Did you know that anxiety attacks are mellowed or made worse by our surroundings and diets? Are you aware that there are certain foods that help anxiety and panic attacks? Well, while attacks can either happen unexpectedly or will sometimes show signs, you can control them by making a few tweaks in your lifestyle.
The statistics on anxiety and panic attacks are grim. The National Institute of Mental Health states that 18.1% of the adult population in the US has an anxiety disorder. It is one of the most common mental disorders in the US. And that, it seems, is only a tip of the iceberg. More people may have the condition but have not sought medical help. The number certainly goes way beyond the reported 40M. This is a disaster. While most people will look to generic medicine to treat this recurring condition, you can heal your body through your food. We look at some of the foods that help anxiety and panic attacks and how they do it.
Most people will favor turkey sandwiches for one reason: the low-fat content and its ability to suppress carb cravings. Flavor may be another one of those reasons, but we doubt it is primary. Anyway, your favorite meat source does more than help you meet your weight goals. It contains Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps regulate your moods. How does it do that?
Tryptophan, when ingested, is converted into serotonin. This hormone, which is produced naturally in the body, helps you feel happier and relaxed. It tones depressing thoughts and lifts your mood, which is why it is also used in supplements that fight anxiety and help you maintain calm. Some people complain of feeling drowsy after a meal of turkey. While the carbohydrate paired with the turkey could cause the drowsiness, it could also be attributed to melatonin, which is a byproduct of serotonin. Melatonin makes it easy for you to fall asleep. Your tryptophan meal kills three birds with one stone: helps you fight carb cravings, regulates your mood and fights anxiety, and it regulates your sleep cycle.
2. Red Meat and Leafy Greens for Vitamin B
Vitamin B has been found to be quite effective when fighting anxiety. Vitamin B5 is important for the adrenals, and it helps modulate stress. It is, therefore, a good way to keep anxiety at bay. Vitamin B3 helps in the breakdown of serotonin, which we know as the feel good neurotransmitter. In studies, Vitamin B12 and folic acid have been seen to help with stress and depression for which anxiety is a precursor. It, therefore, helps tame the onset of anxiety and its effects.
One of the most comforting things about fighting anxiety with food is that foods that help anxiety and panic attacks are easily and readily available. In this case, foods rich in the B vitamin include liver, beef, turkey, legumes, leafy greens, pork, eggs, nuts, and citrus fruits. Including some of them daily in your meals will help you manage your attacks and hopefully finally kick it off completely.
3. Dark Chocolate for the Mood
One of the foods that help anxiety and panic attacks that you are probably going to like the most is dark chocolate. Granted, it is not as sweet as its white or milk counterparts, but this yummy bar loaded with cocoa is not only good for your mental health, but it is also good for your waistline. Now you can indulge guilt-free. It does not have to be the chocolate bar, even a dark chocolate drink as shown in this study will give you relief when an attack happens, and continually reduce panic attacks. In the study, participants taking 500mg dark chocolate daily showed calmness as opposed to those who took less or not.
How does it do this? Dark chocolate has serotonin, which is a mood booster. It helps lower stress levels, which keeps you calm. Theobromine, a chemical compound predominantly found in the cacao plant is said to have mood elevation qualities, which help you stay calm. Magnesium and the mild caffeine, both present in dark chocolate help fight anxiety by calming the mind. All these minerals are found in a bar of yumminess that helps you keep your mind calm even when you would usually freak out.
4. High-Protein Foods
There are tons of protein sources, including fish, tofu, all sources of red meat, eggs, lentils, beans, soy, nuts, and Greek yogurt. Meat eaters and vegetarian/ vegans are sufficiently catered for here. While you could eat your proteins as they are, the best way to bring out the mood booster out of them is to combine them with complex carbohydrates then spread them in your meals.
How do proteins help your mood? They stimulate the production of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which do the same thing as serotonin. It keeps the mind calmer and releases a happy feeling from the brain. In essence, these neurotransmitters manage your mood so that a situation that would cause you alarm and eventually an attack is averted. They also have plenty of other benefits in the body, and they are easy to incorporate into meals throughout the day.
It is not the best looking, neither does it have the beat taste, but this super food is loaded with great contents that help fight anxiety. It contains magnesium, a mineral that helps your muscles relax, and tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the production of the all-important serotonin, which elevates moods.
These two components play an important part of your mental wellbeing, and the fact that you can find them in one food is quite rewarding. If you did not have seaweed as part of your meals, time to rethink it.
Eat Your Way to Great Mental Health
You do not have to rely on generic medicine when the grocer stocks these foods that help anxiety and panic attacks. A few changes in your meal plan to accommodate them and a little more expenditure will get you into your best mental health.