Millions of people live with extreme anxiety for years before seeking medical treatment. Others are taken to doctors at very young ages because their parents believe they are depressed and potentially dangerous to their own health. They then spend most of their lives taking prescription medications that alter their personalities. Not only are adults now taking these strong medications, but they are being prescribed to young children as well.
This is a tragedy, considering you can actually fight anxiety and depression with dietary choices. If that sounds too good to be true, let me introduce you to just a few of the foods that have been proven to relieve symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. There are many other foods where these came from!
Citrus fruits have been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol inside the body. Since cortisol is released as a response to stress, those with anxiety tend to have more of it patrolling their bodies. Citrus fruits can reduce these levels, reducing the tension of anxiety.
Besides eating fresh citrus fruits, you can drink pure fruit juices that contain citrus fruits. You may also make smoothies with an orange or grapefruit juice base. Citrus fruit juicing machines (manual and electric) can be found rather cheap on the market today. They allow you to make fresh juice without the preservatives you get with store-bought juices.
Dark Green Vegetables
Next time you make a salad, skip the iceberg lettuce. Instead, go for a nice bed of baby spinach and other deep green colored leaves. Next time you select a side for your grilled chicken, reach for asparagus or broccoli. Vegetables that are dark green in color are packed with B vitamins that have shown to bring up energy levels while bringing down depression.
Remember, avocados are nice and green so you can throw in some guacamole as a green vegetable that is also a source of healthy fat.
All of the dark green vegetables are beneficial to your overall health, but they may be even more important to those suffering from depression. B1 has proven to increase energy and control mood swings. B3 has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, much like citrus fruits. B6 is believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Those with anxiety may benefit from a diet rich in dark green vegetables as well, since they can reduce cortisol levels.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a bit of a wonder. The human body (especially the brain) depends on them for proper functioning. Yet, the human body is not capable of producing these healthy fats on its own. One of the amazing benefits of consuming high concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids is better mental functioning. Some studies are showing a connection between depression relief and the amount of these healthy fats found inside the body.
You can get small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids through healthy plant foods, but the higher concentrations needed for maximum health benefits are found in fatty fishes like salmon. You just have to be very aware of high metal content in some bodies of water where these fatty fish are found. Stick with high quality supplements made with fish from safe waterways.
There is no guarantee that any of these foods will completely relieve your depression or chase away your anxiety. Yet, they happen to be among the healthiest foods for weight loss, muscle building, and fat burning. What do you have to lose?
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