(Natural News) Anxiety can have a detrimental effect on your overall physical and mental health and well-being. Mental health conditions may sometimes cause people to stress eat to cope with their problems. It might come off as irrational, but there is some logic to this. The food you eat can affect your mood and body. Of course, compulsive eating when stressed or anxious can be a problem. However, when taken in moderation, there are certain food items you can eat to help relieve your anxiety. Here are five dietary recommendations that you can take to alleviate your symptoms of anxiety.
Foods rich in B vitamins
Avocados and almonds contain high levels of B-complex vitamins. These B vitamins can boost your body’s production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. Seratonin is a “happy hormone” that can make you feel better, while dopamine plays a role in reward and motivation in your brain. These neurotransmitters serve as natural mood stabilizers. If you don’t have enough of these neurotransmitters in your body, you may be prone to anxiety and depression. By regularly consuming foods that are loaded with B vitamins, you can increase your body’s levels of helpful neurotransmitters to improve your mood and mental health. Other foods that are rich in B vitamins include seafood, chicken, turkey, pork loin cuts, organic milk and dairy products, and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereal and nutritional yeast.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and trout, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthy fats that can promote brain health and help relieve anxiety. A study in 2011 found a link between the reduction of anxiety and the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids in fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon. Brain cell dysfunction may result in the development of anxiety and other mental disorders. Fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that can protect against brain cell dysfunction by reducing inflammation. Salmon also contains several B vitamins and vitamin D to improve your body’s levels of calming neurotransmitters.
Your gut health can have an impact on your mood. This is why it is important to maintain the proper balance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines. Probiotics are the good bacteria found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, and kefir. According to studies, probiotic foods can support brain health and function by inhibiting neurotoxins and free radicals, which can damage nerve tissues in your brain, resulting in anxiety. If you want to manage your anxiety by eating yogurt, be sure to get a yogurt brand that lists live active cultures as an ingredient, and contains minimal added sugars. (Related: Probiotics for your anxious mind? Study shows a certain strain of bacteria could significantly reduce anxiety.)
Foods that are high in zinc
A deficiency in zinc may cause depression and anxiety. You can increase your zinc intake by eating plenty of oysters, cashews, beef, dairy products, eggs, and liver and organ meats. Not only are these excellent sources of zinc, they also contain high levels of protein. Some food items even have plenty of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids on top of their zinc content, such as oysters, clams, and mussels.
Foods that contain magnesium
Leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all packed with magnesium. Some examples of leafy greens include spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and romaine lettuce. These also contain plenty of B vitamins, as do sunflower seeds and legumes such as black beans, chick peas, kidney beans, and lentils.
Learn more ways to improve your mental health by going to Mental.news.