(AscendHealthy.com) – More than 40 million US residents suffer from an anxiety disorder. That’s over 18% of the population. Anxiety can be the result of many factors — including your diet. We have the details on how the foods you eat could be contributing to your anxiety.
A lot of factors can contribute to a person developing an anxiety disorder, but diet could be a big one. Studies have shown diets high in sugar can increase inflammation and cause the body to produce chemicals that affect brain function. Conversely, diets containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties, may reduce anxiety levels. Check out the article below for more on the connections between diet and anxiety.
Here’s How Diet Could Be Contributing to Your Anxiety.
Research Links Diet to Anxiety
A study recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health followed the anxiety levels of 26,991 Canadian residents. They found that numerous factors are likely to contribute to anxiety, but diet could play a key role. More specifically, a “Western” diet, which is high in processed foods and sugars, appears to increase anxiety levels. Conversely, healthy diets that are rich in fruits, veggies and omega-3 fatty acids may have the opposite effect.
A study on mice demonstrated the impacts of refined sugars on the brain. The mice fed high amounts of sugar developed chronic inflammation, which induced nitric oxide (NO) production within the body. The researchers believe excess NO levels may negatively affect certain areas of the brain, and this could trigger anxiety. Another study, which used chemotherapy-treated mice, showed similar effects — but also that lowering sugar intake while increasing omega-3 levels could help reduce anxiety.
Diet is One of Several Factors
The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health article is quick to point out that diet alone probably isn’t responsible for changes in mental health. Instead, it’s likely a major factor that, when combined with social, economic and health issues, can increase the likelihood of a person suffering from anxiety. Bottom line, no matter who you are or what other factors are at play, your diet could make a substantial difference in how you feel.
Could your diet be affecting your anxiety levels? Consider eliminating inflammatory foods like sugar and increasing anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids to see if it makes a difference in your life. You might see a whole new you.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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