Anxiety and other mental disorders affect more than 450 million people worldwide. Mental health disorders, when left untreated, can lead to an increased risk of suicide and drug dependency. Luckily, the stigma around mental health is not the same as decades ago. More people are accepting that mental health disorders are genuine medical conditions.
Something that many people don’t realize is the importance of diet in helping to prevent and even treat some types of mental health disorders.
Let’s discuss the importance of certain foods on a common disorder that many people suffer from – anxiety.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that all of us have experienced in some way, whether before an important meeting or routine trip to the doctor. We’re all familiar with the unpleasant feelings associated with anxiety.
An anxiety disorder is different in that it disrupts one's daily activity. People with an anxiety disorder suffer with constant worry and fear - the effects can be crippling.
Can certain foods help? Yes! Many foods contain vitamins and healthy chemicals that can significantly decrease symptoms of anxiety.
Top 5 Foods for Anxiety Disorders
These heart-healthy nuts are high in zinc, which is essential in balancing one's mood. A lack of iron can lead to brain fatigue, which has been linked to a decrease in energy and an increase in anxiety. Good news for anxious nut-lovers! Almonds are high in iron as well as healthy fats. Try some dark chocolate with almonds. That takes us to our next anxiety-busting food…
Dark chocolate with at least 72% cocoa is best for reducing the stress hormone Cortisol. Dark chocolate also contains compounds that have been proven to improve moods. Happy munching!
Now you have a reason to eliminate guilt from your next big Thanksgiving dinner! Turkey is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that reduces anxiety by promoting relaxation.
Other foods high in tryptophan include; milk, fish, pumpkins, sesame seeds, and peanut butter. Try dipping some apple slices in peanut butter for a delicious snack!
Beans are full of fiber, antioxidants and iron, making this a must-have food for anxiety.
This tiny super-food is not only delicious, but it is also full of antioxidants that can prevent a whole host of disorders and diseases, anxiety being one. Blueberries are rich in vitamin C, which has been proven to reduce anxiety levels.
These are just a few of the remarkable foods that can help reduce anxiety. The good news is that all of the foods listed are delicious and easy to eat every day.
For more serious cases, a doctor may be required, but eating these foods every day will do no harm. Start now and see how you feel, you might not need that prescription after all!