Can Our Diet Choices Help Us To Reduce Anxiety & Depression?
In our everyday, increasingly hectic lives, anxiety is affecting more & more people. It is a widespread condition that now affects millions of people globally.
Especially with the uprising of Covid-19 in the UK, the issue of addressing anxiety is even more prevalent. The Guardian Newspaper in September 2020 reported that restrictions made on society due to Covid-19 in the UK have driven stress, anxiety, and depression far above normal levels.
There has been a lot of research on CBD and well-being in this area of mental health to try and find out about the cause of this modern curse, as well as what can be done to help those suffering.
As well as more modern alternative therapies such as CBD, we ask ourselves, what else can be done to help……?
This has been looked at by experts in the field of Nutrition who have researched how diet can be used to help with anxiety. As well as other lifestyle changes, it has been found that eating a diet high in fruit, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein can be helpful.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary between person-to-person and whilst some people only experience them only now and then, others may have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This is diagnosed if symptoms last for 6 months or longer.
The symptoms of GAD include psychological and physical symptoms, such as:
- excessive worry about everyday events and problems
- difficulty concentrating
- issues with personal social and work relationships
- heart palpitations & elevated heart rate
- muscle tension
- chest tightness
Foods That Can Reduce Anxiety
When an individual suffers from CBD and anxiety it has been shown that inflammation can be present within the body at raised levels. However, Brazil nuts contain high levels of selenium which reduces inflammation. They are also high in Vitamin E which is an antioxidant & helps prevent cell damage.
Antioxidants can be beneficial for treating anxiety, while some research has also shown that low levels of vitamin E may lead to depression in some people. Other nuts, animal products, and vegetables, such as mushrooms and soybeans, are also excellent sources of selenium.
It is important not to consume too much selenium as it can cause side effects. The recommended upper limit for selenium for an adult is 400 micrograms (mcg) per day. This indicates that you shouldn’t eat more than 3 or 4 Brazil nuts per day. Also, of course, be aware of high dosages of selenium in any vitamin supplements.
As already mentioned, raised inflammatory levels in the body have been linked to increased levels of anxiety, and one other food that has been found to help this is Yoghurt.
For example, a medical review published in 2015 showed that yoghurt along with some other dairy products creates an anti-inflammatory effect within the body.
Recent evidence also shows that Yoghurt contains certain bacteria which promotes positive brain health.
Salmon & Sardines:
Oily fish, such as salmon & sardines are high in omega-3. Omega-3 is a fatty acid that has a strong relationship with cognitive function as well as mental health best CBD oil UK.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in Omega 3 rich foods and this provides two essential fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA and DHA regulate neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy brain function.
Current recommendations suggest eating at least two servings of oily fish a week.
A study conducted on men found eating salmon three times a week reduced self-reported anxiety.
Salmon and sardines are also among the few foods that contain vitamin D.
Eggs / Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is become more and more recognized as having a link to mood disorders such as depression & anxiety. A report in the Journal of Affective Disorders believes that there is enough evidence to prove that vitamin D positively helps depression and may also improve seasonal disaffected disorder (SAD) during winter.
Eggs are a fantastic source of Vitamin D as well as being a great source of protein. Eggs also contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps create serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, sleep, memory, and behavior whilst also thought to improve brain function and relieve anxiety.
It has been shown that levels of stress & anxiety can be reduced by consuming potassium-rich foods such as bananas and pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are not only a great source of potassium but also of Zinc which, if deficient, has been shown to negatively affect mood.
The largest stores of zinc in the body can be found in the brain regions which are involved with emotions.
Theanine is an amino acid found in Green CBD tea. Over the years, it has come under closer analysis by researchers as has an interesting and beneficial effect on some mood disorders. Not only has Theanine been found to have anti-anxiety and calming effects but it may also increase the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
Other foods that may help reduce anxiety and have a positive effect on mood include;
Turmeric, chamomile, dark chocolate, cheese, pineapple, turkey, spinach, cinnamon & almonds.
As a summary, look out for foods that are high in Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and/or Omega – 3. Foods which provide anti-inflammatory properties & amino acids are very positive for mental health and have been found to help manage low mood.