sunlight hits the skin and is found in fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, eggs, and mushrooms.
Most people associate low vitamin D with wintertime and seasonal depression, but it can hit at any time of year. A thorough review of studies analyzing depression and vitamin D concluded that lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared to controls.
Scientists also found that when depressed individuals received vitamin D supplementation for one year, they had significant improvements in symptoms of depression compared with depressed people taking a placebo. The area of the brain associated with depression is also a site of vitamin D receptors, posing one possible explanation for the link between the two.
Listen To Your Body When Its Hungry
Like I said, our bodies are good at regulating themselves, however we still must listen. Though it can be easy to ignore hunger cues when you are busy, we get hunger cues because we need fuel. You may find that when you are truly listening to your hunger cues, you need more snacks. Thats okay! Especially if those snacks include complex carbohydrates paired with a source of protein and or fat!
With the lifestyle changes we are all experiencing right now, I think its safe to say we are all a little more anxious than usual. Fortunately, we can try to stabilize mood changes and ease anxiety caused by low blood glucose by providing the brain with the right kind of fuel. Stay Healthy!
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Increase Intake Of Chromium
Chromium is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because it is required for the functioning of insulin, which clears glucose from the blood. Good food sources of chromium include broccoli, turkey, liver, whole grains, seafood and green beans. Chromium can also be taken in a supplement form called chromium picolinate, although this should be done under the supervision of a doctor, particularly if diabetes medications are being taken .
Load Up On Tryptophan
“Most of us associate tryptophan with that sleepy feeling we get after filling up with turkey at Thanksgiving dinner, but tryptophan is actually a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that impact anxiety and depression,” says Seti. “Good sources of tryptophan include pumpkin seeds, edamame, oats, and beans.”
Low Potassium Causes And Side Effects
Sodium and potassium play unique roles within the body. If sodium levels are high, your potassium levels are low. Many Americans consume a high sodium diet, which results in low levels of potassium in your body. Women who take oral contraceptives, anyone who is physically active, smokes, or abuses alcohol are all more likely to have low potassium. If you have low levels of potassium, you may experience side effects such as abnormal heart rhythms, a breakdown of muscle fibers, constipation, fatigue, and muscle weakness or spasms. Symptoms usually occur when there is a dramatic drop in potassium. You may not always experience side effects if your potassium levels are slightly off balance.
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Stunted Growth In Children
Protein not only helps maintain muscle and bone mass, but its also essential for body growth.
Thus, deficiency or insufficiency is especially harmful to children whose growing bodies require a steady supply.
In fact, stunting is the most common sign of childhood malnutrition. In 2013, an estimated 161 million children suffered from stunted growth (
Even marginally low protein intake may impair immune function. One small study in older women showed following a low-protein diet for nine weeks significantly reduced their immune response .
Summary: Eating too little protein may impair your bodys ability to fight infections, such as the common cold.