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Anxiety; Nutritional Recommendations

Anxiety can be defined as a group of mental problems that cause constant and overwhelming worry and fear. While anxiety is a very natural and necessary emotion, its excess can lead to negative consequences.

The prevalence of anxiety disorder is between 13.6% and 28.8% of the population in developed countries. Although the underlying causes are not fully understood, it is known that there are different types.

Various studies have reported that vitamin D, B group vitamins and magnesium deficiency in the body can cause anxiety. However, it is known that caffeine can exacerbate anxiety.

In this context, the following nutritional recommendations can be given;

1. If you are considering taking a multivitamin supplement, do not do so at your discretion. Get examined; After determining the levels of vitamin D, magnesium and B group vitamins in the blood, take the multivitamin supplement according to the doctor’s recommendation.

2. It is recommended to stop caffeine intake for 3-4 weeks. Caffeine is found in coffee, black tea, cola and energy drinks. Cocoa and chocolate are also present in small quantities.

Not consuming caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches for 7 to 10 days. However, it should be noted that even a small amount of caffeine intake can trigger anxiety.

3. It may be recommended to consume foods containing high-quality protein. High-quality protein source foods; eggs, milk and dairy products, especially cheese and meat.

4. It may be recommended to reduce the consumption of granulated sugar and foods containing high sugar. It may be beneficial to take a break from the consumption of energy drinks.

5. Foods rich in vitamin D; fish oil, egg yolk, butter, cultivated mushrooms, fatty milk and dairy products. Consumption of these foods can be recommended.

Essentially, vitamin D can be produced by the body. For the body to produce vitamin D, it is necessary to sunbathe for 15-30 minutes daily in a way that will receive the sunlight vertically.

6. Bread made from whole wheat flour and sourdough are rich in B group vitamins and can be recommended to be consumed.

7. Magnesium is found in almost all foods, especially plants with chlorophyll. In fact, If a regular and balanced diet is provided, magnesium deficiency is not very common. However, it is frequently observed that magnesium values ​​are lower than the required value in individuals with faulty and/or irregular eating habits. In addition, the magnesium requirement of the body increases with high calcium and vitamin D intake and in case of intense stress.

Although black tea and coffee contain high levels of magnesium, it would be wrong to consider them as sources of magnesium in anxiety because they contain caffeine. In this regard, 100-150 grams of pumpkin seeds and almonds per day can be recommended as the best source of magnesium.

8. If alcohol consumption is present, it may be recommended to quit.

9. Happiness is associated with the hormone serotonin. 92% of the serotonin hormone is released from the intestines. If you are experiencing intestinal and digestive problems, you should consult a doctor for a solution to the problem.

Intestinal health is extremely important in terms of such problems. The following recommendations are nutritional advice on gut health.

10. It may be recommended to consume foods containing probiotic microorganisms. The best sources of probiotics are village and home-style yogurt, kefir, ripened cheese, butter, and pickles.

11. To maintain the water balance in the body, it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water per day. This value can be increased up to 3 liters depending on the daily operating situation and the air temperature.

12. Consuming foods containing dietary fiber in appropriate amounts may be beneficial. Daily consumption of 20-27 grams of dietary fiber is extremely beneficial, especially for intestinal health. Foods rich in dietary fiber; dried beans (17 grams), soybeans (15 grams), almonds (11 grams), whole wheat bread (11 grams), eggplant (6 grams), kiwis (3 grams) and apples (2 grams) (Amounts given, is the amount of dietary fiber contained in 100 grams of food).

However, consuming more than 50 grams of dietary fiber per day may invite important health problems by reducing the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the intestines. Therefore, dietary fiber consumption should be between 20-27 grams per day.

13. Nutrition recommendations given should be considered within the scope of regular and balanced nutrition. What is meant by a regular and balanced diet is to consuming animal products, vegetables and fruits on time, in a balanced and sufficient amount.

A regular and balanced diet is extremely necessary not only for anxiety but also for general body health. In addition to nutrition, it may be advisable to pay attention to sleep patterns. The nutritional recommendations in question are recommendations that the individual can consider in nutrition.

The most reasonable decision an individual will make; is to undergo a specialist doctor’s examination and follow the doctor’s recommendations. Wishing you healthy and happy days…


1. Krause’s Food & The Nutrition Care Process, Ed. Mahan and Raymon

2. Gıda Kimyası (Food chemistry), Ed. Saldamlı  (in Turkish)

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