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News - Anxiety - a natural human reaction

By Debbie Paddington DipION

Anxiety, a natural human reaction, serves an important survival function and is activated whenever a person perceives danger or threat. It is completely normal to worry about things in your day-to-day life, but excessive anxiety can become a disabling disorder.  Symptoms of anxiety can include: headaches, diarrhoea, fatigue, rapid heart beat and breathing, digestive disorders, sleeping problems and muscle tension.

Dietary Guidelines 

Balancing blood sugar levels is very important for reducing anxiety levels. The following recommendations help to support healthy blood sugar levels and provide nutrients help to support the nervous system. 

Eat little and often  - rather than eating three large meals a day. 

Increase wholegrains - e.g. oats, brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta.  These help to balance blood sugar levels and are a good source of B vitamins. 

Try to eat good quality protein with every meal - e.g. fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans. 

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – try to eat a least five portions a day. Green leafy vegetables are a good source of magnesium. 

Increase foods rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids - e.g. salmon, mackerel, herring, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. 

Avoid sugar and sugary foods - including refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta and white rice. 

Reduce your caffeine – including coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated soft drinks, and caffeine-containing medications. People with high levels of anxiety appear to be more susceptible to the actions of caffeine.

Reduce alcohol

Supplements

Multivitamin and Mineral – one study showed that taking a multivitamin and mineral may help reduce anxiety levels. 

Fish Oils help to support a healthy nervous system

B Complex may also help to balance a healthy nervous system 

Magnesium has calming and relaxing properties 

Passion Flower has a traditional use as a calming herb, particularly for anxiety. 

Theanine helps the production of alpha brain waves, which are associated with a state of alert relaxation. 

5HTP may help to support a healthy nervous system. 

Rhodiola is known as an adaptogenic herb and may help to increase the body’s tolerance to stress and anxiety.

Lifestyle 

Get daily exercise. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer, can improve your mood and keep you healthy.

Use relaxation techniques. Visualisation techniques, meditation and yoga may help to ease anxiety.

Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you're getting enough quality sleep.

Quit smoking nicotine can worsen anxiety.


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