Some days anxiety just plain sucks and is very puzzling. Why does it start, what causes it, when does it start, when will it go away?
Anxiety Acceptance approached my blog and asked if I would like to do a collaboration regarding how your diet can affect your mental health. I immediately jumped at the chance as it is something I am particularly interested and as soon as I feel my mental health deteriorating I try to eat healthier. Having completed some research I’m not more informed as to what I should be eating and what supplements I should be taking. We wanted to share some of the information we came across with you in the hope that you can also employ some of the techniques.
*The following information regarding serotonin was contributed by Anxiety Acceptance.*
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is also known as the “happy hormone.” Any deficiency in serotonin production has long been suggested that over-activity of the serotonin system may relate to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. This isn’t terribly surprising since most with a diagnosed anxiety disorder are prescribed medication to regulate the amount of serotonin absorbed in the brain.
The surprise for me came when I discovered that while serotonin is a neurotransmitter it is estimated that 90% of serotonin is manufactured in the stomach! Said another way, the brain and gut are in constant communication – buy why is this significant?
Since most of our serotonin is created in the stomach evidence suggests that DIET can affect the production of serotonin. In particular, tryptophan is converted to serotonin so the more tryptophan is ingested the better we feel because of the increased serotonin production! Foods rich in tryptophan include:
- Pumpkin and sesame seeds
- Tofu and soy
Keep in mind that simply ingesting a variety of the above foods will not automatically decrease anxiety. There are many other factors that lead to conversion of tryptophan to serotonin but being cognizant of what is in your diet and ingesting more tryptophan-rich resources just may help you!
There is some clinical evidence, which suggests that the bacteria in your gut can affect your mental health. There is speculation that this can even reach so far as bipolar, schizophrenia and other psychological or neurological problems. It is therefore possible that your gut bacteria may be a contributing factor towards your anxiety. The possibility of improving my mental healthy by correcting the balance of bacteria in my gut is something that I find particularly interesting.
In addition to the benefits listed above probiotics can help with other health issues that are associated with anxiety, such as depression and irritable bowel syndrome.
Probiotics have many health benefits and it appears that they can also help us to tackle our mental health problems. Probiotics containing Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus have the most evidence to suggest that they could make a significant impact on your anxiety levels. Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus is a healthy bacteria which prevents the growth of bad bacteria. Taking supplements alongside a balanced diet may be the best approach to tackling your anxiety!
I believe that what you put into your body does affect your mood. If I have spent all day eating healthy then I feel better in myself and have a general positive outlook. Anyway, I’m off to stock up on probiotics and cheese!
Why not make a change to your diet and see how your mental health can improve? If you have already altered your diet to be more conscious of how what you’re eating can affect your mental health then let us know how it has impacted on your health?