Food choices to help with Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Micronutrients and Mental Health 

Wellpark Nutrition Student shares the food choices that he finds helps with Anxiety and Panic Attacks.

While shopping I picked up the Listener (July 4-10, 2015) as the front cover caught my eye. It read, “Diet v Drugs: The Pill Chill”. It went on to state, how “brain-essential nutrients” like zinc, vitamins B & D and omega-3 are found to be easing mood disorders, ADHD & stress. Great, I thought, I must have it and took the magazine home. In this article, “Diet v Drugs: The Pill Chill”, Julia Rucklidge, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury points out studies suggesting little has changed in the treatment of mental health. Those suffering from mental health illnesses are on a mish-mash of medication that has been used for over 50 years with no real long term positive outcomes. People are still not feeling or doing a whole lot better and the article questions Is this acceptable?

Anxiety has played a part in my life and the lives of many I know. I did some work at an Anxiety Clinic a few years ago after experiencing a panic attack, during which I thought I was either going mad or about to die. I phoned an ambulance out of fear of dying. I was embarrassed to learn what was actually happening. This attack took me about six weeks to feel as though I had fully recovered. I knew one thing; I didn’t want it to happen again hence the Anxiety Clinic. I didn’t stay at the Clinic long as they advised I take medication which was a no-no for me, as a recovering addict.

Since this experience I have an increased interest in nutrients and food choices that help with mental health, anxiety and panic attacks. Getting “brain-essential nutrients” through food and supplementation is a paradigm I wish to explore further. Omega 3, vitamin B’s and D, zinc and magnesium help me to feel calmer while still having clarity of mind and good energy levels. I get these nutrients from foods that I eat most days such as walnuts bought still in the shell for freshness (Omega 3). For breakfast I choose buckwheat flakes or kibbled buckwheat (vitamin B’s) that I make into porridge every second day with blueberries and cinnamon for sweetness (it needs it). I get plenty of sun most days through gardening, exercise or pure enjoyment (vitamin D) and eat oily fish, meat, my share of nuts and seeds, plenty of vegetables, leafy greens and fruit (zinc and magnesium).

It was encouraging to read the article as it reaffirmed what I am learning at Wellpark College and experiencing in life.

My message is aim to live a lifestyle that promotes calmness and less anxiety and the benefits of accomplishing this.

Thanks for reading. Darryl

See Julia Rucklidge talk in Christchurch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqXHHCc5lA

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