There are a number of factors and issues that serve to control and undermine a person’s mental health and well-being. One of the many factors that contribute to anxiety is actually a person’s nutritional status and dietary habits.
Because of this, various mental health professionals counsel anxiety sufferers to pay more attention to the foods they eat. Moreover, these experts advise patients to consider adding natural herbs, fruits, and vegetables to their diet, all of which have been proven to help fight anxiety.
Herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years. The herbs’ medicinal properties, as well as their lack of serious side effects, have made them a good alternative to conventional drugs. Anxiety sufferers should try these time-tested and proven herbs to help naturally cure their anxiety.
1. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a popular herbal plant from the species Hypericum perforatum. It has long been used to help combat anxiety and depression. Aside from those uses, it has also been used for centuries for the treatment of muscular spasms, cramps, and tension due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
The plant’s medicinal property is due to its high content of hypericin, hyperforin, and other flavanoid compounds. Studies have shown that St. John’s Wort’s extracts exert anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects by inhibiting the re-uptake of several chemical messengers in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. All of these neurotransmitters play an important role in the nervous system’s mood regulation.
2. Valerian Root
Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is a sweet-smelling perennial flowering plant native to Europe and some parts of Asia. It is indicated for the relief of nervous conditions such as hysteria, stress-related anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness, and epilepsy. It has often been used in alternative medicine because of its sedative properties.
The volatile oils of Valerian root are believed to have high amounts of GABA content, which makes it greatly adhere to GABAA receptors. The GABA present in Valerian extract makes it sufficient to induce the release of GABA neurotransmitters, which help inhibit the overexcitability of neurons in patients with anxiety disorders.
3. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) comes from the mint family and is considered to be a calming herb. It is used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, and improve appetite.
Essential oils extracted from it leaves contain plant chemicals called terpenes. This chemical is responsible for the herb’s relaxing effect. Aside from this, it also contains tannins, which are responsible for the herb’s antiviral effects, as well as eugenol, which calms spastic muscles and kills bacteria.
Fruits and Vegetables
Many common fruits and vegetables have nutrients that can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Listed below are examples of certain foods that anxiety sufferers can eat to naturally calm their condition. If incorporated into one’s weekly meals, a feeling of reduced restlessness or nervousness will be experienced.
Almonds are a good source of magnesium, which is very beneficial during anxiety and panic attacks. This mineral is important for muscle relaxation, as well as in minimizing nerve excitability. Thus, it helps to reduce the headaches associated with stress and anxiety.
Bananas are the best fruit source of pyridoxine (vitamin B6), which helps with the production of the neurotransmitter GABA. Neurons in the brain need the biochemical GABA to produce calmness when states of over-excitation occur. This neurotransmitter also acts to help produce endorphins, which fight depression and anxiety conditions.
Avocados are fruits that are very high in nutrient content. This fruit contains more than 20 vitamins and minerals, as well as organic compounds that are beneficial for one’s health. It is high in B vitamins, such as riboflavin (vitamin B2), as well as magnesium, both of which are important in the reduction of anxiety.
Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin is important in the treatment of anxiety because it helps convert other B vitamins to useful forms so that they can do their work. Furthermore, it assists in the production of infection-fighting immune cells that help to bolster one’s immune system.
Asparagus is a green vegetable high in thiamine (vitamin B1) and folic acid, which are helpful in reducing anxiety and panic.
Vitamin B1 / Thiamine facilitates the synthesis of neurotransmitters that help regulate one’s mood. It also promotes the healthy functioning of the nervous system.
Folic acid also works to help keep one’s mood steady, since it is needed in the synthesis of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that directly contributes to mood in a positive way.
Mushrooms are a great source of pantothenic acid, more commonly known as vitamin B5. This vitamin helps support the body’s response to anxiety and panic because it helps produce stress hormones during psychological difficulties such as anxiety, depression, and emotional turmoil, as well as during chronic fatigue and strain brought about by quitting smoking.
Cauliflower is a leading source of biotin, which assists the body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats acquired from food. This mineral is very important during times of anxiety as it plays a special part in helping the body use glucose for energy and promotes overall equilibrium with the other B vitamins.
Anxiety treatment not only involves the use of conventional drugs. Going all natural is also a great way of reducing anxiety symptoms. With a lot of natural options to choose from, it should be relatively easy for you to create an anti-anxiety diet that can lead to an enormous reduction of your anxiety problems.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera used to have severe anxiety. He tried conventional methods of treatment to no avail. Only when he focused on using more natural methods did he finally get rid of anxiety. More of these natural forms of anxiety management can be researched at www.calmclinic.com.