Anxiety makes us go into fight or flight mode which can affect your hormones, thyroid, adrenals, and metabolism. Overindulging in sugar and processed foods can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes that change our energy and mood. Keeping certain nutrients in our diets will help manage our anxiety and calm us down.
Magnesium will suppress cortisol and adrenal output which are two of the body’s stress hormones. It also has the ability to block the entrance of stress hormones to the brain. Considering having a magnesium deficiency can increase your anxiety, keeping magnesium in your system will help with your anxiety. Foods with magnesium include avocado, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens.
Choline and B Vitamins
Choline is a B vitamin found in egg yolks that produces acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter regulating the stress response. Low choline levels have been associated with high anxiety and panic. Other B vitamins like B-12, B-6, biotin, and folate play a role in neurotransmitter production and supports proper nerve signaling. Foods with choline and B vitamins include salmon, egg yolks, and shellfish.
L-theanine modulates neurotransmitters in the brain which balances excesses and deficiencies. This can increase alpha brain waves which are elevated during meditation, when you are creative, relaxation, and REM stages of sleep. When you are awake, it can help you concentrate better. Foods with l-theanine include matcha, mushrooms, and herbal tea.
Probiotics can affect the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brain like serotonin and GABA. When the gut experiences a bacterial imbalance, it can produce adrenaline which increases anxiety and chronic stress. These neurotransmitters communicate with the central nervous system. Foods that have probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.
The Importance of Diet in Anxiety
Even if your doctor recommends medication or therapy for your anxiety, you should still see if the foods you are contributing to your diet are acting up your anxiety symptoms. Remember that diet changes are not a substitute for the other methods of treatment, but being aware of what you put in your stomach should be able to help you. Start making these diet changes by slowly weaning off certain foods you are used to having. For example, if you know caffeine makes your anxiety symptoms worse, lessen your dosage of coffee every morning. By adding these essential nutrients to your diet and being aware of your diet, you will have better control of your anxiety.
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