Could your diet be causing your anxiety?
We used to think that Mental health and physical health were a whole separate ball game.
But, more and more research is linking an unhealthy gut to all sorts of other bodily problems.
“The gut brain connection is no joke: it can link anxiety to stomach problems and vice versa “ – .https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection
Unfortunately when we see a doctor for anxiety, due to limited time we are unable to properly address the underlying factors that could be affecting our mental state.
A big one being, our diet.
So just how important is it?
Our gut determines a lot for our body. Think of it as the second brain. We have loads of different bacteria and hormones in there that all take part in their own way. An imbalance of any of these can affect you physically and mentally.
Your gut is constantly relaying messages to the brain via the vagus nerve, some to the conscious mind and others subconsciously. Each of these messages can affect the way you feel without you even noticing. Which is why when it comes to the gut, nutrients is the key. Your body needs the right fuel to feed positive thoughts.
Avoiding processed, sugary foods and minimising high carbohydrate intake from your diet will increase your mood dramatically. All of these foods cause inflammation of the gut and create a breeding ground for bad bacteria that can link to symptoms of low mood, irritability, anxiety and minimal energy production. Foods like this will give you a quick hit of energy while your insulin is peaking and as soon as it drops you will almost immediately feel “down in the dumps”.
Where as eating a wholesome diet, full of nutrient rich – organic foods, will help stabilise you quickly helping you feel more energised and lift your mood.
“A healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety.” – https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20150820/food-mental-health#1
If you know what it’s like to suffer frequent panic attacks then the last thing that you think is going to help is your diet; But as the saying goes “you are what you eat!” and if you are someone that eats a junk food filled diet, then how do you expect your body to react when it breaks the food down?
Your body is trying to find the nutrients it needs to create a sustainable energy production and yet you’re only giving it something that gives your body a quick spike of energy, which is not sustainable.
“A very large body of evidence now exists that suggests diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health,” says Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research.
So what can we do?
We have put together a list of foods that will help balance out your diet and stabilise gut health.
Fibre – cabbage, avocado, chia seeds , broccoli and dark leafy greens.
Protein – Lean meats, tofu, eggs, lentils and chickpeas, beans, (minimal intake too as these are carbs and may cause flatulences which can result in inflammation of the stomach)
Probiotic’s – Kimchi, Kombucha, fermented fruits, supplements.
Prebiotic’s – bananas, leeks, asparagus, garlic and onions.
Try adding some of these into your diet and see how you feel.
We hope this helps.
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