Nutrition and Anxiety
Nutrition therapy addresses mental health issues through diet, lifestyle changes and targeted nutrients. A nutrition therapist works to correct imbalances with the goal of gently guiding individuals back on the path to health. Nutrition therapy sometimes assist anxiety by identifying imbalances to get at the root of symptoms.
Treating Anxiety With Diet and Nutrients
According to research, the majority of adults in the U.S. seek a natural anxiety remedy during any given year. One such therapy is nutrition therapy.
You may be asking yourself, “What does nutrition have to do with anxiety?” A lot, actually. In therapy, many psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety disorders, can be improved with some minor dietary and nutritional adjustments.
As a Psychotherapist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist, I offer this service as an option to my clients. A large portion of my 630 page book, Healing & Wholeness: Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Mental Health is devoted to discussing the use of nutritional support and mental health, with an entire chapter devoted to anxiety disorders and nutrition and anxiety.
Nutrition is more than just eating right and taking supplements. Each of us has different needs that must be addressed on an individual basis. I teach my clients simple things they can do every day to take control of their health with diet, appropriate nutritional supplementation, and specific dietary techniques. My background and education helps me to recognize important trends in the latest research on nutrition and mental health. I read the medical journals everyday watching for new research on nutrition and anxiety.
How Nutrition Helps Anxiety
I’ve learned through my education and experience with clients what works and what doesn’t. For example, you may be surprised to learn that:
- Eating too much protein can significantly increase feelings of anxiety.
- Restricting sugar and caffeine in people with anxiety has been reported to elevate mood.
- The most effective way to prevent postpartum anxiety is with prenatal nutrition.
- There are safe, natural supplements and diets that help with anxiety.
This is just a small sample of what I’ve learned about how nutrition and lifestyle can help reduce anxiety. Our emotional and physical health are closely linked to each another and to our diet. The proper nutrition is one the most important things you can do for anxiety and mental health. For some people, nutrition therapy works better for anxiety than medication. For others who are taking medication, nutrition therapy can help reduce medication side effects.
Many of these health problems can be helped by adopting a new approach to nutrition and anxiety. Optimum health starts with knowledge – the knowledge to make informed decisions that impact your health every day. I always recommend talking with your medical doctor and/or psychiatrist before taking any supplements or making any adjustments to your diet.
This is because even small changes can have adverse effects for some people. For example, research has found that too much niacin can actually increase anxiety in some people. Even if you have never been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, I recommend consulting with your doctor before making any changes in your health regimen.
Training in Nutritional Therapy for Anxiety
I was fortunate to receive my training and certification as a Clinical Nutritionist from Natural Healing Institute in San Diego, California. My training and educational experience taught me how critical sound nutrition is to good mental health. I often refer clients who are interested in nutritional therapy to nutritionists who specialize in specific areas of nutrition. By doing this, my clients always receive the best possible care.