- Eat a Clean and Well Balanced Diet
Several studies show that there is a connection between the diet choices and psychology, physiology and behaviour. Dietary choices impact a person from the moment he or she is born, to adult life. Consuming too many or too little calories can increase anxiety symptoms and other psychological or emotional disorders.
Also, poor diet can lead to many anxiety symptoms, including moodiness, fatigue and abnormal blood sugar levels that cause nervousness and the jitters. A poor diet can also lead to weight gain. And this can impact your body image and bring on feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods can be a natural remedy for anxiety because they are important for neurotransmitters synthesising and balancing your mood and stress response. In addition, it’s also important to eat healthy fats, unrefined carbohydrates and lean protein. To improve anxiety symptoms, make sure to add vitamin B foods, magnesium rich foods, foods high in calcium and omega-3 foods to your diet too.
- Wild-caught fish (like salmon, mackerel, tuna, white fish and herring)
- Grass-fed beef
- Organic chicken
- Nutritional yeast
- Yogurt or kefir
- Leafy greens (like spinach, kale, chard and collard greens)
- Fresh vegetables (like celery, bok choy, broccoli, beetroot and artichokes)
- Fresh fruits (like blueberries, pineapple, bananas and figs)
- Sea vegetables
- Healthy fats (like avocado, coconut oil and olive oil)
- Beans (such as black beans, adzuki beans, chickpeas and fava beans)
- Legumes (like lentils and peas)
- Nuts (such as walnuts, almonds and cashews)
- Seeds (including flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds)
- Unrefined grains (like farro, quinoa and barley)
- Vitamin B – liver, meat, eggs, yeast extract, nuts, cod, cheese, wholewheat, green
- Vitamin C rich foods – papaya, citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli,
Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens such as kale, mustard greens, chard
- Magnesium rich foods - alfalfa, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, black-eyed
peas, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, cantaloupe melon chamomile, dandelion,
dulse, figs, garlic, grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, kelp, lemons, liquorice, lima
beans, nuts, parsley, peaches, peppers, soybeans, tofu and whole grains
- Glutathione production – Arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage,
cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, radish, turnip, watercress
- GABA production - eat sulphur-rich foods broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, leeks,
shallots and avocado, kale, spinach, chard, cabbage, arugula, mustard greens, egg,
grass-fed beef, halibut, legumes, brown rice. Vitamins B3, B6 and B12 work in a
number of enzyme reactions to help convert glutamine to GABA.
- Serotonin production is made from tryptophan, an essential amino acid abundant in
fish, eggs, chicken, turkey and other meats. Iron, zinc, and vitamins B3, B6 and C.
- Dopamine, the most powerful of your stimulating neurotransmitters, is responsible for
many of the “highs” you feel. The brain converts the amino acid tyrosine – found in
protein – to dopamine with the help of folic acid, vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc.
You’ll find extra tyrosine in almonds, avocados, dairy products, and pumpkin and
sesame seeds. A related compound, tyramine, is rich in aged cheeses, such as aged
cheddar and Stilton.
- Norepinephrine (also known as noradrenaline) is another stimulating
neurotransmitter. The brain makes it from dopamine, with the help of the mineral
copper and vitamins B6 and C. Like dopamine, norepinephrine is ultimately derived
from the amino acid tyrosine.
- Pre and probiotics weekly - kombucha tea or sodas, organic miso soup, organic
pickles or sauerkraut, organic kefir or yogurt
- Organic green or matcha tea
- Avoid Sugary and Processed Foods
Research shows that consuming foods that have a high glycaemic index can contribute to anxiety and depression. Sugar and refined carbohydrates can give you blood sugar highs and lows throughout the day, increasing anxiety, nervousness and fatigue. These foods can cause mood swings and alter your energy levels, making it more difficult to get your anxiety symptoms under control. They also contribute to inflammation and alter your brain structure and neurotransmitter function.
To maintain normal blood sugar levels and improve your anxiety symptoms, stay away from refined foods, including baked goods (like pastries and cookies), sweetened beverages, fast foods, fried foods, processed meat and refined grains (which can be found in cereals and packaged breads).
One specific dietary option that covers many of these bases and may actually influence anxiety is the keto diet. Preliminary research in animals has found that following this high-fat, low-carb diet may result in a lowered risk for anxiety.
- Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Too much caffeine or alcohol can increase anxiety symptoms like moodiness, nervousness and the jitters. A study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry found that abstinence from alcohol is associated with a lower risk of anxiety. To reduce anxiety, avoid alcohol completely or limit your alcohol intake to 1–3 drinks per week, but no more than two at a time.
Research also shows that consuming too much caffeine can induce anxiety symptoms, and people with panic disorder and social anxiety seem to be particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Limit coffee or black tea to no more than one cup per day.
- Drink Herbal Teas
There are ready made blends in teabags or why not make your own teas from purchasing dried leaves.
Start with 10 grams of a single dry herb or mixed leaves for a tea. Infuse the chopped dry leaves, strain, and drink. Use several small doses throughout the day for anxiety, or the entire dose at bedtime for insomnia.
Valerian root teas are effective for stress, anxiety and sleep. They can be highly effective for a “stress emergency kit” for acute stressful events and panic attacks.
This plant is incredible for preventing stress, anxiety and fatigue.
This flower is commonly found in calming teas. If you have a ragweed allergy, you’ll want to stay away for cross-reactivity issues. The National Institute of Health urges pregnant women not to consume chamomile due to uterine contractions that can invoke miscarriages.
This herb is also found in teas and is used for stress and anxiety.
This flower is beautiful and helpful for reducing acute stress and anxiety.
Hemp (Cannabis Sativa)
Drinking hemp tea is a great way to get the cannabinoids (CBD) found in hemp, that can help fight depression and anxiety. Because CBD affects the brain’s receptors for serotonin, one of its main benefits is its anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects and its capability to regulate mood and social behaviour. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that improves mood and reduces stress. Studies have found that CBD increases the effects of serotonin by enhancing the activity of the receptors onto which serotonin binds.
Fights stress and anxiety because it works as an adaptogen that reduces the negative effects of increased cortisol levels thereby helping to reduce the symptoms of chronic stress and anxiety.
Today, skullcap is best known as a safe, reliable, mild sedative that excels in relieving anxiety, neuralgia, and insomnia. It treats high blood pressure, premenstrual syndrome, tension headache, and muscle spasm. Skullcap also serves as a nerve tonic and tissue rejuvenator, and many recent scientific papers have found it to be protective for nerve tissue.
L-Theanine (Green Tea)
This amino acid is found naturally in green tea. The dosage is generally too low to provide significant stress-relief which is why you could try organic matcha, which is the whole, ground leaf of green tea that contains much more L-Theanine.