In the United States today, over 40 million Americans are struggling with anxiety disorders. And unfortunately, it looks like that number is only getting higher as time passes.
So, how do we attack this issue?
To be sure, there are a slew of resources about improving anxiety out there. Everything from virtual therapy and smart phone applications, to special exercise regimens and fad diets are recommended. Of course, for the layperson, this only adds to the problem. After all, it can be difficult to know which of these solutions will actually work.
In the end, only you can determine what the best remedy for your anxiety is — sometimes, by simple trial and error and other times, by digging in deep to the useful information and science that’s available.
In this guide, we will be presenting information pertaining to anxiety and how it reacts to specific improvements in nutrition. Specifically, we’ll be looking at how your diet may be affecting your anxiety levels and how taking certain supplements might be able to help as well.
How Nutrition Affects Your Anxiety
The truth is that a large number of people who struggle with anxiety never seek help. This not only hinders their ability to live a happy, thriving life in general, but it may also mean that their anxiety symptoms actually worsen as they age. Chronic anxiety frequently turns into exacerbated mental health conditions — depression or addiction, for example.
Luckily, there’s good news just around the corner: Before turning to medications, treatment centers, or intensive therapies, there is a large number of people who may be able to turn their anxiety levels around by simply improving their nutrition.
This means eating a healthier diet in general, but it also means taking specific supplements that have been proven to specifically address anxiety.
What a Healthy Diet Looks Like
Most of us are somewhat familiar with basic nutrition.
You probably remember the “Food Pyramid” from when you were a kid or perhaps the more recent ChooseMyPlate campaign put out by the federal government.
Regardless of what you thought you knew about nutrition, however, there’s still a good chance that you’re not completely in line with what many holistic doctors and scientists now say is essential for good nutrition. The following provides a breakdown.
This list is ordered from most important to least important. That is, the foods near the top of the list should be eaten in the largest quantities and so on until the last items on the list, which should be eaten in the smallest quantities:
- Beans and legumes
- Whole and cracked grains
- Healthy fats, including avocados, nuts, and ground flaxseeds and hemp seeds
- Whole soy foods, including tofu, soy nuts, edamame, and soy milk
- Other types of protein, including cheese, yogurt, eggs, and lean meats like ground turkey and chicken breast
- Herbs and spices
- Healthy sweets, including dark chocolate (sparingly)
Why Does Better Nutrition Help With Anxiety?
There are a number of reasons why eating a healthier diet can improve your anxiety levels. Here are just two to be aware of:
- First, if you’re not eating enough healthy foods, including whole grains and vegetables and fruits, you may be eating a lot of processed foods. These processed foods tend to metabolize quickly in the body, causing your blood sugar levels to be all over the place. This can lead to anxious, jittery feelings.
- Have you ever heard of the gut-brain axis? If you’ve ever felt your stomach turn when you were nervous, that’s it. As it turns out, a huge percentage of the body’s serotonin receptors are found in the gut’s lining, which is heavily impacted by what you eat. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates feelings of happiness, well-being, and mood. A better diet means better regulation of the way these serotonin receptors interact with your brain.
The Role of Supplements in Reducing Anxiety
Scientists and the media go back and forth when it comes to dietary supplements and what they may or may not do for you. Sometimes, you’ll hear that taking supplements is a must. If you don’t do it, you’re crazy!
On the other hand, some people say that supplements don’t do anything. There’s a lot of controversy about whether or not certain brands or types of supplements actually contain what they say they contain. Moreover, there are some people who say that even if supplement capsules and pills do contain what they claim to contain, the effects of the ingredients are so minimal that supplements are simply a waste of money.
More recent research on the matter, however, has concluded that supplements can help in a number of ways. Of course, you’ll need to choose the right formulas and brands (we’ll have some recommendations coming up).
What Exactly Do Supplements Do?
Essentially, dietary supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, or calcium, fill gaps in your diet.
After all, try as you may, you’ve probably realized already that it’s pretty hard to get all of the essential vitamins and nutrients you need every single day. You’re bound to miss some here and there. The idea is that supplements fill in these gaps so that you get optimal nutrition every day, whether you ate “perfectly” that day or not.
Which Supplements Are Best for Anxiety?
Here are the supplements we recommend to help with anxiety:
- Nature’s Bounty Nature’s Bounty Stress Comfort Mood Booster: Includes saffron, lemon balm, and GABA to promote a more positive, calm mood
- Physicians Choice Ashwagandha Capsules: Made with organic ashwagandha to help elevate mood and support the adrenal and thyroid glands
- Dr Emil Nutrition 5-HTP Plus Supplement: Includes co-factor B6 and serotonin synthesizers for better sleep, mood, and brain fnction
- Nobi Nutrition Magnesium Complex: Made with magnesium, which is known to promote nerve health and enzyme function
Help Yourself Live a Calmer, Happier Life With Less Anxiety
Meditation, less screen time, and more exercise are all great things for helping with your anxiety. But remember: Nutrition is key.
If you have been struggling with anxiety in your personal life, try improving your diet and incorporating some of the dietary supplements listed above. We promise you’ll start to see a difference right away.