In Spain, it is estimated that 40% of people suffer or have suffered anxiety at some time. Coping with anxiety can be challenging and often requires lifestyle modifications. There are no dietary changes that can cure anxiety, but paying attention to what you eat can help. Here are some tips:
- Consume carbohydrates. Studies indicate that carbohydrates increase the level of serotonin in the brain, which generates a calming effect. Therefore, it is good to consume foods rich in carbohydrates such as porridge, quinoa, whole grain breads and cereals.
- Include protein at breakfast. If you eat protein as part of the first meal of the day, you can feel fuller for longer and your blood sugar will stay at normal levels, so you will have more energy to start the day.
- Follow balanced and healthy meals. Healthy eating is important for physical and mental health. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, as well as fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon.
- Incorporate soy into your diet. Soy helps you reduce anxiety, because this legume helps us generate more leptin, a hormone that helps us eliminate the feeling of anxiety.
- Limit or avoid caffeine. Do not consume caffeinated beverages as they can make you feel tense and nervous, as well as interfere with sleep.
- Drink plenty of water. It is important to drink throughout the day, so a bottle of water should be one of your greatest allies and always carried with you. Even mild dehydration can affect mood.
Dietary changes can make a difference in your overall mood or sense of well-being, but they are not a substitute for treatment. Lifestyle changes such as practising sports and improving sleep habits are also helpful. Any day is a good day to start. Try the different tips until you find the right one for you, and be patient — it may take some time for these changes to have an impact on your mood.