Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about an imminent event or something that does not have a certain outcome. While anxiety may not be directly caused by diet, what we eat acts as chemical messengers. These messengers in the brain, called neurotransmitters, control your mood, energy, appetite, and several other processes. To best manage your anxiety, it is important to eat to support optimal neurotransmitter production and provide your body the natural solutions necessary to function properly.

Other symptoms of anxiety may include obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiousness, panic-attacks, excessive worry, sleep disorders, irrational fears, muscle tension, compulsive behavior, perfectionism.

Believe it or not, what you eat can have a significant impact on your anxiety levels. Let’s break it down:

Mood Boosters:

  1. Protein: Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are essential for mood regulation, and inadequate protein intake can lead to imbalances that contribute to anxiety and depression.
  2. Complex Carbohydrates: Foods like whole grains, beans, and vegetables contain complex carbohydrates that can help regulate your mood by providing a steady source of energy and promoting the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of calm and happiness.

  3. Probiotics: Believe it or not, your gut health can influence your mood! Consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut can help support a healthy gut microbiome, which may in turn reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Mood Drainers:

  1. Caffeine: That morning cup of joe might give you a temporary energy boost, but for some folks, it can also ramp up feelings of jitteriness and exacerbate anxiety. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, consider cutting back or opting for decaf alternatives.

  2. Sugar: Indulging in sugary treats might provide a momentary mood lift, but the inevitable crash that follows can leave you feeling even more anxious than before. Plus, high sugar intake has been linked to increased anxiety and mood swings. 

  3. Alcohol: While a glass of wine might help you unwind after a long day, overindulging can have the opposite effect, disrupting your sleep patterns and leaving you feeling anxious and irritable the next day. Practice moderation and be mindful of how alcohol affects your mood.

Nicole’s Holistic Nutrition Approaches Include:

  • Education on what is going on in your body and why you or your loved one may have developed anxiety
  • Foods to avoid to best manage your condition
  • Therapeutic foods to boost your natural metabolic patterns
  • The role of stress on brain function
  • Targeted and individualized supplementation protocols
  • How certain foods can affect our mood
  • Natural approaches to boost cognitive function
  • The role of the gastrointestinal tract on mood and brain health

Helpful Laboratory Tests:

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