Anxiety: Which Foods To Prefer

Things Anxiety?

Anxiety is an innate reaction of activation, accompanied by an increase in vigilance and attention, which aims to prepare us to face the challenges that life presents us. Up to a certain level, this activation is functional; beyond that, it blocks us and makes us experience bad even situations that have no reason to be considered dangerous or worrying.

Do Not Confuse Anxiety With Depression

If anxiety is an activation reaction, depression is instead characterized by the “switching off” of our organism. It is characterized by a sad, empty, or irritable mood, with a physical impairment that causes tiredness and a cognitive impairment that gives rise to negative and catastrophic thoughts. To recognize it, we must check whether there have been significant changes (for the worse) in various of our behaviors: efficiency at work, pleasure in professional or extra-professional activities, the quality of relationships, sleep, or intrusive thoughts.

Which Therapies For Anxiety?

The most effective therapeutic strategies are based on psychotherapy of which there are different types adaptable to other kinds of patients. In some cases, it is helpful to combine psychopharmacological treatments for which teamwork between psychotherapist and psychiatrist is necessary to regulate the combination of the two interventions.

Does It Exist To Modulate Anxiety?

Numerous studies show that a balanced diet plays a vital role in anxious individuals. In particular, regular fruit and vegetable intake is inversely associated with anxiety and depression among adults aged 18 to 65. These foods also provide micronutrients such as vitamins, mineral salts, and fiber, which should never be excluded from the diet. Help to modulate anxiety comes from foods rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the production of endogenous serotonin (also known as the good mood hormone). Anxious subjects, on the other hand, should know and avoid the foods that worsen states of anxiety and adopt balanced diets such as the “Calories & Health Menu” program ( you can download it here for free ) personalized for the calories you should consume and balanced in macro and micronutrients.

Anxiety: Foods To Avoid

Numerous studies, including research published in 2022 on over 10 thousand people in the United States, have shown that ultra-processed foods, rich in salt, sugar, dyes, and additives, tend to worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression and increase the likelihood of experiencing tone disorders of mood. Often, however, when our mood is not at its best, we tend to seek satisfaction in foods such as chocolate, biscuits, ice cream, pizza, and other baked or pastry products, which give us an immediate feeling of well-being, good mood, and pleasure as they increase our production of serotonin and dopamine (known as the pleasure hormone). However, seeking satisfaction from this food can, over time, lead to an addiction to high-calorie food, which increases the risk of obesity without resolving mood disorders.

Anxiety: Favorite Foods

Several vegetables such as pineapple, bananas, kiwi, plums, and tomatoes contain high concentrations of serotonin but with low bioavailability because the body is unable to absorb it. To obtain an increase in serotonin it is instead more helpful to consume foods rich in tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin. Good sources of tryptophan are:

  • Cheeses, especially mature ones such as Grana Padano DOP;
  • White meat;
  • Egg;
  • Salmon;
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, soya and derivatives;
  • Seeds and nuts: peanuts, sesame seeds, pine nuts and other nuts;
  • Leafy green vegetables and brassicas such as cabbage, asparagus, green beans, spinach and courgettes;
  • Some types of fruit: bananas, oranges and chestnuts.

Other Nutrients Beneficial For Mood

Other essential molecules involved in mood regulation are estrogen, vitamins such as B12, B6, B9, and D, and some minerals such as zinc, selenium, iron, magnesium, chromium, and Omega-3 fats. A recent study has demonstrated the greater effectiveness of these nutrients if obtained from a natural and balanced diet, as opposed to vitamin-mineral supplements, which have not provided positive results. Natural products such as Grana Padano DOP provide excellent quantities of B12, B2, zinc, selenium, and 33 percent of proteins, including the amino acid tryptophan and the nine essential amino acids.

Food And Mood Medications: What You Need To Know

When we are treated with drugs to regulate mood and control anxiety (anxiolytics, antidepressants, and antipsychotics), we should pay attention to the intake of certain foods. For example, in the case of therapy with MAOIs (drugs that make serotonin more available to the central nervous system), we should avoid fermented, pickled, and smoked foods because when these foods are exposed to air, a substance called tyramine rises to high levels. The interaction between this and MAOIs can result in hypertensive crises, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitations, and malaise. In general, the following should be avoided:

  • Pickles;
  • Cured and spiced meat;
  • Preserved and smoked fish;
  • Soy sauce;
  • Yeast extract is present in sauces, broths, soups, ready-made meat dishes, and savory snacks;
  • Coffee with caffeine.

If we are taking drugs based on lithium salts, be careful to limit very salty foods and drink reasonable quantities of liquids.

Diet And Mood: The Six Golden Rules

  • Let’s adopt good eating habits: let’s not skip meals, no to prolonged fasting and no to too large meals;
  • We have a good breakfast: it helps us start the day well, ensuring we have a good supply of energy and a good mood;
  • We avoid foods that cause blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly. These include sweets, biscuits, sugary drinks, and alcohol. We prefer foods with a low glycemic index, such as bread, rusks, pasta, and rice, preferably wholemeal;
  • We drink a lot. Studies show that a lack of water in the body causes an increase in cortisol, more commonly known as the stress hormone;
  • We limit coffee, tea, and alcoholic drinks, especially when we feel nervous; 6. Let’s do physical activity: it is an excellent way to improve mood (stimulates the secretion of serotonin ) as well as to improve physical fitness.

Also Read: Does CBD Help Fight Stress And Anxiety?

Cult Fits
CultFits is a resource which provides complete information regarding Fitness, Health, Fashion, Lifestyle, Proteins & nutrition's, Diet and also shares the Do's and don'ts for maintaining proper Fitness and Fashion.

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