How Antioxidants Can Help With Anxiety Disorders

Every human feels sad or anxious at different points in their life, but living with an anxiety disorder is much different. For someone with an anxiety disorder, heightened levels of anxiety are experienced on a constant basis, ranging from mild anxiety all the way up to regular panic attacks or being unable to function in daily life.

For many people, these anxiety disorders can be prevailing and a real barrier stopping them from living a fulfilling life. They can make it difficult to sleep, work, study and can dominate your mind to the point where it is all you can focus on.

There are various kinds of anxiety disorders that all have different symptoms, such as:

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (obsessive thoughts and fears that lead to compulsive behaviour)
  • or post-traumatic stress disorder (extreme psychological and/or physical reactions triggered by memories and feelings of a past traumatic event).

It is not uncommon for a person to suffer from multiple different anxiety disorders.

Treating these disorders can be complex. It usually involves long periods of medical intervention through psychological therapy, and sometimes through the use of high-level medications that can have severe side effects on the individual. However, research has shown that there may be a more natural way to treat these anxiety disorders and help people reclaim their lives.

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Foods Rich In Antioxidant

Free radicals, antioxidants and their role in anxiety disorders

Research has shown that an imbalanced body that has too many oxygen molecules and has weak antioxidant levels can lead to conditions including anxiety disorders. Your body has molecules filled with oxygen called free radicals that react with other molecules in the body. Some of these reactions are positive, but some of them are very negative, including the symptoms involved in anxiety disorders.

Think of these free radicals as chaotic molecules with the potential to cause anxiety in your body and brain. They have an uneven number of electrons, which makes them bond with other molecules. The body’s defence against this chaos is achieved through antioxidants, which effectively lend these free radical molecules an electron to make them stable and unable to react with other molecules.

This process is called oxidisation and it is completely natural and beneficial. But what happens if the free radicals in your body outnumber the antioxidant molecules? Your brain becomes more susceptible to redox imbalances, which can lead to a condition called oxidation stress. Research has linked this oxidation stress with pathological anxiety, highlighting the need for a diet rich in antioxidants.

How do I get more antioxidants in my diet?

Natural and organic foods are the best source of antioxidants; particularly fresh fruits and vegetables. An additional benefit of these plant-based foods is that they contain little saturated fat, are high in fibre and are low in cholesterol, plus, they are packed full of vitamins and minerals. Other foods to focus on include whole grains, seeds and nuts and cocoa.

Lean meat, including chicken, turkey, fish and other proteins like eggs and legumes, are beneficial as well. Dairy is also full of antioxidants, although in certain cases, we recommend patients to avoid dairy as it can potentially induce autoimmunity.

The best option to get antioxidants is eating rainbow-coloured vegetables and fruits at recommended portions per day. Unfortunately, this is practically impossible for a lot of people due to various reasons. In such situations, they have to take supplementary multivitamins.

Contact us for professional help

Here at Wandal Medical Centre, we prescribe potent and really effective multivitamins as treatments for relevant and suitable patients. It is not our policy to prescribe multivitamins to everyone indiscriminately.

For more information on how supplements containing antioxidants can assist you, call Wandal Medical Centre on (07) 4927 4411 and book a consultation with our GP and holistic health specialist.

Author

Dr. Priyanta Thotagamuwa (MBBS, FRACGP)

Dr. Priyanta Thotagamuwa (MBBS, FRACGP)

Dr. Priyanta Thotagamuwa (MBBS, FRACGP) is operating Wandal Medical Centre in Rockhampton with the aim and interest of treating patients in a holistic manner. As a GP he offers medical assistance to patients of all ages, seeking advice, treatment or minor procedures.

Dr. Priyanta Thotagamuwa (MBBS, FRACGP)

Dr. Priyanta Thotagamuwa (MBBS, FRACGP)

Dr. Priyanta Thotagamuwa (MBBS, FRACGP) is operating Wandal Medical Centre in Rockhampton with the aim and interest of treating patients in a holistic manner. As a GP he offers medical assistance to patients of all ages, seeking advice, treatment or minor procedures.