Anxiety comes and goes. Sure, there are many factors that play a role in why you may feel anxious and they have various triggers. It might be because you don’t want to let down paying clients, for risk of financial jeopardy. You may feel that you are not living up to your full potential you have envisioned for yourself. Will you have the financial freedom to make that trip you have planned? Whatever the worry, there is a way to turn down the volume.
Sometimes, what we think is a big deal is really just blown out of proportion. When the defences are down we are susceptible to letting thoughts get the better of us, and it turns into a jungle of irrationality.
One way to defend against anxiety is to stay topped up nutritionally. Its no mystery that what we eat becomes part of us and influences the way we think, feel and act. Good food = Good mood. Obviously food is not the only thing that determines whether we experience anxiety or not, but it is a powerful ally you want to have on your side.
Here are 9 foods that keep your anxiety defences fortified so the chatter is quieter and doesn’t affect you as much.
These fatty fish contain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA which are powerful anti-inflammatories. Stress and anxiety are inflammatory conditions – Inflammation can occur as a result of anxiety and vice versa. The more anti – inflammatories, the better.
Mackerel contains great amounts of vitamin D3. This form of Vitamin D is different from the form we obtain from sunlight but is still equally important. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased anxiety
DHA makes up the receptors as part of the phospholipid Bi-layer in the brain. Healthy receptors enable the brains messages to be properly received. Thus preventing against communication breakdown, anxiety and depression.
Out of all the nuts, Walnuts contain the most ALA, and omega – 3 fat which is essential as we cant synthesise it. DHA and EPA are made from ALA. These fats help protect the structure of your brain and its communication system.
Walnuts are rich in magnesium and vitamin B6. These are important cofactors in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like Serotonin and GABA. Ample amounts of these keep you balanced, relaxed and stress resistant – keeping anxiety on the down low.
Known as a superfood, Chia is a complete source of protein. It has all the essential amino acids which get used to build the remaining amino acids. A rich profile of amino acids means we have the raw materials to make the brain chemicals that keep us level headed and happy.
Chia is a rich source of magnesium which helps keep the brain chemical factory in business. It also relaxes the muscles of the body, including those of the digestive system and heart, easing any tension associated with anxiety.
Beef contains amino acids that are essential for good mental health. Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters. We need sufficient raw materials to build our chemical messengers to stay mentally balanced. Mooooochas gracias my bovine friends.
Packs great B-12. This is an important Co-factor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Red meat and Mackerel are great sources.
Amino acids also serve many other functions as building blocks to cells all over the body. Therefore, they can influence the state of various systems, such as immune function and neurone integrity. A healthy machine is a result of its healthy parts. Healthy systems ensure a good sense of general well – being.
These magnificent molluscs contain a heaped portion of Zinc. In addition to keeping a healthy immune system, Zinc prevents against anxiety and depression. Through brining balance to brain chemistry, Zinc can reduce the mental chatter.
They are home to the omega – 3 fats, EPA and DHA. Omega – 3’s are our anti-inflammatory anxiety insurance.
Muscles are an incredible source of B vitamins across the board, especially B12. A good balance of B vitamins means they work together effectively to promote a good mood.
Popeye was onto something – Spinach contains folate (vitamin B9). Folate is another key player in building brain chemicals. Serotonin in particular, which acts as our anxiety defence shield when sufficient.
Is a rich source of fibre. Fibre helps to maintain balanced blood sugar. Dips in blood sugar can lead to anxiety via the release of stress hormones to counteract the low.
Is rich in magnesium which, along with folate helps to keep the brain communicating properly. Great news for less brain chatter.
Yellow Bell Peppers
Are one of the best sources of Vitamin C. As well as being a component for brain chemical synthesis, Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. Free radicals cause oxidative damage (Ox dam is associated with anxiety). They get picked up and neutralised by antioxidants. Solid anxiety defence.
As well as the antioxidant Vitamin C, peppers contain polyphenols. These give them their bright alluring colour and also act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect us from inflammation and oxidative damage. When Antioxidants are low and Oxidative stress is high, anxiety is more prevalent.
Polyphenols in bell peppers also nurture a species of bacteria, lactobacillus. Higher amounts of lactobacillus have been known to reduce anxiety and depression like behaviours.
Sauerkraut is home to several strains of probiotic bacteria. These bacteria contribute to a healthy bacterial environment in the gut. Healthy bacteria help us use our food to build neurotransmitters. Up to 90% of Serotonin is estimated to be made in the gut!
There are also bad species of bacteria that ferment our foods into endotoxins which aggravate the immune system, causing inflammation. Again, inflammation correlates with increases in anxiety. Maximise beneficial strains to use food to your advantage, not your enemy.
Is an excellent source of saturated fat. Saturated fat makes up the receptor sites in the brain alongside DHA. Having responsive, well maintained receptors means better brain talk and less anxiety.
Helps the utilisation of blood sugar, preventing hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). This is when anxiety is more likely to strike.
Coconut facilitates the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and amino acids which we need to stay in check mentally. Not all the nutrients we eat get used, some troops fall behind. Coconut oil helps reduce the number of lost troops.