Tuesday Tip: Anxiety and Diet 🤯
Anxiety can be a particularly tricky thing to deal with at any time, but at the moment levels of general anxiety are even higher and people who perhaps wouldn’t normally class themselves as being “anxious” are finding things increasingly difficult.
Mental health is so important, and if anxiety or anxious thoughts are affecting you then do please speak to someone (be it a professional, or even a friend/work colleague etc) but it is also possible to help with what you’re eating.
A 2010 study found that diets higher in vegetables, fruit, fish and whole grains led to lower incidence of anxiety disorders. A further study in 2017 directly compared a mediterranean-style diet with “social support (friends etc) for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The diet actually provided better relief than the social support. It’s believed this is due to the impact of short-chain fatty acids (created from digestion of fibres in the food). It’s though that consuming 30g fibre a day can help thus.
Omega-3 is also linked to mental health with higher levels reducing the incidence of low moods, depression and anxiety.
One study found a 20% reduction in anxiety with omega-3 supplements compared to a placebo but evidence is mixed. However it certainly won’t do any harm as it has many other health benefits so definitely worth a try.
In contrast studies have shown that diets high in caffeine, sugar and saturated fat are linked to increased anxiety. Alcohol is also an issue – it initially relaxes you by increasing the activity of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). But this is short term and as the alcohol wears off the levels of GABA reduce which exacerbates anxiety.
So a few things to consider (as well as seeking professional help if it’s impacting your life)
Happy Tuesday 🤗