Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological problems, affecting 18 percent of the population only in the West.
They occur as a result of a complex of factors, including your personality, your brain chemistry, genetics and life experiences. Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by depression
A panic attack is a type of anxiety disorder. Panic attacks occur spontaneously and often in situations where there is no real threat, but an imaginary mode.
A panic attack is characterized by the following physical symptoms:
- Accelerated pace of heart /palpitations
- Chest or stomach pains
- Difficulty breathing -breathlessness or sensation of choking
- Sensation of weakness or dizziness
- Waves of warm sweat or chills
- Numbness at the level of the hands
We often face situations that we can’t change, but the way we react to them affects our quality of life.
Studies that analyze the causes of anxiety and depression found that food affects mental state directly.
Deciphering brain chemistry
Serotonin is a chemical produced by the brain and intestines, often known as the “happiness hormone” because it generates a sense of calm and good spirits. Many antidepressants are manufactured specifically to stimulate the production of serotonin. Serotonin acts as a hormone in the gut as a neurotransmitter in the brain.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid necessary for the synthesis of serotonin. Is present in fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Studies have shown that insufficient intake of tryptophan reduces the production of serotonin, by lowering the good disposition and affecting memory.
Without serotonin, appear extremely unpleasant symptoms.
Other co-factors in the synthesis of serotonin are vitamin B6 and iron. A study conducted by the Faculty of medical sciences, dental and pharmacological Okayama University showed that all patients used as subjects in the study, which were presented at ASAP with symptoms of hyperventilation and panic attacks, they presented serious deficiency of these two nutrients.
Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient (obtained from eating), critical for the enzymes that metabolize proteins (whose composition enter amino acids such as tryptophan). B6 contributes to the synthesis of hemoglobin, a component of iron, which helps in the formation of hemoglobin.
Without enough iron, B6 and blood can not produce enough hemoglobin, a vital component of red blood cells. Red cells respond by distributing the oxygen into the bloodstream; If there are not enough red cells in the blood, you may feel tired and you have the feeling that you don’t have enough air.
The link between nutrition and mental health is a very real and measurable
For an adequate nutrition and to reduce anxiety, here are some foods that should not be missing from your diet. Some of them are rich in exactly those three essential nutrients we need to produce serotonin. Nature is brilliant. Vitamin C and magnesium are co-factors for tryptophan; some foods contain these nutrients, but a more varied diet is the solution for optimizing serotonin precursors, so important for mental health and a good quality sleep!
Sources of tryptophan:
- Sweet potatoes
- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds
- Green leaves (contain B6)
- Red Quinoa
- Sesame seeds
- Chia seed
- Soya (organic and in small quantities, to avoid genetically modified organisms)
- Oat Bran
Sources of vitamin B6:
- Red pepper
- Sweet Potato
- Radish Leaves
- Wheat germ
- Herbs and spices: dill, bay leaf, paprika, chili powder, turmeric, Sage, tarragon, mint, marjoram, oregano
- Sunflower seeds
- Raw cashew nuts
- Dried apricots
- Cocoa Beans
- Green leafy vegetables: kale, radish leaves and beets, spinach,
Diet is merely a shade from mental health dashboard. But it is the thing over which you have control! Improve your nutrition and this will reflect soon your mental health!