Anxiety affects over 8 million UK adults – clinical nutritionist provides top tips on managing anxiety

SIX HACKS TO HELP BUST ANXIETY from Suzie Sawyer, Clinical Nutritionist, and researcher at Nature’s Way.

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Latest research[2] from the evidence-backed Nature’s Way Collection of traditional herbal medicines and plant-based supplements – www.natures-way.com – found that more than two in five (41.3%) of UK adults said that they feel more anxious and nervous now than they did three years ago, pre-pandemic. Women suffer the most with 47% of survey respondents in the research poll noting the health challenge. The same real-world research poll from Nature’s Way found that:

Commenting on the growing challenges of anxiety, Suzie Sawyer, Clinical Nutritionist, and researcher from http://www.naturesway.com notes: “Anxiety can manifest itself in different ways and is very much an individualised response to a myriad of situations. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for some, their anxiety is constant and affects their daily lives.

“Latest Government research[3] also shows that employee anxiety is a challenge with anxiety accounting for a significant percentage of all work-related ill health cases.  Living with COVID coupled with the current cost of living crisis is certainly fuelling a heightened ‘Anxiety Pandemic’ across the nation. If you deal with anxiety on a regular basis, prescribed medication doesn’t have to be your only treatment option. Good nutrition and self-care are the cornerstone to health in any situation. To calm your mind and combat anxiety, try working these tips into your daily routine. I swear by them”:

  1. Find some metabolic balance. If your blood sugar levels are all over the place, metabolically you’ll be out of balance emotionally and physically[4], plus you will crave more sugar, which triggers the release of adrenaline, and the body will feel ‘on fire’ within. Having protein at every meal is essential for blood sugar balance. Think eggs, meat, fish, beans, nuts, and dairy produce, and try to plan them into your meals and snacks. Starting the day with a double espresso and banana can really knock some people off balance without them even realising it.  It’s amazing how much more balanced you’ll feel when blood sugar is under control.
  2.  
  1. Breathe more.  Exercise is an important part of your physical and emotional health. It can ease your feelings of anxiety and boost your sense of well-being. Aim for three to five 30-minute sessions of regular exercise per week. It doesn’t need to be hard core workouts – brisk walks can be just as effective but be sure to choose exercises you enjoy so you look forward to them. The heart rate just needs to be slightly increased to get the blood flow and circulation around the body and especially to the brain.
  2. Sweet Slumber. Poor sleep causes raised daily cortisol levels[5], and vice versa, which in turn increases anxiety. Cortisol is our stress hormone, which creates a normal ‘fight or flight response, but should only be needed in short bursts rather than ongoing.   If anxiety is making it hard for you to fall asleep, create a routine to help you catch your ZZZs.  This includes leaving screens behind at least two hours before that precious night shut eye; try to go to bed and rise at the same time each day (including weekends); make sure your pillows and mattress tick all the boxes when it comes to comfort and keep your bedroom cool. Try also Bonuit Sleep Aid, a relaxing natural herbal remedy combination, of two key ingredients: Valerian and Passionflower. Valerian is known for its positive effect on sleep structure, helping achieve deeper levels of slow wave sleep[6]. Passionflower has traditionally been used for its benefits in reducing symptoms of stress, such as mild anxiety[7] which can hinder the initial act of falling asleep.  
  3. Schedule your worry time. It may sound odd to ‘plan’ to worry, but many experts actually recommend that you pick a time to think about your fears on purpose. Take 30 minutes each day to identify what’s bothering you and what you can do about it. Have your ‘worry session’ at the same time every day. Don’t dwell on ‘what-ifs’ – focus on what really makes you anxious. Try to also turn any negative thoughts into positive ones. Picture yourself facing your fears head-on. The more you do this in your mind, the easier it will be to deal with it when it happens.
  4. Let food by thy medicine. Evidence[8] suggests food may play a role in your overall mental well-being by helping to reduce stress, ease anxiety and even fight depression. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, fibre-rich wholegrains, fermented foods, proteins, and dark green vegetables are notable when it comes to promoting mood balance and well-being. Preparing meals at home has also been shown to be therapeutic and calming. Try starting the day with this wholesome blueberry and nut oat bake. It packs a serious nutrition punch that’s good for the mind.  Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and folate which support the production of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline – key brain hormones involved in mood regulation and balance. Oats also offer a great source of slow-release energy which helps to stabilise mood and blood sugar levels throughout the day.

With love from nature. If you are often affected by bouts of anxiety, then it’s well worth trying RelaxHerb Passionflower tablets, a traditional herbal medicine used to relieve stress and mild anxiety.  The effects of the active herbal ingredient – Passiflora incarnata L – on anxiety have been clinically researched[9],[10] and a recent study revealed how Passionflower can help reduce the anxiety associated with public speaking within an hour prior to the event[11]. Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb – which means that it stimulates the body’s resistance to physical, environmental, and emotional stressors – with a sound base of numerous positive published clinical trials for treating stress and anxiety[12]. Vitano Rhodiola tablets is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion, and mild anxiety, based on traditional use. Consistency of extract purity is guaranteed thanks to precision formulation to pharmaceutical standard in Germany. For more information see www.natures-way.com.

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Sources:

[1]ONS Depression or anxiety in adults, Great Britain: 22 September to 3 October 2021 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/mentalhealth/adhocs/13844depressionoranxietyinadultsgreatbritain22septemberto3october2021

[2] Consumer omnibus survey among 1,030 UK adults. Commissioned by Schwabe Pharma (UK) Ltd and Nature’s Way UK. Conducted by Perspectus Global. Published Summer 2022

[3] https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf

[4] Sanbao et al. The effect of diabetes self-management education on psychological status and blood glucose in newly diagnosed patients with diabetes type 2. Patient Educ Couns 2018 Aug; 101(8):1427-1432

[5] Michael R Sladek et al. Daily rumination about stress, sleep, and diurnal cortisol activity. Cogn Emot 2020 Mar;34(2):188-200

[6] Donath et al. Pharmacopsychiatry 2000

[7] Marcelly Tupan Christoffoli et al. Assessment of Passiflora incarnata L for conscious sedation of patients during the extraction of mandibular third molars: a randomized, split-mouth, double-blind, crossover study. Quintessence Int. 2021 Oct 19;52(10):868-878

[8] https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/2929/food-and-mood-2017.pdf

[9] Dantas LP, de Oliveira-Ribeiro A, de Almeida-Souza LM, Groppo FC. Effects of passiflora incarnata and midazolam for control of anxiety in patients undergoing dental extraction. Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal. 2017 Jan;22(1): e95

[10] Akhondzadeh, S., Naghavi, H.R., Vazirian, M., Shayeganpour, A., Rashidi, H., Khani, M., 2001. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 26, 363–367

[11] da Silva JA, da Costa MJ, da Alves MD, da Braga JE, da Lima CM, da Pordeus LC. Effects of the single supplementation and multiple doses of Passiflora incarnata L. on human anxiety: A Clinical Trial, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Randomized. International Archives of Medicine. 2017 Jan 24;10[12]https://globalpsychiatry.co.uk/article_1318_e57ad21376dce3ae2aaab298f2e46090.pdf

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