Unlike some other diets, the keto diet alters the brain function and positively affects your mental health. This means that the keto diet can help improve your brain function and your mental health, in general. For people suffering from a mental condition, such as anxiety, this diet can reduce its symptoms and severity. This is very important because mental disorders are hard to treat, even when taking doctor-prescribed medicines.
The Keto Diet And Anxiety
Unfortunately, anxiety has become a very common problem today. And, while people think that it’s nothing to worry about, anxiety has negative effect on your overall health. Namely, it can increase your blood pressure and your heart bit. If this goes on a for a longer period of time, it may cause a heart attack or a stroke.
Luckily, it has been found that the keto diet can reduce anxiety. The reason for that is the high intake of healthy fats and the low intake of carbs. Although sugar-rich foods make us feel better, satisfied, and even more relaxed, due to hitting the pleasure centre in the brain, the feeling doesn’t last long. As a result, it may lead to developing some serious mental conditions, such as anxiety. This happens because the quick serotonin boost we get from the sweets crashes after a short period of time, thus worsening the anxiety symptoms over time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat desserts or other sweets. But on the contrary, the keto diet allows eating tasty snacks, such as the keto chocolate shake.
As the SMILES trial has shown, those who changed their diet by including more vegetables, nuts, fish, fruit, whole-grains, and limited the intake of processed foods, experienced bigger improvements in the symptoms of their mental conditions in comparison to those who relied on their therapy alone.
How Does The Keto Diet Work For Anxiety?
According to some scientists, anxiety involves a misbalance in glutamate and GABA, a neurotransmitter that is linked to relaxation. In fact, the low levels of GABA increase anxiety. Therefore, by reducing the carbs intake to 50g or less per day, you change the rate of glucose metabolism in the brain. As a result, more glutamates are converted into GABA. Moreover, the keto diet can rebalance the neurotransmitter in your brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, and bring it back to the baseline.
Another reason for anxiety is oxidative stress which your body gets from fried food, sugar, disease and mental stress. This condition causes inflammation which can damage the brain cells and increase the risk of anxiety. The keto diet reduces the oxidative stress and helps remove the damaged cells which might help prevent the anxiety symptoms.
As some of its practitioners claim, the keto diet has helped them deal with their anxiety problems. Moreover, it has improved their memory, concentration, and the ability to stay calm. At the same time is reduced their triggers and symptoms.
Which Foods Maximize The Effects Of The Keto Diet On Anxiety?
Although the keto diet alone can help reduce anxiety and reduce its symptoms, there are foods that can maximize its efficiency, including:
- Plant-based foods, such as colourful, high-fibre fruits and vegetables, leeks, and garlic. These foods are high in vitamins and prebiotics which are essential for good brain health.
- Fermented foods, such as kombucha, kefir, and yogurt. These foods are crucial for having a healthy gut, which is linked to our mental health.
- Polyphenols – a group of micronutrients that ensure healthy gut microbiome – which can be found in berries, cloves, and turmeric. It’s been found that diets that are high in polyphenols lower the risk of mental disorders.
And, let’s not forget the good night sleep. Having enough sleep ensures our body restores its energy and relaxes, while the lack of it may cause or increase anxiety. Therefore, you need to have a good sleep cycle in order to reduce anxiety symptoms.
The keto diet is a great way to reduce anxiety because of the way it works. Namely, it calms down brain inflammation, re-balances the neurotransmitters in your brain, and shifts your gut flora. In that way, it makes you feel relaxed, thus reducing your anxiety.