Mental health refers to a person’s overall state of emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
It involves how we think, feel, and behave. This can impact our ability to cope with the ups and downs of life. Mental health is a critical aspect of a person’s overall well-being, yet it is mostly overlooked or stigmatised in society.
Important Facts about Mental Health
1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
2. According to WHO, the leading cause of disability worldwide is depression.
3. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29 year-olds around the world, according to the WHO.
4. Mental illness is more prevalent among certain groups, such as those who have experienced trauma, and those with low socioeconomic status.
5. Mental illness can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including their relationships, work, and physical health.
6. Most people who struggle with mental health issues do not receive adequate treatment, either due to a lack of resources or the stigma surrounding mental health.
7. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health, with increased rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues reported worldwide.
Foods Associated with Anxiety Reduction
One of the common mental health issues that affect millions of people worldwide is anxiety. With many treatments available, including therapy and medication, some foods can also help minimise anxiety symptoms.
Here are some of the best foods to include in your diet to help manage anxiety:
1. Fatty fish
Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown and experimented with to reduce anxiety symptoms. Omega-3s can help lower inflammation in the brain and promote healthy brain function.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. It also contains magnesium, which can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
3. Chamomile tea
This is a natural relaxant that can help reduce anxiety and promote sleep. It contains an antioxidant known as apigenin, which can help reduce inflammation and promote relaxation.
Yoghurt is a great source of probiotics, which can help improve gut health. Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between gut health and mental health, and improving gut health can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which is used by the body to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and can help reduce anxiety.
6. Leafy greens
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in magnesium, which can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. They also contain folate, which has been shown to help improve mood.
Adding these foods to your diet can be a helpful way to manage anxiety symptoms. It’s important to remember that a healthy diet is just one part of managing anxiety. Seeking professional help is recommended for those experiencing persistent or severe symptoms of anxiety.