We know, generally speaking, a healthy lifestyle leads to overall wellness physically but we far too often overlook the tremendous effects this same lifestyle has on our mental health. The brain works with the help of your body’s circulatory system and endocrine system and is actually part of the nervous system.
Therefore, it is safe to say that vitamins and nutrition are beneficial to both mental and physical wellness.
If you have high blood pressure the doctor will most likely tell you to watch your salt intake. If you have cholesterol issues your doctor probably encouraged healthier eating habits and recommended you stay away from greasy, fatty foods. Nutrition standards are used to help with physical wellness.
What if you could also use vitamins and minerals to aid in stabilizing mental health issues like social anxiety? You can look after your mental health, as easily as you do your physical health.
Below you’ll find a list of vitamins and minerals and where to find natural sources to help with social anxiety.
Vitamins B, C and D
B vitamins can be found in dairy products, eggs, meats, corn, citrus fruits, leafy green veggies and fish. C vitamins are of course in oranges, but also can be found in red peppers, Brussel’s sprouts, broccoli, strawberries and kale. D vitamins are in salmon, tuna, cheese and egg yolks, but in small quantities.
The best solution for vitamin D is free… sunlight. Exposure to sunlight on your skin draws in vitamin D.
Foods like beef, pork, lamb, chicken (dark meat), nuts, and whole grains are good sources of zinc.
Iron-rich foods are again, beef, whole grains and nuts, but also in dark leafy veggies, tofu, and bonus… dark chocolate.
Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt have considerable amounts of calcium, but don’t forget about broccoli and green beans.
For maximum magnesium exposure, eat bananas, brown rice, whole wheat bread and of course, green leafy veggies.
Let’s be completely real here. There usually isn’t a single fix for social anxiety. Social anxiety is usually helped with a combination of therapies, but vitamins and nutrition play a vital role. Food affects mood!
For instance when we carb-load we tend to be more irritable. This is because our bodies use up that carb-fuel super-fast and then we crash, energy-depleted, bloated, and not fully satisfied. If you don’t give your brain the right foods and fuels, how can we possibly expect it to function properly?
You don’t have to make major changes in nutrition for social anxiety. This isn’t a “diet” or a “fad” but a few small, subtle changes might just make a world of difference.
Processed foods are quick and convenient, but filled with nitrites and things we can’t spell, let alone pronounce. Keep it simple… unprocessed foods are best; things that don’t come in a can or a box.
You could also make baby-steps on cutting back on sugar and carbs. Try to use substitutes for starchy veggies; cauliflower is the new potato!
Another good nutrition hack is avoiding bad fats. Limit the cheeseburgers and French fries and instead opt for salads with avocados. If a fried fix is hitting you hard, choose something that’s cooked in refined coconut oil or EVOO. For a snack, eat a small handful of almonds.
Caffeine. Zero it. You have so many options in foods rich in energy- giving, metabolism-boosting vitamins and minerals, you don’t even need caffeine. It’s all in your head.
That treat you pay a fortune for in the morning is costing you valuable energy by early afternoon when you crash and burn. If you need a hot fix, decaffeinated teas are good. For the cold drink ‘caffeine junkies’, choose a protein shake or fruit smoothie.
As you can see there are plenty of options to get in your necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy brain activity and overall nutrition. When we feel better, we react better.
Again, vitamins and nutrition may not be the end-all, be-all solution for eradicating social anxiety, however, it is definitely worth the effort to help our bodies function properly and give them the best chance for recovery.
Think about it this way; a dirty wound won’t heal properly. The same applies with your body. Make sure you are giving your body the best possible vitamin and nutrition to heal itself of social anxiety.