Anxiety is a common mental illness that affects about 49.6% of the population in India. Everyone experiences symptoms of anxiety at some point during their life. It is often interlinked with stress and depression
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to deal with stressful situations. When people are afraid or apprehensive about the possible outcome of an action, they may experience anxiety.
This feeling of anxiousness, being overwhelmed, or nervousness may be triggered before or during stressful situations, like appearing before a vast crowd, taking an important exam, giving a job interview, etc. These can be considered as some of the causes of anxiety. The person is said to have an anxiety disorder if these feelings are extreme and last for a long time.
The symptoms of anxiety may vary from one person to another. However, some usual symptoms of anxiety are:
It is essential to choose the right treatment for anxiety.
Diet Changes That Can Help Reduce Anxiety
Certain nutritional deficiencies and food choices can contribute to an increase in anxiety. Always have a well-balanced diet as it is crucial for a healthy mind. Here are some simple diet changes you can adopt to help calm anxiety.
1. Add More Magnesium
A magnesium deficiency is known to increase anxiety-related behaviour. Include foods like spinach, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish into your diet to help feel calmer during stressful situations. Gaia Crunchy Nutty Delight Muesli is a healthy mix of multi-grains and nuts, making it an excellent snacking option.
2. Eat Anti-Oxidant Rich Foods
To help ease symptoms related to anxiety disorder, include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. Some natural sources of antioxidants are chocolates, green tea, blueberries, walnuts, kale, etc.
3. Consume More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A study conducted by medical students in 2011 showed that omega-3 fatty acids helped reduce anxiety levels. Sea-food, walnut, flax seeds, and chia seeds are an excellent natural source of omega-3 fatty acids to include in your diet.
4. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is a powerful food stimulant that can worsen anxiety. Avoid drinking tea or coffee regularly if you suffer from an anxiety disorder.
5. Eat more Chocolate
Chocolates always help make everything better. It reduces the levels of our stress hormone, cortisol in the body and will help improve your mood. Eating a piece of dark chocolate during stressful situations will also release endorphins into the brain help you feel better.
6. Limit Sugar
Eating large amounts of sugar can trigger feelings of irritation and worrying, which can make dealing with anxiety worse. Eating sugar is also known to increase your chances of developing depression. So avoid excess sugar, eat more complex carbohydrates, and limit processed foods to balance your blood sugar levels.
7. Increase Vitamin B Intake
Foods like green leafy vegetables, fruits, almonds, and eggs are rich in vitamin B and also help reduce stress and anxiety.
How To Control Anxiety
It is recommended to avoid extremely stressful situations if you suffer from an anxiety disorder; this will help you control your anxiety. Practising Yoga and meditation is also helpful in managing stressful situations.
If you suffer from a severe case of anxiety disorder, and it affects your day-to-day life, consult a doctor to seek professional treatment. Doctors can prescribe anti-anxiety medicines and guide you on how to reduce anxiety. They may even recommend counselling in particular cases.
You should know that no matter how serious your anxiety disorder is, it can be treated effectively. Living an active, healthy lifestyle is the key to help control anxiety in the long run, along with a healthy diet.