What is the best diet for people with anxiety disorders?

Diet is closely related to one’s mental health, so people with psychological problems are often encouraged to change to a healthier diet. People with anxiety disorder should eat and abstain from what is best, let’s find out in detail in the following article.

How does diet affect people with anxiety disorders?

People often assume that nutrition will only be related to physical problems, not mental effects, but that is not the case. The foods loaded into the body every day have a close relationship with the psychology and mood of each person. Therefore, people with psychological problems such as anxiety disorders are always encouraged to change their diet if they want to improve quickly.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Diet is strongly linked to the rate of improvement in symptoms of anxiety disorders

Specifically, research by Dr Felice Jacka shows that diet can change the size of the hippocampus, especially evident in older people. The decrease in hippocampal size is the main cause of anxiety disorders, depression or Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.

Research from Associate Professor – Dr. Drew Ramsey of Columbia University (USA) also shows that changing a healthy diet has a direct impact on a person’s feelings of excessive anxiety. For example, getting enough protein and good fats in the morning will help maintain stable blood sugar levels, which can reduce feelings of anxiety.

Another study by Dr. S Julia J. Rucklidge in adults with psychological problems, in which one group will use a separate micronutrient formula in the diet and the other group will use a placebo to improve disease. The results showed that after 8 weeks, the people who used the scientific diet had significant changes in mood similar to those who took the placebo and did not experience any side effects.

Currently, the main treatment for anxiety disorders is medication and psychotherapy. However, a person cannot depend on these methods for a lifetime, while diet is something we must do every day. Therefore, changing healthy nutrition will have a great impact on the process of improving each person’s disease.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating to improve symptoms, whether it is important or not, the answer is very important. It can be clearly seen that if we drink a lot of alcohol, the spirit will only be a little excited, then feel tired and negative. Meanwhile, if you drink pure orange juice, the spirit will be much more alert and positive.

In general, daily diet is closely related to each person’s mood, psychology, and nerves. Not only for patients with anxiety disorders, but each of us also needs to change a healthier eating habit every day to improve health and prevent the risk of other dangerous psychological problems.

Anxiety disorder should eat and abstain from eating to improve the disease?

In fact, changing a healthy diet is not only to improve disease but also to improve health. When the body is healthy, the mind also tends to be more positive and happy. Given the important role of the above diet, what should people with anxiety disorders eat and avoid to best improve the disease?

What should an anxiety disorder eat?

According to doctors, patients with anxiety disorders should increase their intake of healthy food groups, giving priority to preparing their own dishes at home instead of buying ready-to-eat foods. . This helps the patient to control the ingredients and spices in each dish, so they can help improve the disease better.

  • Food group rich in choline

According to Dr. Felice Jacka and colleagues, the addition of foods rich in choline – a substance like vitamin B group can bring many benefits for patients with anxiety disorders. This active ingredient has the effect of increasing the transmission of active substances in the brain, good for both the nervous system and the heart.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Foods rich in choline are not only good for the nervous system but also good for the heart

Research shows that people with less choline supplements are 33% more likely to have an anxiety disorder than normal. So getting enough of this substance will reduce this risk and improve anxiety symptoms.

Some food groups rich in this active ingredient can be mentioned as peanut butter, mackerel, eggs, tofu, lamb ..

  • Fermented food group

The Department of Psychiatry, Queen’s University, Kingston (Canada)  has documented the relationship between probiotics and mood. In which, the trials showed that people who supplemented with fermented foods rich in probiotics for about 30 days experienced a significant reduction in anxiety levels.

On the other hand, the intestinal system is also considered as the second brain of the body, ie problems in the digestive system can affect the brain and nerves. Research from the University of California (USA) and France also shows that groups of fermented foods will help change neuronal pathways to improve each person’s emotions.

These studies have helped answer the question of what to eat and what to avoid with anxiety disorders. Fermented foods that the patient should add such as yogurt, probi, kimchi, miso, kombucha tea ..

However, a small note is that if you add too much fermented foods such as pickles, kimchi, pickled vegetables, sometimes it is not good for blood pressure, liver, kidneys and especially those who are not healthy. have gout. Therefore, even if it is good, you should not overdo these foods.

