Is Food the New Anti-Anxiety Drug?
Do you hate the word “diet” because so many put a restriction on the types of food you enjoy eating? Do you keep on Googling “How to naturally reduce anxiety” and “How to get rid of an anxiety disorder without medication”? (Many of these articles rarely seem to do anything but cause more anxiety.)
There’s good news – food can be used to heal the body and the mind, and there’s a wonderful new book authored by the nutritionist Ali Miller, RD, the book The Anti-Anxiety Diet: A Whole Body Program to Stop Racing Thoughts, Banish Worry, and Live Panic-Free That may be helpful.
When it comes to beating anxiety, the foods you consume actually matter. The anti-anxiety diet concentrates on the food-as-medicine approach. This means that the food you consume can contribute to certain diseases, but it can also be used to promote healing and prevent attacks.
The 12-week plan as explained in Miller’s book involves 6 R’s;
- Removing inflammatory foods;
- Resetting your gut microbiome;
- Repairing your GI lining;
- Restoring your micronutrient status;
- Rebalancing your neurotransmitters.
It might sound overwhelming at first, but is essentially an integration of anti-inflammatory protocol with a Paleo Diet. To put it simply, you stop eating inflammatory foods like gluten, soy, dairy, corn, and sugar and start following a diet that’s high in fat and protein content.
A Paleo diet favors foods that are rich in antioxidants. Think leafy greens, fruits, and lean proteins. These antioxidants help knock out free radicals in your body that damage cells during chronic inflammation and have the potential to become carcinogenic.
Furthermore, the 12-week plan also highlights eating to boost gut health which leads to the production of increased serotonin (happiness hormone) levels and GABA (a neurotransmitter linked to relaxed feeling).
Nevertheless, this part of the plan is adjusted based on the participants and their answers to the three quizzes included in the book about;
- Your gut bacteria balance;
- Leaky gut; and
- Adrenal glands that produce hormones.
Simply stated, feeling great begins in your gut. Reducing your intake of foods that irritate your microbiome can in time improve your overall health and feeling of well-being.
How Can Food Help With Anxiety?
The 12-week plan works on the theory that gut distress, inflammation, and neurotransmitter imbalance can result in increased anxiety. Whereas, anti-inflammatory and gut-friendly food, and a Paleo diet can reduce the chances of anxiety disorders and attacks.
A low-carb diet alters the glucose metabolism rate in the brain which leads to improved conversion of glutamate to GABA – the neurotransmitter that’s linked to relaxation. Moreover, anecdotal reports also prove the fact that Paleo diets can help suppress anxiety symptoms, depression, and fear.
Now, coming to the inflammation part related to anxiety, according to Miller, it has been observed that high levels of inflammatory chemicals are found in the body of people who suffer from anxiety.
This can result in a heave of excitatory neurotransmitters which creates an uncomfortable level of anxious feelings. Additionally, an inflamed GI tract can hinder the production of serotonin as 90% of serotonin is made in the gut. This can further make a person feel stressed.
Do you want to know more about a Paleo diet? We have got all the information you need. Choose a program that suits you the best from our list, or drop us a line if you need help with choosing. Save both time and money and curb your anxiety.