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Anxious Person By Holly Lay on Flickr

Man has the inbuilt ability to plan for themselves what they want and when they want it unlike the other animals that operate mostly on instinct and survival tactics. Human beings are able to identify and strategize for what lies ahead which has seen man do wondrous fits throughout the centuries. All this has been done with one crippling consequence, which is anxiety.

Going back into history, there is evidence that throughout the many developments and occurrences in life and the world, there is palpable evidence of worrying about the future, which in essence is anxiety.

It is no different today we are all worrying about the future in one way or the other causing anxiety, depression and unwanted stress. All these thinking about the future and what it holds needs to be controlled and that can happen in various ways, one of them is by paying a lot of attention to what we put in our bodies. There are studies done that indicate the type of foods we eat might play quite an integral part in controlling anxiety in us.

It should not be mistaken with the many supplements that are used to treat anxiety. The nutrients that will be discussed here are the essentials like minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that are very important when it comes to controlling anxiety. Let us see some of them.


Foods high in zinc

When you lack zinc in your system, anxiety characteristics become very prevalent in you. In some studies done, it has become apparent that Chinese and American men who suffer anxiety lack zinc in their systems. It is advised that they increase their zinc consumption so that they can fix the deficiency in their bodies thus helping them resolve their anxiety.


Food sources of magnesium

Magnesium is known to control over 400 physiological processes in the human body which makes it a very important nutrient generally and for having an impact on anxiety. It is very sad that many people do not consume a lot of it in their diets as it is known to lessen individual anxiety especially in those who have mild anxiety and in women who have premenstrual syndrome (PMS).


Egg yolks are a good source of choline

When tested on older adults, it was found that low levels of choline made them highly dominant to anxiety and if there were higher levels it was protective. According to some pregnant animal studies which were given choline supplements, there might be a trans-generational relationship between choline and anxiety as the animal’s offspring showed low chance of having anxiety disorders. Include a lot of egg yolks and liver in your diet for choline.


Lamb and chicken heart skewers, a good source of taurine. Photo by by Alpha on Flickr

Taurine is an amino acid that is used to make GABA. GABA is a rest-and-relax neurotransmitter found in animal foods such as the heart or lungs of a lamb or beef. This neurotransmitter is what constrains the activity of the excitatory glutamate. It has been found out that low levels of GABA are very prevalent in people with anxiety.


Meat is a good source of carnosine

Carnosine, which is found in all the meats, is an antioxidant in the brain which helps your brain not get inflamed and it also snares free radicals.


Sushi is a good source of Omega 3

We all know omega-3 is very important for our wellbeing, even more so for anxiety as proven in studies that has seen it reduce inflammation and anger. A study done on people who use drugs showed that when they were given a long chain of omega-3 known as EPA in the form of fish oil, it reduced anxiety in them whereas the other long chain known as DHA reduced anger in them. When given to healthy subjects, both the omega-3s reduced inflammation and anxiety in them.

Polyphenols, Flavonoids and Other Phytonutrients

Potatoes are a good source of polyphenols

Flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables

Colourful food produce which is a good source of phytonutrients

The above antioxidant compounds are very essential for the fight against anxiety. They are known to increase the body’s endogenous antioxidant defenses. For thousands of years, they have been in our diets but thanks to the influx of refined and processed foods in the market, they have been reduced in our diets.


Nuts rich in selenium

It mostly found in wild salmon, Brazil nuts and pastured eggs. In a study done in Britain, little to no intake of selenium increased the level of anxiety in the subjects whereas a daily intake of at least 100mcg per day reduced the level of anxiety in them.

What Works Best Combined

When combatting the different types of anxiety like post-partum anxiety and PMS, using a mix of these nutrients will help reduce the symptoms. For example, the combination of magnesium and Vitamin B6 works well in reducing PMS anxiety whereas magnesium and zinc combats post-partum anxiety. Simply put, your diet needs to include a whole variety of foods, which if possible, are natural and not refined and processed for a great supply of these nutrients.

One can clearly see the relationship between anxiety and nutrients which is proof enough for the ever increasing number of people suffering from anxiety in America and around the world. With famous diets asking people to avoid important foods that have these nutrients while other people out rightly exclude things like liver, lungs, vegetables and fatty fish from their diets, anxiety will always be a problem in their lives.

Some might argue that lack of these nutrients cannot be the only reason why anxiety is on the increase, and they might be right, but they are one of the few factors and they do make quite the difference when taken seriously and adjustments done.