Chronic anxiety can leave one feeling trapped under its heavy weight. There are helpful techniques and practices such as deep breathing, grounding techniques, journaling and therapy to help beat anxiety. In addition there is also science showing that a change in nutrition can be a supplemental aid to recovery for people dealing with depression and anxiety. The connection between food and mental health is not entirely understood, but a few things that are known include:
Vitamins help the body boost serotonin, a mood regulating chemical that is essential to happiness.
- Niacin rich foods along with other B vitamins found in dairy foods, eggs, fish, legumes, lean meats and fortified nuts and grains are sources of serotonin making niacin.
- Vitamin B-6 increases serotonin levels and sources are seafood, such as tuna and salmon as well as poultry, chickpeas, liver, bananas, squash, rice, nuts, watermelon and fortified grains.
- Folic acid, also called folate or vitamin B-9 helps the body manufacture serotonin. Leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, beans, salmon, orange juice and avocado are best food sources.
- Vitamin D can help boost serotonin. Dairy foods, and mushrooms are good food sources and sun exposure also raises vitamin D levels.
Too much sugar, even though lots of people turn to sugary sweets when anxious, can:
- negatively affect your mood and are related to higher feelings of anxiety.
- weaken ability to deal with stress by suppressing the area in the brain that controls stress response.
- trigger imbalances in brain chemicals that lead to depression.
Simply seeing oneself as worthy of self-care and taking steps to better nutrition can be a start to raising spirits.
“Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.” Dorothy M. Neddermeyer