  • Omega 3 rich foods

In people with illness anxiety disorder due to a history of problems such as cancer, it is highly recommended to supplement with foods rich in Omega 3.  The International Society for Nutritional Psychiatric Research (ISNPR) has also recommended makes recommendations for the use of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids as a treatment for anxiety disorders and depression.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Foods rich in Omega 3 rich foods are recommended to be included in the treatment regimen for people with anxiety disorders

A study at Columbia University (USA) in 2011 also showed that people who increased their intake of foods rich in Omega 3 had a 20% reduction in feelings of anxiety and stress.

So if you are wondering what to eat and what to abstain from anxiety disorder to help improve the disease, you should definitely add foods rich in Omega 3 into your daily diet. Some foods rich in this group of substances must be mentioned such as fatty fish (mackerel, salmon), nuts (walnuts, almonds), fruits (dragon fruit, avocado).

  • Food group rich in vitamin C

Research has shown that vitamin C deficiency is associated with increased stress disorders such as depression or anxiety disorders. The 2020 Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry also reported that adding vitamin C to the diet is also considered a possible therapeutic strategy for anxiety and depression.

The use of foods rich in vitamin C can eliminate the hormone cortisol – the cause of increased feelings of anxiety and restlessness in patients with anxiety disorders. On the other hand, vitamin C also increases resistance, reduces the risk of infectious diseases, so it is also very good for everyone’s health.

Some foods rich in vitamin C that you should increase your daily supplement such as citrus, carrots, kiwi fruit, pineapple juice or tomatoes.

  • Magnesium rich food group

A study conducted in 2017 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology in cancer patients with anxiety disorders who were being treated with chemotherapy/radiotherapy showed that adding magnesium oxide to the daily diet helped Reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Foods rich in magnesium-rich foods will immediately improve anxiety and insomnia

In fact, in the treatment of anxiety disorders, doctors often prescribe magnesium supplements for patients to quickly improve symptoms. Magnesium has the ability to synthesize and increase the production of GABA – a neurotransmitter that is very important for people with excessive anxiety.

In addition, magnesium also reduces the production of the hormone cortisol, so it also reduces the symptoms of anxiety, restlessness, and stress significantly. Therefore, with anxiety disorders, what to eat and what to avoid, you should definitely increase magnesium in your daily diet.

Some food groups rich in magnesium that you can increase your supplement such as spinach, dark chocolate, leafy vegetables ..

  • Use herbal teas

In people with anxiety disorders are often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as drowsiness, insomnia, feeling of joint pain, susceptibility to colds, allergic rhinitis.. The use of teas. Herbs can relieve these symptoms.

Several studies have actually shown that the use of chamomile tea can be extremely beneficial for people with anxiety disorders. This tea not only helps to stabilize the mind, but also improves the symptoms of irritable bowel, bloating, and abdominal pain caused by excessive anxiety.

In addition, linden leaf tea can help increase GABA production, perilla leaf tea helps to relax the spirit or mint tea helps relax, reduce stress is also very good for patients with anxiety disorders.

  • Supplement curcumin from turmeric

Curcumin is an abundant active ingredient in turmeric known for its effects such as reducing stomach acid, wound healing, anti-inflammatory.. Recent studies also show that this ingredient can bring about harmless effects. Also great for patients with psychological problems such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Consuming 1 cup of turmeric milk a day can bring many benefits to both body and mind

Accordingly, the study Habibollah Esmaily et al in 2015 showed that taking curcumin can reduce anxiety in obese people. Research by Subash Pandaran Sudheera et al in 2016 also shows that curcumin reduces anxiety, stress related to work.

One note when using curcumin you should use pure turmeric. You can mix it with warm water, honey or mix it with warm milk for daily use, which brings many unexpected results to improve mental health and health.

Anxiety disorder should abstain from eating?

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating to improve symptoms, speed up recovery? According to experts, patients should limit their intake of canned foods, fast foods, stimulants or alcohol to avoid making anxiety symptoms worse.

