How To Use Nutrition To Control Fear
There is a lot of emphasis on good nutrition these days.
The foods you eat affect how well your body functions, whether you’re full of energy or feeling sluggish, and can impact everything from your mood to your concentration.
Here at the Edison Institute of Nutrition, we offer an Advanced Nutrition Continuing Education Program for registered holistic nutritionists who want to upgrade their knowledge and skills to better serve their clientele.
As a holistic nutritionist, people will come to you to help with any number of issues, including the fear and anxiety they may be facing.
And while they might not think of nutrition when they think of how to manage these feelings, the truth is that you can help them.
Today we’re going to take a look at a few foods that can help manage these conditions.
What Is Fear?
Although we often think of being fearful as a bad thing, it’s important to recognize fear was, and still is, very important for the survival of our species.
Fear is a natural, emotional response which throughout our history has been used to alert us to threats of harm or danger, and prepared our bodies to respond.
Physical reactions such as elevated hormone levels, rapid heart rates, and increased alertness were critical to our ancestors when faced with danger.
These responses helped them get ready to either run away from the threat or to take it on head first –you may’ve heard this referred to as the “fight or flight” response.
Your ancestors were afraid when they had a close call with a sabre tooth tigers, and you’re afraid when you by a car, but it’s the same biological response.
The Fear You Can’t Control
It makes sense to be fearful when facing obvious, immediate danger.
However for some individuals this fearful response remains even though there is no direct threat.
This irrational fear often presents as generalized anxiety which often stems from a traumatic experience you’ve had in the past.
While rational fear is useful for helping us avoid obvious danger, irrational fear can cause undue stress, hormone levels out of whack, and physical effect such as chest pain, headaches, and muscle tension.
If you experience irrational fear, or anxiety there are ways to help manage this through nutrition.
How To Use Nutrition To Control Fear
The food you eat can affect your mood.
If you’ve ever felt sluggish and tired after a heavy turkey dinner at Thanksgiving, or on edge after your second cup of coffee, because you didn’t sleep well, you know this to be true.
There are positive ways food can affect you as well, including by helping to manage fear and anxiety.
Keep reading to learn some foods to eat to help keep control over your fear.
Chocolate – dark chocolate in particular – might be just what you need to help ease a restless mind.
promote blood flow to the brain and help it adapt to stressful situations.
One 2014 study in the International Journal of Health Sciences showed eating dark chocolate daily contributed to reduced stress levels in women.
Another study, this one in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found study participants who had a high dose of cocoa polyphenols report increased levels of calm and contentedness compared to a group receiving a placebo.
So next time you want to indulge your sweet tooth, consider dark chocolate to help you calm your nerves as well.
Turmeric teas and “golden latte” mixes are rising in popularity lately – and for good reason.
The main compound in this golden yellow spice is curcumin, which has been shown to prevent anxiety disorders and stimulate brain health.
A study in the journal Brain Research found when a high dose of curcumin was given to mice it produced significant antianxiety effects when compared to mice given a lower dose of the same.
Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant and has anti inflammatory properties which may help prevent damage of brain cells from free radicals.
Further studies need to be done to better understand how turmeric can affect your emotional health.
However, if you are dealing with anxiety sipping on a golden latte or adding some turmeric to your next curry dish won’t hurt.
3. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a plant in the same family as the daisy and is known for having anti anxiety properties.
One 2017 study found long term use of chamomile to be a safe and effective way to reduce moderate to severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
4. Green Tea
There tends to be an image of tea drinkers as calm and Zen like people, and there might be a reason for this.
All tea contains L-theanine, a compound which has been shown to help reduce anxiety.
Green tea in particular, however has higher levels, due to the way the leaves are processed.
Additionally, green tea also has less caffeine, which can contribute to symptoms of anxiety such as increased heart rate.
So, if you are prone to feeling anxious, try swapping your morning cuppa joe with some green tea and see if it helps.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink which is often lauded for its gut health benefits and probiotic content; however, it can also be used to help manage your anxiety.
First of all, it reduces caffeine and sugar intake desire.
When used as a replacement for your morning coffee, kombucha means you are taking in less caffeine and sugar.
Because it’s tea based, it also contains L-theanine which helps keep you calm and focused.
Kombucha also contains vitamins B1, B6, and B12 which may have mood stabilizing benefits and can help improve concentration.
It also has vitamin C which reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol.
Finally, it has adaptogen qualities.
Adaptogens are plant based substances which help keep the body in balance, reduce sugar cravings, and boost energy and immunity.
Contact The Edison Institute Of Nutrition Today
Does the idea that food can be used to help manage and provide treatment for conditions such as stress and anxiety seem intriguing to you?
Are you interested in learning more about studying to become a registered holistic nutritionist?
Or perhaps you are already registered and are looking for ways to earn the required registered holistic nutritionist continuing education credits in order to maintain your certification.
Either way, the Edison Institute of Nutrition can help.
Contact us today for more information about our programs.