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Anxiety and Diet Print

When anxiety becomes chronic a doctor should be consulted as it is now a medical problem. Although anxiety is a psychological state, it manifests itself in physical symptoms. Medical opinion is growing that diet can ease some effects.

 

Physical symptoms include dry mouth, sweating, breathlessness, thudding heart, dizziness, chest pains, diarrhoea and fatigue. Anxiety also weakens the immune system.

 

Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss and poor nutrition. The resultant deficiencies can be worsened through the anxiety itself.  Magnesium and vitamin B6  deficiencies are associated with anxiety. The body also depletes its reserves of Vitamin C when under stress. It is therefore important, to have a balanced diet. Avoiding food can lead to even increased anxiety and worsening symptoms.

 

Caffeine is a stimulant which in small amounts enhances physical and mental faculties. Larger amounts lead to agitation. It is found in coffee, tea, certain cola drinks and dark chocolate.

 

People who consume alcohol may feel that they are more relaxed in the short term, but the problem is only aggravated in the long term.

 

Sweetened Milk

Sweet milky drinks help overcome anxiety. Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan which stimulates the production of serotonin, which calms the mind and induces sleep.

 

Sugars release insulin which ties up other amino acids. This gives the tryptophan easier access to the brain, releasing more serotonin and greater relaxation.

 

What to Consume

  • Vitamin B, found in meat, eggs, cheese, nuts and green leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits
  • Sweetened milk

What to Reduce

  • Caffeine, i.e. tea, coffee and colas.
  • Cocoa and chocolate
  • Alcohol - Allah?s prohibition of alcohol is an immense blessing with numerous benefits.
 
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  helpline@sanha.org.za

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