Every person in life has experienced anxiety, that feeling of stress or fear that appears when something important is about to happen. However, some people perceive it constantly, and their body lives daily in a state of alert, which hinders their quality of life and puts emotional well-being at risk, becoming a real obstacle to living in peace.
Anxiety is a psychiatric condition that must be treated with medication; however, due to the side effects caused by some drugs, many people decide to do without pill treatment to start a personal and natural fight against anxiety. In these cases, it is essential to take care of the diet because we can find a tool to control anxiety through it. Therefore, in this FastlyHealarticle, we present a list of foods to reduce anxiety.
What is anxiety, and why does it occur
Anxiety is a defense mechanism that activates the body when it is at risk or experiences high levels of stress due to something about to happen or because of fear that something will happen. This process is ordinary and universal and occurs in all people, as it is an alert system that tells us if we should flee, run, attack, protect ourselves, etc. So when does anxiety become a problem? When it occurs for no apparent reason and becomes a constant state that derives physical and emotional symptoms that compromise the well-being of a person.
Many people wonder how this can happen, how a person can live in fear and anguish every day. The reason is a failure in the brain’s amygdala, better known as the center of emotions. This tiny brain mass is activated to send the alert message during risky situations. When a person has anxiety, the amygdala is constantly activated, causing the person to experience chronic stress for no apparent reason.
Many factors can cause chronic anxiety, but family history is one of the leading causes of anxiety. Similarly, poor stress management, a hectic lifestyle, and some of society’s shocking events, such as deaths or accidents, can trigger chronic anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety
- Physical: tachycardia, palpitations, tremors, shortness of breath, knot in the stomach, tingling, muscle stiffness, nervous tic, dizziness, instability, sleep disturbances, nausea, tiredness, jaw tension, anguished facial expression.
- Psychological: alertness, difficulty acting, clumsiness, motor restlessness, difficulty staying calm, fear of being afraid, fatalistic thoughts, negative expectations, irritability.
- Cognitive: difficulty concentrating, distorted thoughts, doubts, worry, misinterpretations, doubts, unjustified suspicions, confusion.
Food plays a vital role in the treatment of anxiety. Many times, the foods that we include in our diet can negatively or positively interfere with anxiety symptoms.
In the list of foods to reduce anxiety, those rich in tryptophan stand out since this amino acid activates the production of well-being hormones such as serotonin, decreasing the hyperactivity of the brain’s amygdala and increasing positive emotions. To obtain tryptophan through food, you must include foods such as:
- The chicken
- The oats
- The banana
- The cheese
- Dried fruits
- Soybeans and sesame seeds both of which contain high levels of tryptophan.
Foods that provide vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system, as it balances its function and stimulates the health of its activity and impulses. It is believed that vitamin B12 deficiency may be linked to the appearance of anxiety and depression, conditions in which there is an alteration of the nervous system.
To obtain vitamin B12 through food to reduce anxiety, you should increase your intake of:
- Fruits such as orange, kiwi, lemon
- Watercress, lettuce, arugula, and broccoli
- Eggs and nuts such as almonds, raisins, and more.
Complex carbohydrates are much healthier than you think, as they are on the list of the best foods to reduce anxiety. Why? This type of food, like exercise, activates the production of serotonin. This well-being hormone increases happiness, satisfaction, optimism, and tranquility, reducing fear, alertness, and fear and eliminating that feeling that something terrible is about to happen.
Complex carbohydrates are straightforward to incorporate into your diet; you should only consume more of:
- Integral rice
- Whole grains
- Peas, potatoes, onion
- Carrot, beets, spinach, cabbage, artichokes, broccoli
- Almonds, walnuts, mustard, lentils, soybeans
- Banana, pear, plum
Foods rich in omega 3
Omega 3 is essential for the health of the entire organism since this fatty acid, which the body does not produce, represents a powerful natural antioxidant that also intervenes in the regulation of mood, to the point that scientific studies have verified the improvement of people with depression after increasing the consumption of foods rich in omega 3.
To obtain all the properties of omega three fatty acid, you should increase the consumption of the following foods:
- Salmon, anchovies, cod, herring, lobsters, crabs, prawns,
- Egg, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber
- Wheat germ, soybean oil, canola oil
- Almonds, walnut, flaxseed, chia seeds
Proteins to reduce anxiety
In addition to being the essential food group for good nutrition, proteins have the property of raising dopamine and norepinephrine levels. These substances intervene in the nervous system, improving mental energy and balancing reaction times. Protein can not only be obtained from animal meat such as beef, chicken, or fish; you can also find it from eggs, Greek yogurt, almonds, lentils, and soybeans.
Foods to avoid to reduce anxiety
Some foods or drinks can stimulate the sensation of alertness and the constant work of the amygdala, increasing anxiety, causing it, or making it more chronic than average. Some of the foods to avoid if you suffer from anxiety are:
- The coffee.
- Refined sugar.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- The chocolate.
- High-fat foods.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Foods to reduce anxiety , we recommend that you enter our category of Mental Disorders .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.