The Relationship Between What You Eat and Your Anxiety
Foods go past the meaning of an item that gives you the “full” feeling. It goes past cravings, snacks, meals, and other common perceptions. As trivial as this aspect may seem, it actually affects your mental health as well. Specifically anxiety.
Anxiety is present in all beings. It’s simplest form is present in certain nerve-wracking situations most can relate to such as speaking in front of a large crowd, or taking your driving test. However, extreme anxiety, present in anxiety disorders, causes further harm to one’s over well-being and mental health.
Diets high in sugar have a negative effect on your anxiety. An animal-based study, where the relationship between a sucrose diet and anxiety-like behavior was observed, it was concluded that diets high in sugar resulted in increased anxiety. Looking at it from a chemical perspective, an increase in glucose levels affect the way electrons navigate through our brain, and further, creates high levels of other chemicals that provoke mood disorders, such as anxiety (Ozcan et al., 2004).
Commonly consumed beverages, such as alcohol and caffeine induce anxiety as well. Maintaining a diet with low consumption of these two beverages is crucial in leveling one’s anxiety. Healthline elaborates, “caffeine is safe in low doses…high doses can cause unpleasant effects,…anxiety and nervousness” (Drillinger). Similar to the previous discussion of sugar’s effects, alcohol modifies levels of neurotransmitters, thus worsening anxiety levels.
Uma Naidoo, MD of Harvard Health Publishing provides great strategies to counter your anxiety by taking advantage of a healthy diet. So, what foods should you consider incorporating into your lifestyle when dealing with overbearing anxiety? Naidoo shares foods low in magnesium, such as nuts and whole grains are beneficial. On the other hand, foods with high zinc levels take initiative in battling anxiety levels. Accessible foods like red meat, for example beef, or egg yolks, contain a lot of zinc. Omega-3, or fish oil, helps reduce anxiety as well. Here at Naturna Institute, one of our most purchased and commended supplements is our Metagenics Omega Fish Oil. From a reputable brand, this supplement aids in reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, and lastly calming anxiety levels. Sign up to our online dispensaries, Fullscript or Wellevate, where this supplement is only a click away and can be shipped directly to your home.
Drillinger, Meagan. “The 4 Worst Foods for Your Anxiety.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 30 June 2021, www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/surprising-foods-trigger-anxiety#alcohol.
Naidoo, Uma. “Nutritional Strategies to Ease Anxiety.” Harvard Health, 28 Aug. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-strategies-to-ease-anxiety-201604139441.
Souza et Al. Highly palatable diet consumption increases protein oxidation in rat frontal cortex and anxiety-like behavior,
Life Sciences, Volume 81, Issue 3,2007, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2007.05.001.