This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
Life goes on, and piles up anxiety and stress. That is the bittersweet truth of life. Human beings are predisposed to feel stressed - because this is your body’s mechanism to keep you physically safe. But we evolved into beings that scare our bodies and minds about things that really shouldn’t matter. Here’s where anxiety creeps in like the sly little bug and ruins days, weeks, and sometimes months.
The triggers around us are plenty. Stuck in bad traffic, a tiff with a friend, watching sad news, an argument with your partner, an impending deadline at work, the list goes on, and the adrenaline keeps pumping in overdrive. But the biggest trigger? A lack of good quality nutrition. Now, those of you who have been reading our blogs will exclaim that we link everything and every problem we have to the lack of nutrition. But it is a fact, 90% of your problems - whether physical, mental or emotional, compound further when your body suffers a lack of nutrition.
Anyway, coming back to anxiety and stress, there is a very fine line between the two of them and although closely dependent on each other, stress is usually caused by external triggers. People under stress experience mental and physical symptoms, such as irritability, anger, fatigue, muscle pain, digestive troubles, and difficulty sleeping. Anxiety is more persistent, and is about excessive worries that don’t go away even in the absence of a stressor or trigger.
Your brain has a lot of neurotransmitters that help it send out signals or stop specific reactions in your body. Two specific ones that help your body calm down after a stress response are Serotonin - the mood enhancer, which almost all of us know of. And a lesser-known but powerful one neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain - GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). Research shows that GABA has the ability to either boost mood or have a calming, relaxing effect on the nervous system.
Now without this calm and balancing neurotransmitter, your brain just doesn't know how to relax. This means it is constantly functioning out of anxiety and fear. A lot of things including a lack of nutrients in the body cause a GABA and Serotonin deficiency. Here are some symptoms if you are deficient:
Muscle Tension | Anxiety | Easily Stressing | IBS | Diarrhea | Insomnia | Frequent Urination | Heat Sweats | Impulsiveness | Short temper | Phobias | Salt Cravings | High blood pressure
These are just some of the symptoms and a clinical test will help best identify if you lack GABA. But this lack does not have to be permanent, like any other issues caused by deficiencies in nutrients. There are a lot of natural foods rich in glutamic acid that replenish GABA in your system and help you cope with anxiety and stress, sleep better and reduce high blood pressure. Here’s a list you might want to add to your shopping baskets:
Leafy Greens| Peas | Chestnuts | Barley | Green Tomatoes | Sweet Potato | Soy Proteins | Broccoli | Lentil Beans | Brown Rice | Oranges | Green Tea | Extracts from Herbs like Passion flower, St. Johns Wort, Nutmeg, Jatamanshi, Lavender oil
Along with this list, there are also supplements, both natural and chemical-based, available in the market. The natural ones are made with the list of foods mentioned above and other plant-based sources. Which of course are better for your body to absorb than chemical ones. With all the skepticism around whether GABA helps your brain or not, it is safe to consume in its natural form and positively impacts the quality of your mood.
Incorporate as many GABA foods as you can in your diet, relax and remember that no amount of stress and worry will help rectify an issue that only a calm focused mind can.
NOTE: Anxiety and stress are serious issues that need to be dealt with with care and attention. Other than supplements, it is important to talk to a clinical therapist who will help you identify triggers and cope with your symptoms and issues better. Get the help you need!