Four Important Nutrients Against Anxiety

When the fashion for pencil-thin models gained attention on tabloids and anorexic models became cover girls for top magazines, the cyclic motion of eating disorder began and gained momentum as a worldwide pandemic. Teenagers suffer from a psychological hatred and disgust towards food and many ended up with Bulimia nervosa. Add to that is the constant anxiety attack that may happen due to the lack of strong muscles supporting the heart, and of course, a mental distortion that exaggerates almost every little problem into a potential suicide trigger.There are four main nutrients which the body needs for neurological well being to work against anxiety, and these three are some of the most neglected nutrients among dieters:

1. B-Vitamins

There are thus many who are unknowingly falling into the trap of not consuming enough Vitamin B, which is related to neurological workings especially in our brain region. Vitamin B12 especially has been linked to ageing and brain volume loss. The study of relationship between Vitamin B12 and Folate (B9) with neurological disorders were highlighted and brought to attention since 1988 during “The Role of Folate and Vitamin B-12 in Neurotransmitter Metabolism and Degenerative Neurological Changes Associated With Aging“, bearing the conclusion that more studies need to be conducted to determine further the extent of Vitamin B especially in the elderly. In a year 2008 study by the American Academy of Neurology entitled “Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly“, brain volume decrease runs parallel with those with lower Vitamin B12.

Popular food source: Banana, potato, chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, spinach, bell peppers, eggs, dairy products and basically all whole, unprocessed foods.

2. Magnesium

Besides Vitamin B, a deficiency in magnesium may also cause anxiety, depression and restlessness. This mineral helps muscle relaxation, neuromuscular transmission, widening of blood vessel and maintenance of heart muscle. Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables, dairies and grains such as rice. Fad dieters especially those practicing the so-called low-carb diet may not be consuming enough of these because they abstain from grain foods as much as possible. In fact, this lack of carbohydrate may also become a source of distress for a dieter because studies have shown that one needs a balance of carbohydrate and protein with other food groups to maximize fat burning and regulate metabolism.

Popular food source: green and leafy vegetables, halibut, some legumes, nuts (such as almond), whole grains, dairy products.

3. Calcium

Another source of happiness is calcium. Calcium maintains nerve transmission, hormone secretion, electrolyte balance, muscle contractions and many other functions that are commonly known such as bone and teeth formation. A deficiency may easily cause depression, agitation and heart palpitations, and irritability is also often seen among those who do not maintain the recommended daily intake of calcium.

Popular food source: Dairy products, sardine, pink salmon, kale, spinach

4. Amino Acids: tryptophan, penylalanine, leucine

The “happy hormone” serotonin level is affected by the ratio of tryptophan to phenylalanine and leucine, all three amino acids among a family of 20. Some fruits such as banana and papaya have a high ratio which helps increase the production of serotonin, while eating certain foods in excess may inhibit the production of this hormone. These foods include whole wheat and rye bread. Serotonin behaves very much as a neurotransmitter in the nerve system. It controls the release of hormones related to the reproduction cycle, affects appetite, sleep and general metabolism. However, it must be noted that too much of serotonin production is also not a good thing.

Popular food source: banana, papaya, peanuts, eggs, dairy products * Popular food source are not ultimate food source of these nutrients, and they are also listed in random order. Do you like this article? Remember, the first step to conquering panic anxiety attacks is to conquer the fear of having one!

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