  • Food group rich in gluten

Trials of the gluten-free diet were initially tested on Celiac patients who had excessive anxieties but were not yet depressed. After a year of abstinence from gluten, the number of people experiencing anxiety decreased significantly, from 72% to only 24%. Subsequent trials also showed positive results in people without Celiac syndrome but with excessive anxiety.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Limiting gluten-rich foods can have many benefits for people with anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating, you can refer to the gluten-free diet to improve symptoms. Some food groups rich in this substance can be mentioned as wheat dishes, beer, cookies, cakes, candies..

  • High-sugar food group

It can be clearly seen that foods high in sugar are never good for health. Some people, when prone to anxiety and stress, will eat a lot of sweet foods such as milk tea, cakes to relieve their emotions, but this can aggravate their uncomfortable feelings of anxiety.

Studies have also shown that eating too much sugar increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol and makes us more irritable. On the other hand, sugar is also the cause of obesity, inflammatory problems, increased metabolic activity of the organs, so it is easier to feel tired.

Limiting the use of sugar in foods and drinks every day will also bring many other benefits to the body. If you feel sweet, you can use honey or diet sugars to reduce some of the associated consequences.

  • Food group high in saturated fat

Fast foods, fried foods, animal fats or animal products such as sausages should be limited to everyone. Saturated fat is the leading cause of inflammation, causing weight gain, increasing negative emotions, stress in each of us.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Fast food can cause a lot of bad effects on both body and mind, so it should be avoided

You need to try not to eat greasy, fried and high-fat foods (except fatty fish). You can switch to grilled foods with an oil-free fryer or oven to limit fat, but you should not eat too often.

However, there is a paradox that harmful foods have a strange “seduction”. Most of us probably know that eating fried fish balls and sausages a lot is not good for our health, but we still eat them every day. Therefore, if we want to improve our anxiety disorders, we need to be self-aware of this.

  • Stay away from stimulants and alcoholic beverages

Most people with anxiety disorders tend to turn to alcohol to relieve their stress and anxiety. In fact, this only makes the patient’s mood worse after waking up, not to mention also leads to dangerous evils for himself if he can’t control his emotions while drunk.

On the other hand, the abuse of stimulants is also the leading cause of anxiety disorders in many people. Research has shown that consuming more than 3 cups of pure black coffee daily will reduce the function of the sub-frontal cortex and temporal lobes and constrict blood vessels, making nerves more susceptible to stress.

Meanwhile, people who abuse alcohol are often agitated, impulsive, have thoughtless behaviors, and have severe memory impairment because the nervous system cells have been gradually destroyed. Alcohol or stimulants also destroy internal organs and the skeletal system, so they should be avoided.

People with anxiety disorders should eat and avoid eating with some notes

Anxiety disorder is not an easy disease to treat, some people only need to see a doctor for a few months, some for a whole year, but there are also patients who need maintenance treatment for a lifetime. Changing the diet is not only aimed at improving anxiety symptoms but also improving health so that the patient can fight the disease more effectively.

Anxiety disorder should eat and avoid eating

Talk to your doctor about nutrition for people with anxiety disorders in more detail

To know exactly what anxiety disorder should eat and avoid, the patient should discuss more with the treating doctor for the best support. In addition, in order to enhance the effectiveness of treatment, patients should pay attention to the following issues:

  • Ensure the origin of the food used every day to protect health
  • It is advisable to prioritize cooking at home to control the way of processing, seasoning, for example, you can use olives to cook dishes instead of normal animal-based oils.
  • A healthy and serious diet is essential, but it should not be too strict. Sometimes you can still reward yourself with an “unhealthy” food that you really love but need to limit
  • Fully supplement and balance nutrients, do not focus too much on any substance
  • Make sure to eat cooked, drink boiled, drink enough 2-2.5 liters of water per day
  • It should be combined with a scientific rest, daily exercise, and enough sleep to bring the best results to improve symptoms.
  • Exchange and perform treatment according to the doctor’s instructions to improve the disease as quickly as possible

Above are some shared information that will hopefully help you answer the question of what to eat and what to avoid with anxiety disorders. Changing a healthy diet not only helps to take care of a more positive mental life, but also brings many other great benefits to the body, so each of us should also refer to it from today.


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