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The likelihood that you are either personally experiencing anxiety or know someone who has done so lies with you Every year, about 40 million adults in the United States are affected by anxiety. Percent of people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. There are many ways that anxiety manifests itself – panic attacks, abdominal pain, autoimmune diseases, and acne, just to name a few – but it's often life-changing (PS) stop saying you're scared if you really do not have one.)
With so many people suffering, finding a solution to anxiety is becoming increasingly important: Sarah Wilson, a pure-eating guruin known for her multi-platform business, I Quit. Sugar joins scientists and psychiatric professionals in her Fight for better mental health.
In April Wilson published a memoir about her own anxiety, called First We Make the Beast Beautiful, in which she details her personal struggle and describes the coping strategies that worked for her. In addition to the memoirs, she published a two-week program and plan ̵
Wilson states that her plan is based on the research-based claim that anxiety is not just a chemical imbalance in the brain, but that is also a consequence of inflammation and imbalances in the gut. "Research suggests that mood disorders have a lot to do with lifestyle choices and what you eat," she says. "This means that the 'fix' for anxiety can not be (just) medication and therapy, but also some sensible changes in the diet."
It sounds imperative – but is it a two-week sugar detox really enough to reduce anxiety? Below, Wilson explains that the eight dietary shifts can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. In addition, according to researchers and other experts, we will explain whether they work or not.
The 8 Rules of the Anti-anxiety Diet
Wilson's anti-anxiety diet is not based on counting calories or macronutrients or even the goal is to help with weight loss (although this is a happy side effect for people who are currently eating the "standard American diet"). Rather, the diet follows eight simple rules. Unsurprisingly – given Wilson's OG business – the first rule is sugar depletion (more on that below).
She emphasizes, however, "that this diet is not about what you can not eat, it's about what you can eat." The other seven rules are about what to eat more of.
Taken together, these rules have three main functions (all of which lead to a decreased anxiety): help break the sugar and blood sugar roll coasters, reduce inflammation, and repair your gut flora.
. 1 Stop with sugar.
Quitting with sugar – one of the seven legally addictive substances – is the number one rule. "Everyone can benefit from cutting or giving up sugar," says Wilson. "But if you're scared, reducing the sugar in your diet is a must." In fact, there are studies that show an association between anxiety and diets with higher sugar content.
So it's Wilson's approach to replace the bad stuff (sugar) with the good stuff. Her advice is in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that adult women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. (Note: If you do not know how many teaspoons of sugar to add in one portion, divide the number of grams of sugar indicated on the label by 4.2.)
2. Eat more foods with tryptophan.
Yes, as in the amino acid in Turkey that makes you sleepy.
Why? The neurotransmitters in your brain and body are made up of amino acids that you only get via the protein of the food. "If you do not get enough of these amino acids – especially tryptophan – it's not enough to synthesize serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which can lead to mood problems," she explains. And yes, research suggests that this is true. (FYI: Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are all neurotransmitters that are important in regulating mood.)
Their proposal is to take three servings of protein daily, such as turkey, chicken, cheese, soy, nuts, and peanut butter. The only restriction is, if possible, to decide on animal products that are fed with grass or live animals, since grass-fed meat is found to have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation.
. 3 Feast on fish.
Research has shown that one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in patients with mental disorders is a lack of omega-3 fatty acids, says Wilson. We still do not know if this omega-3 deficiency is a cause or effect of mental health problems, but it suggests adding long-chain fatty acid-rich fish such as anchovies, herring, salmon and trout to your diet weekly. (If you are a vegetarian, these meat-free foods provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.)
4. Prioritize fermented foods.
By now you have probably heard that fermented foods contain good probiotics. But did you know that a study found that those who eat fermented foods have fewer symptoms of social anxiety? That's why Wilson suggests eating a cup of greasy yogurt or half a cup of sauerkraut every day. (Note: Some sauerkraut is only put in vinegar, so make sure the licensed herb is actually fermented.)
5. Supplement with turmeric.
Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory powers. Therefore, Wilson proposes to take 3 teaspoons of turmeric per day. (Here are other health benefits of turmeric.)
"Turmeric is best eaten with a source of fat such as coconut oil for bioavailability and black pepper that helps in the intake," she says. This guide on how to add turmeric to almost any meal can help you make the most of the spice.
. 6 Eat more healthy fats.
The last time there was an avocado deficiency, widespread panic ensued. Chances are that you already eat some healthy fats . But Wilson wants you to eat even more healthy fats – in the form of olive oil, butter, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. (See also: 11 high-fat foods that should always include a healthy diet.)
This is because one study found that men on a high-fat diet (with 41 percent of their fat calories) reported fewer anxiety scores than the other group , More fat, less stress? Deal.
. 7 Gobble up green leaves.
You already know that getting the recommended portions of vegetables every day has countless benefits. Well, in the name of improving mental health, Wilson suggests getting seven to nine servings a day (especially green leafy vegetables). (Further incentives: Science says more fruits and vegetables can make you happier)
"Kale, spinach, chard, parsley, bok choi and other Asian greens are rich in b vitamins and antioxidants." She says.
. 8 Sip Bone Broth
The benefits of bone broth are well known and well worth the sums. Therefore, Wilson recommends that you "drink one cup of broth per day to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and reduce stress."
So, does the anti-anxiety diet work?
The basic guidelines – do not eat sugar, but emphasize tryptophan, turmeric, healthy fats, fish, fermented foods, leafy vegetables and bone broth. They seem simple and healthy enough. But can observing actually help relieve anxiety? In the opinion of other experts, this could indeed be the case.
"I believe that nutritional therapy – the manipulation of nutrients to treat or prevent disease and improve physical and mental health – is sometimes more effective than traditional medicine," says dietician Kristen Mancinelli. RDN, author of Jump Start Ketosis .
And self-proclaimed biohacker Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof, believes that diet can be used to combat anxiety Bacteria are out of balance, sending central nervous system signals to your brain, causing mood changes and mood disorders That's why he says a healthy gut has a direct impact on your anxiety – and eliminating sugar, taking anti-inflammatory foods and consuming healthy fats are all the principles of his bulletproof diet Calm anxiety too. (BTW: Everything You Need to Know About Biohacking Your Body)
Here's the point: Wilson has no formal education in nutrition, nutrition, or dietetics, and she's not a licensed psychologist There is no research specific to Wilson's anti-anxiety plan (or other special diets that opens and promising to reduce the symptoms of anxiety). Research confirms however, that each of the rules in their program may benefit from angio-reducing and sanitary benefits to the gut's health. Otherwise, the anxiety-reducing benefits of the specific two-week plan are broadly anecdotes.
Should you try the anti-anxiety diet?
Ultimately, finding what works best for you is crucial. If you think you're suffering from anxiety (or some other mental health problem), your first line of defense is the best solution if you're looking for a psychiatric caregiver to talk to so you can make an action plan. You may agree that fighting dietary anxiety through dietary shifts can be part of the puzzle toward healthy mental health. (These anxiety-reducing solutions to common problems could also help.)