In the current scenario marked by stress and anxiety, mental health has gone for a toss for many. But, did you know that your diet plays a crucial role in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression, and helps boost your brain health? Nutritionist Lovneet Batra shared a few such nutrients that play an important role to “support your mental health, alleviate symptoms of anxiety, and promote better brain health”.
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Magnesium is a calming mineral that nourishes the nervous system and helps prevent anxiety, fear, nervousness, restlessness, and irritability. The main sources of this nutrient are amaranth leaves, sunflower seeds, walnuts, bananas, and apricots.
Omega-3 fatty acids
There are three types of fatty acids: ALA, EPA, and DHA. Out of these three fatty acids, EPA appears to be the best at helping with anxiety. Good sources of fatty acids are chia seeds, flax seeds, and ghee.
B vitamins are a group of eight different nutrients particularly B6, B9 (folic acid), and B12, that are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and can help manage anxiety. Peanuts, legumes, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of B vitamins.
Low levels of zinc are possibly associated with concurrent oxidative stress which may lower GABA and glutamate levels and lead to an anxiogenic effect. The foods rich in zinc raise GABA levels which, in turn, may help improve anxiety symptoms. Good sources of zinc include amaranth, garden-cress seeds, and all lentils.
According to the nutritionist, many people are deficient or have suboptimal levels of vitamin D – a fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for the functioning of the brain and mood regulation. Studies show that vitamin D inadequacy or deficiency is particularly common in people with mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders. Egg yolk, mushrooms, vitamin D fortified foods, and supplements are good sources of vitamin D.
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