There is emerging evidence that nutrition and anxiety are key aspects to attend to in anxiety suffers. It seems from clinical studies that both the nutrients you eat, and the overall balance of your diet can affect your mood. In addition, the health of your gut and the millions of healthy bacteria that live there can also play a key part.
Your Gut and Brain Axis:
We know that your gut lining has over 100 million neurons and this is why the gut is often referred to as your second brain. 95% of one of your key neurotransmitters – Serotonin, is made in the gut. Seratonin has the important role of:
- Helping regulate sleep
- Helping regulate appetite
- Mediating moods
- Inhibiting pain
So, if your gut produces most of your Serotonin, then it stands to reason that having a healthy gut means more Serotonin is available for your brain doesn’t it? This is a very good thing if your levels are low. In fact, you may already know that some of the main class of drugs used to treat depression are called Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s). It is thought that these drugs work in some people as they stop the Serotonin in the brain from falling too low. Therefore, it stands to reason that if we can boost your Serotonin levels, then we may have a positive effect.
Your gut also contains millions of health bacteria (your biome), and these appear to activate neural pathways from these millions of neurons to your brain, thereby affecting what happens in your brain.
So, there are many reasons why a healthy gut might help support healthy brain function.
Eating a nutritious, wholefood diet free from processed foods and sugar is the way to start supporting healthy, balanced mood. A Mediterranean diet has shown to be effective in helping depression in this study.
Anxiety Reducing Nutrients
It seems that foods rich in Magnesium, Zinc and Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3’s) and B vitamins, are important for reducing anxiety. On my 6 Week Online Stress Buster Program I teach how to change your diet for to help reduce anxiety levels.
In the meantime, find out for yourself what helps you as everyone is different. Start by cutting out all sugar and processed foods for three weeks and see how your anxiety changes. Keep a food diary and record not only what you eat but score your mood each day. Then try eating sugar and processed foods again and see how your moods are affected.
Remember: A healthy, nutritious diet has all kinds of health benefits in addition to potentially improving your anxiety levels. It’s worth a try 😊