Anxiety can be a normal part of life, as we often worry about the outcome of our work, actions, things we expect to happen in the near future, relationships with the people we care about, and so on.
It can eventually make us feel nervous, but it does not interfere with our normal everyday life. On the other hand, anxiety can also develop more severe symptoms and complications.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder are conditions that affect about 13 million adults in the US and are characterized by excessive and persistent feelings of anxiety towards everyday situations and concerns. In such cases, anxiety reduces the ability of the individual to function normally.
Sufferers cannot control these feelings, so they escalate, eventually become overwhelming, and cause panic and hyperventilation attacks.
Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear which lead to incredible physical and mental distress. They are accompanied by shaking, racing or pounding heart rate, trembling, and difficulty breathing. They can also cause fast or deep gasping to intake air, known as hyperventilation. These attacks occur unpredictably and can be related to specific triggers.
In 2013, a study conducted at the Okayama University Medical School may have made an invaluable discovery that could open new perspectives when it comes to the prevention of panic and hyperventilation attacks in at-risk individuals.
A common cause of these attacks is the low serotonin level in the body, as this neurotransmitter regulates the feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, a process that significantly depends on the added components of vitamin B6 and iron.
This study analyzed the level of iron and B6 in patients who visited the emergency room due to a severe panic attack or panic- induced hyperventilation. In comparison to people with healthy levels of both, researchers found that both vitamin B6 and iron levels were significantly lower in people who suffered from these attacks.
These groundbreaking findings are of great importance, as they might effectively prevent sudden onset panic attacks in people suffering from GAD and panic disorders.
Therefore, the key to eating an anxiety-ridding diet may be foods high in vitamin B6 and iron. A whole-foods diet, rich in fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, and seeds, and low in processed and packaged foods can drastically improve your mental health.
Here is a list of foods rich in these nutrients:
- Sweet potatoes
- Hemp seeds
- Green beans
- Green Peas
- Sunflower seeds
- All squash and pumpkin
- Brussels sprouts
- Hearts of palm
- Nutritional yeast
- Chia seeds
- Dill weed
- Sea vegetables (kelp, nori, spirulina, dulse, etc.)
- Green peas
- Black-strap molasses
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Medjool dates
- Dandelion greens
- Morel mushrooms
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
Make sure you make powerful combos, increase the intake of these foods, and despite improving your mood and preventing these attacks, you will also boost your overall health!