a nutritionists guide to reducing anxiety main

A nutritionist’s guide to reducing anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health problem. Healthista spoke to nutritionist Rob Thorp to find out his advice on reducing anxiety naturally 

Anxiety is an incredibly common disorder with one in six people experiencing symptoms in any given week in England.

Most people experience symptoms that range from feeling worried and on edge to heart palpitations or sleeplessness, but anxiety can manifest itself in a number of ways.

The condition can be mild or serious, sometimes requiring treatment like cognitive behavioural therapy or even medication.

If you suffer from mild anxiety, staying on top of it can be more simple than you think.

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting a relationship between what we eat and how we feel, as well as simple lifestyle changes that can naturally help in reducing anxiety levels.

To explain more, Rob Thorp, founder of Vite Naturals, a new plant-based functional nutrition range, shares his top ways to ward of anxiety naturally…

#1 Eat regularly

Eating regular meals is incredibly important to maintain your blood sugar levels. This in turn affects your mood.

If your blood sugar levels drop, you might feel tired, irritable, or even depressed.

Eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly will help to keep your blood sugar levels steady and therefore your mood stable.

Slow-release energy foods include wholegrain pasta, rice, oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts, and seeds.

nutritionists guide to reducing anxiety

#2 Pay attention to your gut health

Dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut), as well as inflammation of the gut have been linked to several mental illnesses, including anxiety.

The gut-brain connection is an emerging area of research that demonstrates a direct line of communication between the brain and enteric nervous system.

Researchers have shown that many mental disorders or behavioural problems can be linked to poor gut bacteria.

gut bacteria or poor digestion can contribute to poor mental health

Digestive discomfort caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria or poor digestion can contribute to poor mental health.

The encouraging news is that probiotics appear to alleviate symptoms of mental distress and anxiety by reducing the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to improve mental health and reducing anxiety and stress.

To get a regular dose of good bacteria, try Vite Body – a new range of capsules and snack bars that combine probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes to support and aid your immune and digestive systems to function optimally, as well as help tackle anxiety.

#3 Cut back on caffeine

Anxiety naturally heightens your arousal and so does caffeine.

That boost of energy or wakefulness you feel after drinking a Red Bull or cup of coffee can be heightened if you are already anxious and could make symptoms worse.

However, coffee’s not the only culprit.

You also want to pay attention to other ways caffeine might be sneaking into your diet. Think chocolate bars, protein bars, energy drinks, and even tea.

nutritionists guide to reducing anxiety caffeine

#4 Exercise

Developing a regular exercise routine is not just helpful for people who are trying to build muscle or manage weight. Workouts can also reduce stress and boost your mood and self-esteem.

You might even notice a drop in your anxiety after a few minutes of aerobic exercise.

For long-term benefits, follow a regular exercise schedule. Try to squeeze in several hours of moderate or intense physical activity each week.

Workouts can also reduce stress and boost your mood and self-esteem

Choose a workout you enjoy, whether that involves jogging, dancing, or swimming.

#5 Get enough sleep

Not enough good-quality sleep and insomnia are common symptoms of anxiety.

That’s why it’s crucial to make sleep a priority, and if it’s something you struggle with there are simple, super-effective things you can try.

Start by not using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed. And try avoiding caffeine, big meals, and nicotine before bed.

nutritionists guide to reducing anxiety sleep

#6 Try box breathing

It is easy to get overwhelmed with the goings-on of your life. Especially at the moment, living through uncertain times.

Focusing on your breath gives your mind a break and a chance to reconnect with your body and relax, wherever you are.

Box breathing is a breathing technique that aims to return your breathing back to its normal rhythm and help clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus.

It is simple to practice, involving just a few steps.

  • The first, inhaling through your nose and letting air fill your lungs.
  • You then need to hold that breath inside, before slowly exhaling.
  • Each of these steps should be held for a count of four, but this can be increased as you become more familiar with the technique.

nutritionists guide to reducing anxiety box breathing

#7 Practice yoga and meditation

Both Yoga and meditation are two great physical and mental activities.

Yoga can help in reducing anxiety and enhance your mood, as well as give you a good workout that releases feel-good endorphins.

Practising yoga can help to clear the mind and introduces a level of calmness into your life. Yoga can also enhance the level of serotonin (happiness hormone) in your body.

This combined with its stress-relieving benefits can help you to feel better, calmer and more positive.

Meditation is very similar to yoga. However, it enables you to take a second alone with your feelings and thoughts to find inner peace and positivity within yourself.

Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and alleviate negative thoughts, feelings or stresses you might have during the day.

Rob Thorp

Nutritionist and Founder of Vite Naturals, Rob Thorp

More Healthista Content:

Top London dentist reveals 8 simple ways to keep your teeth healthy

Eating disorders: 6 myths to be aware of

Model and chef Karen Koramshai shares 5 easy vegan snack recipes

From Britney Spears to Kanye West: 12 best songs proven to take your workout to the next level

< Back

Also in this week’s magazine

Foodie Friday 3 quick & easy dinner recipes for your meal prep Sunday FEATURED
Healthy Recipes

Foodie Friday: 3 quick & easy dinner recipes for your meal prep Sunday

Need meal prep inspiration? Personal Trainer Ryan Le Breton shares three quick and easy dinner recipes, perfect for your meal prep Sunday

4 protein myths you need to STOP believing FEATURED

4 protein myths you need to STOP believing

'You can only get your protein from meat’ – we’ve heard all the myths. Nutritionist David Stache reveals 4 protein myths we all need to stop believing 

Sore joints Tired Feeling down Here’s what can help this winter woman with sore joints

Feeling down? Sore joints? Tired? Here’s what can help this winter

Whether you’re suffering from joint pain, disturbed sleep or just feeling down in the dumps, you are not the only one. Healthista speaks to the experts

7 ways to keep on top of your fitness routine over Christmas FEATURED

7 ways to keep on top of your healthy eating & fitness routine this Christmas

Worried the festive season will undo all your hard work? Healthista spoke to F45 Head Trainer Sam Gregory who reveals how to keep on top of your healthy eating and fitness routine this Xmas 

Avoid festive weight gain with these 6 weight loss tips FEATURED

Avoid festive weight gain with these 6 weight loss tips

Christmas can be a tricky time when it comes to easy weight gain. That's why Healthista spoke to an expert nutritionist who revealed 6 weight loss tips for the festive season 

Anxious or stressed 10 healthy foods & drinks you should probably avoid FEATURED

Feeling anxious or stressed? 10 healthy foods & drinks you should probably avoid

Been feeling anxious or stressed? Nutritionist Robert Hobson reveals 10 healthy foods and drinks you should probably avoid to mitigate stress and anxiety 

Latest Video Series


Wellness Weekly

I agree to my personal data being stored and used to receive the Healthista newsletter.


STOP - Healthista needs you!

Tell us what content you want more of...

MenopauseFitness VideosPost-partum careSexual wellness