Can Nutrition Help With Anxiety?
It may seem like the strangest suggestion – that what you eat, your nutrient levels and your digestion can affect your anxiety levels, but a personalised nutrition programme can make a huge difference to your anxiety levels.
There are many ways nutrition and diet can affect anxiety. One of the major factors is depleted levels of zinc and/or B6. These nutrients can be lowered through poor absorption, IBS, stress, the contraceptive pill, low zinc diets and pyroluria. Lowered levels can lead to lower levels of serotonin which can lead to heightened anxiety levels. Another factor is a lack of long chain fatty acids – these allow serotonin signalling to occur in the brain. A lack of these fats or too many altered/trans fats can also affect the way we feel.
Magnesium deficiency is relatively common and can also impact on anxiety levels. It is worth keeping an eye on blood sugar levels to ensure that they are balanced throughout the day. Blood sugar that peaks and troughs throughout the day can lead to panic attacks and increased anxiety. Food intolerances can significantly alter blood sugar balance and are worth looking into. Over the longer term, this can lead to adrenal issues which can mean anxiety becomes chronic and is coupled with exhaustion.
Digestion needs to be optimal. You can have a great diet, but if your are not absorbing nutrients well you can end up with a deficiency. It is not unusual to find that anxiety and IBS co-occur. An altered gut flora can also affect anxiety levels.
If social anxiety or being fearful is something that seems to run in your family, it is worth checking to see is pyroluria may be an issue for you.
More information on nutrition and anxiety: