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protein from sources like beef and chicken. This is a dietary misstep if you want to quell anxious energy. Rich in the essential amino acids L-lysine and L-arginine as well as healthy omega-3 fatty acids, in- creasing your intake of clean fish may help relieve anxiety by promoting a healthy brain and enhanced mood. Studies have shown that individuals


with L-lysine deficiency are at higher risk of anxiety, while L-lysine supplementation lowers anxiety and reduces the impact of stress. In clinical trials, supplementation with L-arginine reduced synthesis of cor- tisol, a major stress hormone, in healthy human subjects. Consumption of adequate levels of


omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to enhance mood and reduce the risk of anxiety. Supplementation for a period of three months with a high-quality source of omega-3s has even been shown to sup- port withdrawal-related anxiety in a trial with substance abuse patients. Just a few servings per week of healthy fish may be sufficient to receive these benefits. Widespread pollution of our oceans


as well as the environmental impacts of overfishing have made some people wary of eating fish. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has produced a useful guide to choosing the most nutritious and clean fish from sustainable sources, including a calculator to help you customize portion sizes for optimal nutrition while minimiz- ing negative impact on the planet.


2. Nuts Many essential proteins and fats are


available from nuts like Brazil nuts, al- monds and walnuts, plus vitamins D and E and the mineral selenium, all proven to reduce anxious feelings. Vitamin D has been studied for its


positive effects on mood, possibly due to its action as a steroid hormone with many important functions in the brain. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to mul- tiple behavioral disorders, including anxi- ety and depression in patients with fibro- myalgia. A study on mice showed that specimens with fewer vitamin D receptors in the brain demonstrated increased anx- iety-like behaviors, suggesting that ade- quate vitamin D intake can be an impor- tant factor for healthy emotional behavior. Almonds are a potent source of vita- min E, a powerful scavenger of damaging


Gina Davis, FNP-C Gina Davis is a Board-Certified


free radicals, which is linked to a healthy brain response to fearful conditions. Vita- min E supplementation was found in one animal study to improve fear response in rats that were exposed to healthy vitamin E levels in utero, versus impaired fear re- sponse and increased anxiety in rats whose mothers were deprived of this essential nutrient during pregnancy. One cup of ground almonds (a great addition to many recipes) provides 125% of an adult's Rec- ommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E. Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, an essential trace mineral that is critical for optimal health.


A clinical


trial of adults who were supplemented with 100 micrograms (mcg) of selenium per day reported less anxiety than the placebo group. According to the report, the lower the level of selenium in the diet, the higher the levels of anxiety, depression and tiredness among patients, all of which decreased following five weeks of sele- nium therapy. Adults over 14 years of age are recom-


mended to intake 55 mcg of selenium each day. A small handful of Brazil nuts (six to eight nuts) delivers a whopping 544 mcg, more than enough to take the edge off your mood.


All of these nuts provide essential


amino acids and fatty acids that produce the mood-regulating hormones serotonin and dopamine, adding to their potential for helping to regulate mood and improve overall mental health.


3. Yogurt Fermented foods like yogurt have long


been acknowledged as beneficial for gut health due to the presence of friendly bacteria known as probiotics, which help protect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract against harmful pathogens and potentially dangerous microbes. As the understanding of the gut-brain connection develops, sci- ence is further acknowledging the benefits of fermented foods on brain health and even mood regulation. A 2014 study on the effects of daily


intake of yogurt enriched with probiotics by adults with high-trait anxiety disorder found that individuals who consumed enriched yogurt had healthier stress re- sponses than those who consumed non- enriched yogurt, suggesting that eating probiotic-enriched yogurt aids in coping with chronic stress. This beneficial activity may be due to probiotics' neuroprotective effect on the brain. A study on healthy women with no gastrointestinal or psychiatric symptoms showed that ingesting a fermented milk product with probiotic for four weeks led to "robust alteration" within specific brain regions that control processing of emotion and sensation, leading researchers to assert that consuming such probiotic-rich foods may work to prevent anxious feelings from developing. Other studies on animals and humans


have shown that fermented food consump- tion is associated with fewer symptoms of social anxiety and lowered risk of depres-


www.RobinhoodIntegrativeHealth.com Gina Davis, FNP-C


Family Nurse Practitioner. She has been a nurse since 2003 and has specialized in diabetes management for the past10 years. She is commit- ted to helping others achieve their health potential physically, emo- tionally, and spiritually using a ho- listic approach.She is excited to help those looking to enhance their over- all health for thyroid, bioidentical hormones, autoimmune diseases, and many other issues. Let her help you to achieve Health as it Ought to Be.


336.768.3335 JULY 2020 23


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