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Anxiety Diet

There is no specific diet called the anxiety diet, but some recommendations and changes in the food choice and intakes can help treat life quality. A best diet for anxiety is a balanced diet in the sugar intake is relevant because up and down in the blood sugar can influence the mood. As soon as a person has some sharp peak in blood sugar and intense down, that may reflect stress and nervous expression in patients with anxiety disorders.

What Is Anxiety, and What Is the Best Diet for Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are common mental illness. The prevalence rates for anxiety disorder in developed countries range from 13.6% to 28.8%. The percentage of the prevalence of anxiety disorder is much higher in developed nations than the developing ones.
Anxiety is expressed as a grown awareness of one's surroundings. Potential danger can be seen as an evolutionary advantage in dealing with threats. However, when this mechanism becomes general and debilitating, it has become a critical problem. There is a prominent genetic component to anxiety. It is felt that the anxiety and the responses will be shown at an early age that creates hormonal and brain patterns that become rooted.
There are different types of anxiety, such as:
♦ Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
♦ Panic disorder
♦ Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
♦ Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
♦ Social anxiety

Diagnosing and controlling the form of disorder needs having a consult with psychiatrists. Still, the point is that changing the lifestyle and eating habits and following a modified anxiety diet will be much helpful beside or without medications. Controlling the symptoms and lowering the day can have a massive effect on daily life performance and help them do their jobs without stress.
Being in a situation such as adverse childhood experience, divorce, death, substance abuse, participating in the war, and emotional, physical, or sexual abuse are GAD cases that controlling them may be very difficult and are not as temporary to be forgotten.

What Causes and Symptoms Make Me Choose an Anxiety Diet?

Anxiety Causes

Difficult life circumstances that provoke stress can worsen underlying anxiety disorders and may be helpful to address with counseling. These can include marital and relationship stress, job stress, grief, and physiologic stressors such as sleep disorders, menopause, thyroid disease, and food allergies. Hormonal imbalances, including high or low thyroid, low progesterone, and high or low testosterone levels, can also trigger anxiety. Anxiety can present a complaint of perimenopause and high or low cortisol levels, reflecting adrenal gland dysfunction.

Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety generates physical and emotional symptoms, such as rapid heart rate, hard breathing, and sleep disorders. It can be difficult at first to diagnose anxiety because patients present with multiple somatic complaints. Only after somatic pathology is ruled out can a diagnosis of anxiety disorder be established.

Medical Management vs Diet to Reduce Anxiety

The primary pharmacologic therapy for anxiety disorders:
♦ Benzodiazepines
♦ selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
♦ norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Medications used primarily for other conditions that are useful for anxiety:
♦ gabapentin
♦ buspirone
♦ antipsychotic medications

Each of the drugs can be effective, but you should note that each drug has side effects that might not be proper for everybody. That is why it is recommended to have a healthy diet besides using drugs to treat an anxiety disorder. Please, avoid using the medications arbitrarily and talk to your physician initially.

Nutritional Strategies for an Anxiety Diet

As long as there is no labeled diet as anxiety diet, recommendations, and changes in the food choice refill the emptiness of this regime's existence. This personalized anxiety diet can help a lot in the cure, control procedure, and life quality.

A diet that is balanced, in moderation, and with various diversity. Due to the up and down in the blood sugar, mood swings symptoms can be observed in patients. Therefore, the sugar intake, carbs, and all the substances which influence blood sugar should be disciplined in anxiety diet.
The anxiety diet should be less in sugar, more in healthy fats, having medium amounts of protein and most importantly, includes lots of vegetables.
Trying whole fruits and their fibers in anxiety diet can decrease the sugar added fruit juices intake, which is not proper for diet.
Avoiding regular Soda and Added sugar drinks and beverages that makes a spike in blood sugar.
Diet soda has caffeine, and that can be bad for anxiety, you should avoid them in anxiety diet.
Simple sugar and toast provided from white flour bring a spike in blood sugar, affecting anxiety.
Vitamins help the enzymes of the body to do their jobs better and this process. It can stimulate the synthesis of serotonin that is an essential and important substance in impacting mood, especially happiness.
Gut microbiota, the microorganisms that have communication with the brain and neurotransmitters, can have a role in a person's mood. You should note that the microbiota is influenced by nutrition and diet.
A study in 2015 showed that a higher intake of fermented foods that contain probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, pickles, and other Lacto fermented vegetables might be protective against social anxiety symptoms and neuroticism. Participants were asked to think about their food intake over the past 30 days and indicate how many certain fermented foods they consumed. High consumption of fruits and vegetables and exercise frequency were also negatively correlated with social anxiety.
Eating healthy foods is a kind of self-care and is involved in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). It has been considered as a practice to change the lifestyle and eating habits.

