In the last year, cases of anxiety disorders have exploded, finally the pandemic brought with it many worries, changes in routine and uncertainty. However anxiety is not a new topic, in fact it is tops the list of most common and recurrent mental illnesses in the United States and there are data in which it is estimated that about 18% of the population suffers from it. Although it is a completely treatable condition, less than 37% of those with some type of anxiety disorder do not receive treatment. Among the top most concerning stigmas about treating various mental health conditions are the devastating side effects and drug dependence. Finally, there are many reasons why a person may feel uncomfortable with the usual intake of antidepressants, fortunately it has been proven that food can be an effective and noble ally.
In fact, recent research has shown some promising results. Such is the case of a new study published in Cell Reports Medicine of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in which it was found that a substance derived from plants can play a key role in reducing anxiety levels. This compound is known as beta-sitosterol and is conveniently found in various plant-based foods like avocado, pistachios, almonds (and other nuts), canola oil, and even in some cereals and other grains. In a series of behavioral experiments, the researchers found that beta-sitosterol produces a calming effect, both by itself and in conjunction with the antidepressant Prozac. It is worth mentioning that the study was carried out in mice and within the most relevant findings, the researchers found that those who received the plant substance did not experience any of the side effects normally associated with anti-anxiety medications, as specifically happens with weight gain and fatigue.
The good news is that these types of discoveries are a great ally to complement professional treatment and come to confirm the importance of following a balanced diet, such as a important element in the management and control of anxiety disorders. Still, this does not mean that eating foods that are naturally high in beta-sitosterol will automatically result in a reduction in anxiety. However, considering that the findings of this animal study are proven in clinical trials (in humans), it was found that it is possible that beta-sitosterol may allow people to reduce your dose of anti-anxiety medications Marvelous!
Therefore, an important dietary measure for people suffering from anxiety disorders is to integrate the consumption of foods richer in beta-sitosterol into their daily diet. Among the most recommended products are plants such as variants of: Saw palmetto, Nigella sativa, Pygeum africanum, Urtica dioica, Sea buckthorn and even Cannabis sativa. And in the foods of daily consumption it is found in high doses in the following products, which also have the immense goodness of being incredibly rich in essential nutrients that benefit health in many ways.
– Pumpkin seeds
– Rice bran
– Corn and soybean oil
We are what we eat: The quality of nutrients with which we base our diet plays a determining role in physical, emotional and mental health. In fact science has proven that follow a plant-based diet it is an effective way to benefit mental health and mood, and thereby reduce the incidence of suffering from disorders such as anxiety and depression. Complementary to it experts propose follow a well-planned vegan diet, as the best resource to treat depression and anxiety. The main reason is because this style of eating is characterized by being rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which are associated with great properties for mental health, hormonal balance and increased production of neurotransmitters. Therefore it is recommended to integrate the consumption of flax seeds, nuts, chia seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
Last but not least, The consumption of foods rich in tryptophan is essential. It is an essential amino acid in the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter largely responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. Bet on the consumption of vegetable sources that contain it, such as watercress, mushrooms, broccoli, peas, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, whole grains and legumes.
Finally, the quality of the food we eat directly influences how we think and feel. Creating the habit of eating healthy, based on plants and free of processed, is one of the best decisions you can make for your health and well-being You will feel full of energy and vitality!
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.