Anxiety disorder is the most common mental disorder in the USA. 40 million Americans or 18% of the population are affected with anxiety. This is one out of six people you may know! Even more concerning, for ADD, anxiety and depression there has been a 500% increase in prescribed medication to our children since the 1950’s. It is crazy to medicate our children or ourselves without looking at underlying root causes as the side effects of medication are numerous and life-changing.
There is a lot of new scientific evidence linking our gut microbiome to our brain wellbeing. In the human embryo, gut and brain tissue develop in close proximity to each other and there is a direct connection between the lining cells of the gut and our brains. These connections are physical (the vagus nerve) chemical (dopamine,serotonin,acetyl choline and GABA)hormonal (etrogen and testosterone) and immunological. We have known about this neuro(nervous) enteric(gut) connection for years, but are only recently understanding its importance. This brain gut connection is perfectly balanced in healthy people. If your body(specifically your gut microbiome) and brain are not in sync many brain disorders such as anxiety and stress can occur as an early warning sign that all is not well.
Common causes of anxiety therefore include
The ‘SAD’ standard American diet, on which we are overfed but undernourished.
Too much sugar, too few omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium,zinc and vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiencies and environmental toxins.
Anxiety is a symptom of inflammation of the brain which is strongly related to what we eat because of the effect bad food choices have on our gut microbiome. A compromised gut microbiome leads to generalized inflammation which we now know is responsible for all chronic disease and cancer.
Anxiety sufferers can benefit greatly with good nutrition. The message as always is eat real food! That is fresh organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed meats in moderation, wild caught fish, no processed food and no sodas!