the Best diet for anxiety

Medical Nutrition Therapy: Stop Anxiety Disorders and Improve Your Eating Habits and Diet

We have to approaches to be against anxiety. The first one is to have self-care by anxiety diet and have the following function due to the anxiety type and symptoms besides medications. The second approach is nutritional therapies to target underlying metabolic causes of anxiety. Blood sugar imbalance and being hungry can trigger anxiety. The anxiety symptoms are more apparent in late mornings or late afternoons, followed by a long time after eating meals. Several hours without food can have a considerable effect on anxiety and moods. Eating smaller, balanced meals and maintaining routine mealtimes is recommended in anxiety diet.
Vitamin D, B vitamins, and Magnesium are common deficiencies in anxiety patients. Magnesium and anxiety are like double-edged swords. Magnesium deficiency can cause anxiety, and anxiety also can cause increased magnesium losses. A multivitamin with 100 mg magnesium and high-dose B vitamins decreased anxiety in a placebo-controlled study.
Vitamin D, B vitamins, Magnesium, and essential fatty acid status should be assessed.
The caffeine intake should be eliminated in anxiety diet for 3 to 4 weeks to watch out if it has effects on anxiety or not. The Elimination has some following symptoms, such as headaches. Therefore the intake can be controlled for 4 to 7 days.
Green tea or some other herbal teas that are considered calming teas, which include calming amino acids like theanine, can be beneficial in caffeine withdrawal.
Anxiety may be triggered by low doses of caffeine (the amounts in decaffeinated coffee); a switch to caffeine-free teas may be necessary.
Regular meals should be with protein and low glycemic carbohydrates to promote stable blood sugar.
The supplementation should be noted if the dietary intake is not sufficient. The DRI intake for folate, B12, Zinc, Magnesium, and vitamin D is supposed to be done for patients with deficiencies. There are other integrative therapies such as GABA, Inositol, KAVA, Lavender, Magnolia, Passionflower extract, and the Theanine. Each has effects on the neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that the dosage and the intake of them should be under control.
Dietary intake that supports the synthesis of neurotransmitters may also help alleviate anxiety. For example, deficiencies in L-tryptophan, L-phenylalanine, or L-tyrosine, the vital building blocks of serotonin, are associated with anxiety.
Activities such as Meditation, Mindfulness, and yoga can be used as other kinds of therapies, and they may be helpful.
Eating foods naturally high in Magnesium in anxiety diet can help an anxious patient. These foods rich in Magnesium are:
Leafy greens, Spinach, Swiss chard, Legumes, Seeds, Nuts, Whole grains
The foods rich in Zinc that can lower anxiety:
Lobster, Crab, Oysters, Cashews, Liver, Beef, Egg yolks, Salmon, fortified breakfast, whole grains
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids that may help in the reduction of anxiety are like Fatty fish.
Asparagus, Almonds, Avocado are Foods good to help these patients with anxiety management.

Achieving Better Mental Health Through an Anxiety Diet

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can boost self-esteem and lower the symptoms of anxiety. Talk to your doctor if your anxiety symptoms last more than two weeks. But even if your doctor recommends medication or therapy for anxiety, it is still worth asking whether you might also have some success by adjusting your diet and consulting with a nutritionist. While nutritional psychiatry is not a substitute for other treatments, the relationship between food, mood, and anxiety garners more and more attention.

What Kind Of Diets Can Be Used for Anxiety?

Sugar-Free Diet

A tremendous amount of sugar can decrease a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BNDF) that can impact anxiety and depression. One study in 2017 has shown that consuming a diet high in sugar can increase the risk of incident mood disorders in men and frequent mood disorders in both men and women.
Another study in 2019 found that everyday consumption of saturated fats and added sugars were related to higher anxiety feelings in adults over age 60.


A DASH diet that includes whole grains, vegetables, and a high amount of fruits can help control anxiety. Enough protein in the DASH diet and the high-fat dairy products are substituted with low-fat and nonfat ones. Restriction in consumption of sweets, sugary drinks, saturated fats, and alcohol can prevent the blood sugar peaks and control it better; therefore, the patients will be less angry and nervous.

Mediterranean Diet

Using complex sugars, starches, whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, eating fatty fish, less red meat, switching to olive oil, and enjoying wine and sweets in moderation.
A study has shown that being on a modified Mediterranean diet after 12 weeks can make the symptoms better.

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