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An article in the March/April 2020 edition of Psychology Today magazine presented information regarding how nutrients can help lower stress. A wave of worry seems to be washing over the United States, according to a Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report. And nearly 50 percent of people believe they are more stressed now than they were five years previously, reports the American Institute of Stress.
Stress is often tied to pillars of life—jobs, relationships, finances—that are difficult to change or adjust. However, there is a domain in which it is possible to exercise more control over our anxiety—diet. Food containing specific nutrients can strongly influence mental health. Some nutrients may even contribute to stress resistance. Recent research suggests that these include Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, and vitamin C, consumed in food or supplements.
Omega-3 is a class of polyunsaturated fat that delivers health benefits to many body systems. They are critical for the development of the nervous system and insulate pathways of neural communication. Greater aggression, depression, and anxiety are linked to an Omega-3 deficiency.
The eight B vitamins are chemically related, and all eight often occur in the same foods. Vitamin B contributes to gene regulation by DNA methylation. It clears excess levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which has been linked to heart disease when high. Creation and regulation of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin rely in part on vitamin B.
The brain is the body’s greatest consumer of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to cognitive performance, as it helps form the neural sheath that surrounds nerves and speeds the signaling process.
Since I am on a ketogenic diet, many of these nutrients are in the food I eat. Dear reader, what experiences have you had regarding the relationship of foods you eat affecting your level of anxiety? All comments are most welcome.