How can diet possibly cause anxiety? There are several ways, actually.
There are compounds we get in ordinary diets that cause anxiety in some people. In other people, there is no effect.
You have to figure out if one or more of these compounds is an issue for you by keeping a food diary and following an elimination diet. Record everyday how you feel physically and emotionally during the elimination and reintroduction of each of these possible trouble makers to help you determine if they are causing problems for you.
Foods high in histamine are things such as alcohol, processed meats and fish, cheeses, vinegar, and fermented foods like kimchee, or kombucha. We normally think of lacto fermented foods as nutritional powerhouses, and they are for most people. Lacto fermenting veggies boosts the nutrient content, but it also boosts histamines.
There is an enzyme in the body called DOA that breaks down histamine. If you have a genetic SNP in this gene, having a high histamine diet could lead to anxiety. It could lead to other symptoms as well, such as poor sleep, headaches, and more. Try reducing your histamine intake for two weeks before reintroducing it.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is commonly used to help heal leaky gut. I’ve recommended it to several clients when giving a gut healing protocol.
I’ve since learned to avoid glutamine until we know glutamine clearance isn’t an issue in the body. Some people simply don’t clear glutamine very well.
They often recognize a problem eating Chinese foods that contains MSG. What people don’t often think about is the protein powder or bars they are eating. It is not unusual to have 1,000 mg of glutamine per serving. For people who aren’t clearing glutamate effectively, the excess can cause anxiety and edginess. If you think glutamine is potentially causing a problem for you, avoid MSG, and look at food labels. MSG is often hidden as “flavorings.”
You’ll need to avoid processed foods for a time, even your beloved protein powders. If you are on a gut healing protocol, switch from glutamine to herbs that heal, such as marshmallow root, DGL, or aloe if tolerated.
About 45% of the population has trouble with methylating folate and B12. I’m in that camp. This is big news right now. If you are a poor methylator and take methylated supplements, you can prevent really nasty chronic diseases such as breast cancer, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety (YES!), recurrent miscarriages and so much more.
While methylated supplements can be literal life savers for poor methylators, they can cause BIG trouble for people who take them that methylate normally. One of the biggest symptoms of over methylating is anxiety! If you think you are a poor methylator, you must get advice from a trained practitioner. If you are told you have MTHFR and have to be on methylated folate and B12 forever, be cautious. Your needs will likely ebb and flow based on the demands in your life. Get educated on knowing how to determine your needs and avoid over methylating or under methylating.
Our brains need omega 6 fats in balance to omega 3 fats at a ratio of 3:1. Most Americans have a ratio of 20+:1. This leads to a host of problems. Be sure to feed your brain well by balancing your healthy fats.
I recommend taking the 23andme.com genetic test to give you definitive information about your ability to clear histamine, glutamine, and your ability to methylate. It will be the best gift you can give your health.
Bring your results to Living Well Nutrition to learn the most effective way to prevent chronic disease. Diet impacts every part of your life, even moods.
Call Living Well Nutrition today to get expert help in navigating complex dietary and supplement choices to help you chill out and enjoy life.