Anxiety seems to be a part of life for all of us. Technologies have brought about incredible multitasking and it just never ends. Nevertheless, there are many ways to combat anxiety and food is one of them. The idea is to maintain a healthy blood sugar level by taking in healthy fats and proteins while avoiding foods that are heavily laden with sugar. You'll want to stay away from foods that contain caffeine and other stimulants as well. This kind of diet should help you lose weight as well so you get to kill two birds with one stone sort to speak.
Foods can actually have a profound effect on your mood. Too much sugar can create hyperactivity and run your brain into overdrive. Foods that are high in sugar as opposed to complex carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels quickly causing a sugar spike. Your body produces insulin in response to this to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells were sugar will be metabolized to make ATP.
ATP is the energy currency of the cell that runs most metabolic processes. When your sugar levels are low, you feel tired and foggy-brained. When you are low in energy, your adrenal glands put out hormones to wake you up but not without a price. Anxiety sets in. Chances are this is when you grab a candy bar, coffee or some other junk food. So it is best to maintain steady levels of sugar to keep you body and brain in balance.
Many individuals live this roller-coaster ride throughout their lives and then end up with diabetes type 2, adrenal impairment and brain dysfunction. But, you can avoid this by making better choices in the foods you choose.
Foods That Can Make You Calm
Complex carbohydrates – try sweet potatoes, brown rice and beans. These foods are full of complex carbs (slow carbs), fiber, minerals and vitamins. Try combining these foods with healthy fats and protein.
Eggs – these little jewels are a good source of complete protein. They also contains omega-3s, B vitamins, lecithin, choline, iron, iodine and vitamin E. Try to get the organic, free range eggs as they contain more omega-3s, vitamin E and less cholesterol. I know they are much more expensive but nutrition wise are well worth it. Choline is very important for brain function. Short-term memory uses the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Choline is the precursor to this transmitter.
Seeds and nuts – look for walnuts and flaxseeds. Both are rich in omega-3s. These are real anxiety busters and they decrease inflammation in the body which helps to keep young and feeling good.
Tea – any tea is good but I prefer organic green tea. Tea contains the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine binds to GABA receptors and causes them to remain open longer. GABA is an inhibitory transmitter which keeps the brain from getting over excited. So, tea calms you down. Even though green tea contains caffeine, the L-theanine works in opposition to it bringing about a balance of inhibition and excitation. Some people take GABA supplements to keep anxiety at bay.
Broth – make sure you get grass-fed bone broth. This broth is high in glycine. This is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which calms the brain. Bone broth is known to promote a healthy gut. Intestinal issues often bring about depression and anxiety. Bone broth can help with that.
Vitamin B12 – This vitamin is important making red blood cells, methylations and neurotransmitter synthesis. Low B12 is known to generate neurodevelopment issues and psychiatric disorders. Try foods such as fish, liver, eggs, lamb and shellfish.
Green vegetables – These foods are high in the mineral magnesium. Magnesium is used in more than 300 functions in the body. It is a cofactor on some enzymes. Enzymes don't work without their cofactors. So, try kale, spinach, avocados and dark chocolate. Chocolate is known to release the neurotransmitter serotonin which is known as the feel good transmitter.
Coconut oil – coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids. Your brain is mostly made up of fats. Plasma membranes of all cells and myelin wrappings around neurons are loaded with fatty acids. Coconut oil can help replenish these fats when needed and keep your cells working properly.