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Four Foods That Can Help Your Child Fight Anxiety

Posted by Gabriel Williams on
A major part of parenting a child on the autism spectrum is being careful about what foods your child is eating. It is widely known that nutrition and autism are related in the sense that children with autism often have sensitivities or intolerances to common foods, which can exacerbate problematic behaviors. While it is important to know your child’s dietary restrictions, being intentional about including helpful foods can be beneficial for your child’s mood and level of calm.

Avocado

This popular food isn’t just the delicious main ingredient in your favorite dip, it’s also packed with essential nutrients that do wonders for the mind and body. One key nutrient found in avocados is vitamin B6, which helps your brain produce the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. Avocados contain other B vitamins as well, such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, which are beneficial to the nervous system. Having low levels of these vitamins has been linked to anxiety and stress, so refreshing the body with these nutrients will lead to calm and collected mood. In addition, the healthy fats found in avocados are great for heart health, helping reduce blood pressure and reducing anxiety in the process.

Turkey

Not only is this lean meat packed with protein, it contains a crucial amino acid called tryptophan. The body needs tryptophan to produce serotonin, which helps with balanced mood levels and regular sleep. Eating foods high in tryptophan, such as turkey, has been found to reduce feelings of anxiety. The low fat content of turkey is also helpful for overall health and wellbeing.

Almonds

A great alternative to other unhealthy snack foods, almonds are a good source of protein and fiber. Another key nutrient present in almonds is magnesium. Having low levels of magnesium leads to a lower production of serotonin, resulting in increased anxiety and irregular mood. Conversely, adding magnesium-dense foods such as almonds to your child’s diet will help reduce anxiety and prevent mood swings.

Asparagus

This is a versatile and easy to cook vegetable that can be paired with lots of meals. Asparagus also has a high concentration of the nutrient folate. It has been known for decades that a deficiency in folate can lead to disorders such as anxiety and depression. It only takes a small serving of asparagus to provide your child with most of the folate they need each day to maintain a positive and calm mood.

It may be tricky getting your child to accept these new foods as part of their diet, so try using positive reinforcement to reward them for trying these foods. Using healthy foods in your child’s diet in tandem with practicing anxiety-relieving activities will help you see a positive change in your child’s behavior, attitude, and outlook.

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