Mental illness is a term which includes a variety of disorders, but the most common are definitely the anxiety disorders. Many factors cause their appearance genetics, personality, life experiences, brain chemistry, etc. They often go along with depression. One of the common types of disorders also include the panic disorders. They appear in the form of panic attacks e.g. suddenly without any previous signs.
Here are some of the physical symptoms that can usually be noticed:
- Fast heartbeat/palpitations
- Stomach or chest pain
- Feeling hot or a cold chill
- Breathing difficulty – feeling smothered or shortness of breath
- Dizziness or weakness
- Tingly or numb hands
Things that already happened can’t be changed, but we could change the quality of our life.
There are numerous studies which prove that depression and anxiety are connected to the diet we’re consuming. This all affects our mental state.
Unlocking Brain Chemistry
Our gut and brain produce ‘the happiness hormone’ otherwise called serotonin. It helps us feel great and calm. The anti-depressant medicines are usually created to help us have a stimulated production of serotonin. When it’s in our brain, serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter gut, but when it’s in our gut, it acts as a hormone.
Serotonin has to be synthesized so the only thing it needs is an essential amino acid called tryptophan. You can find it in animal foods, seeds, vegetables and fruits. If you don’t intake tryptophan adequately, the production of serotonin will be reduced. Some things that might happen are impaired memory and lowered mood.
You also need to intake a lot of iron and vitamin B6 so that serotonin can be synthesized well. Many studies proved that patients who had a deficiency in these 2 elements had a history of hyperventilation and panic attacks.
We usually intake vitamin B6 with the food we consume. We need it for the enzymes which metabolize proteins that have amino acids in them. This vitamin is also essential for an improved synthesis of heme which can be found in the hemoglobin inside our red blood cells. We need them so that oxygen can be transported through our blood. When we have a low red blood cell count, we start experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue.
Mental Health & Nutrition
As we have mentioned this previously, nutrition is connected to mental health. You can decrease the anxiety by consuming some foods that we are suggesting for you. It’s important that you include them in your everyday diet. They all include nutrients that we need in order to produce more serotonin, so we’ll improve our complete mental health as well as our good night sleep!
- Fish, including shellfish
- Leafy greens
- Oat bran
- Chia seeds
- Soy (consume it in small amounts; find organic soy in order to avoid GMO)
- Quenepa (ackee) fruit
- Pistachio nuts (with B6, too)
- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Warm milk
- Turkey and other poultry
With vitamin B6:
- Herbs and spices: marjoram, dill, spearmint, bay leaf, sage, paprika, oregano, tarragon, chili powder, turmeric
- Meats: poultry, fish, pork, beef
- Red bell pepper
- Sunflower seeds
- Wheat germ
- Sweet potato
- Turnip greens
- Dried apricots
- White beans
- Dark leafy greens: beet and turnip greens, spinach, kale
- Raw cocoa
The mental health picture is definitely fulfilled with the help of our diet. We have control over it and we can improve it every day. By improving our diet we’re improving our mental health!