Anxiety is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Symptoms may vary and some individuals only experience them now and again. However, a person who feels symptoms for six months or longer may have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
The symptoms of GAD include the following psychological and physical symptoms:
- Excessive worry about everyday events as well as problems,
- Difficulty concentrating,
- Problems with their personal social and work relationships,
- Heart palpitations and elevated heart rate,
- Muscle tension, as well as
- Chest tightness.
Doctors often treat GAD with a mixture of treatments as well as talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), along with medications. Sometimes, these conventional treatments do not work in the long term. However, some research suggests that proper nutrition and food can help improve symptoms.
The Dietary Considerations To Relieve Anxiety
In addition to healthy nutrition guidelines – such as eating a balanced diet, sufficient water to stay hydrated, and restricting (or avoiding alcohol and caffeine), there are many other dietary considerations which can help to relieve anxiety. For instance, complex carbohydrates are metabolised more slowly and therefore help maintain a more even blood sugar level. This creates a calmer feeling.
A diet that is rich in whole grains, vegetables as well as fruits is a healthier option as opposed to eating a lot of simple carbohydrates that are found in processed foods. Also, when you eat is important. Don’t miss meals as doing so may result in drops in blood sugar which will cause you to feel jittery and may worsen underlying anxiety.
The gut-brain axis is also extremely important as a large percentage (about 95%) of serotonin receptors are to be found in the lining of the gut. Research is examining the potential of probiotics for treating both anxiety as well as depression.
Salmon may be extremely beneficial for reducing anxiety. It contains nutrients which promote brain health, including vitamin D as well as the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) together with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA may assist with regulating the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can have calming – as well as relaxing – properties.
In addition, studies show that these fatty acids may reduce inflammation and also prevent brain cell dysfunction, which leads to the development of mental disorders such as anxiety.
Eating an adequate amounts of EPA and DHA may also encourage your brain’s ability to adapt to changes, allowing you to handle stressors better that trigger anxiety symptoms.
Chamomile is an herb which may assist with reducing anxiety. It contains high levels of antioxidants that are proven to reduce inflammation. This may which might decrease the risk of anxiety.
Several studies have looked at the association between chamomile and anxiety relief. These researchers have found that those who were diagnosed with GAD experienced a substantially greater reduction in symptoms after consuming chamomile extract, as compared to those who did not.
Another study found comparable results, as those who consumed chamomile extract for eight weeks saw reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
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