Approaching symptoms of anxiety through diet may be beneficial and can be your first line of defense. A “whole foods” nutrition plan including fresh, organic, non-gmo, non-processed foods (things in bags) will reduce the risk of consuming chemical laden foods, toxins and preservatives. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is what most of us have grown up eating and what our children are consuming. A SAD is low in nutrients, fiber, healthy bacteria, high in sugar, processed, and chemicals all of which are detrimental to our healthy, immune system, gut and mental health.

Food is medicine:

Low levels of vitamins and minerals can create an unhealthy environment for our body and create in balances. Consuming foods rich in the following may help create equilibrium.

B6 – potatoes, bananas, pork, eggs and chicken

B12 – beef, liver, chicken, eggs, fish, shellfish

Magnesium – spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado, dark chocolate, and bananas

Vit D – fatty fish, beef liver, cheese, egg yolk, the sun

Selenium – Brazil nuts, wild-caught seafood, pastured eggs, egg, shrimp and grass-fed meat.

Omega 3 – salmon, black cod, sable fish, sardines, herring, walnuts, and chia seeds.

Iodine – cod, tuna, seaweed, shrimp and dairy products

Iron – red meat, spirulina, dark chocolate, spinach, sardines, lentils, dried apricots, pistachios and raisins.

Gut Healthy:

As previous discussed poor gut healthy can lead to and/or present as anxiety. What can we do to help?

Probiotic– A high quality probiotic is very important to introduce the good bacteria back into the gut. Probiotics introduce the healthy bacteria you need to help balance gut microflora, support your immune system and improve digestion. Throughout the years most of us have been on many rounds of antibiotics and eating a SAD, which can wipe out our microbiome. It is important to take a probiotic that can withstand the digestion process and is able to reach deep into your gastrointestinal tract.

Prebiotic– Prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria. Plant based sources include: asparagus, garlic, bananas, jicama, chicory toot, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, leeks, leafy greens and dandelion greens. If you find that you can’t consume a diet high in prebiotics supplementation may be beneficial.

Digestive enzymes– Although we should be making enough digestive enzymes to breakdown our food, sometimes we are making enough, or we are not producing them at all. When taken in between meals on an empty stomach, they can stimulate the immune system, manage arthritis, reduce inflammation, improve liver health, fight cancer, and more. Enzymes like amylase, lipase and protease can help breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fatty acids. One natural source of digestive enzymes is found in apple cider vinegar (with the mother).

Stress:

Do you know anyone who isn’t stressed? Or anyone who doesn’t have oxidative stress? I don’t. In our modern world we are moving at such a fast pass trying to just keep up. Stress itself may cause mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, stroke and keep you in a constant state of “fight or flight”. Oxidative stress happens every day if we know it or not. When we have higher levels of oxidative stress, disease can occur even faster which might be causing signs of anxiety. By activating the body to combat our oxidative stress levels we may be able to handle our daily stress levels more effectively, feel calmer and slowly back out of “fight or flight”.

Not sure where to begin? You don’t have to do this alone. Let’s come up with a plan together!

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