Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is exponentially growing mental illness, which is characterized by unwanted, repetitive thought, fear, urges, mental images or impulse. This leads to patients engaging in unreasonable and irrational rituals. OCD patients are either having an obsession, compulsion or both, they constantly have thoughts and fears which makes them check if doors are locked, wash their hands frequently or make sure the oven is switched off.
Compulsion offer patients with OCD a temporary relief from their thought, fears, and intense anxiety. These make them addicted to the compulsion and obsession called a vicious cycle. According to a statement from National Institute of Mental Health, “people with OCD can live full and successful lives with proper effective treatment.”
Amidst many effective methods used in treating patients diagnosed with OCD, food dietary has also shown to be effective also. Changing what you consume also help manage some OCD symptoms. It is believed that certain foods have immersed impact on whether a patient’s OCD symptoms aggravate or attenuate. A statement from the Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy affirmed that certain diet containing a high proportion of whole grain and protein are highly beneficial for a patient suffering from an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, these diets help reduce prevention anxious reactions and Obsessive Compulsive disorder symptoms.
Let’s discuss how to handle OCD with diet,
Consuming whole grains, provides your brain with all the nutritious parts of the grain. You get more nutrients and without much adverse effect on your blood sugar level when compared to consuming refined grains. Whole grain foods are rich in carbohydrates, which produce more serotonin in our body. Serotonin is a chemical which induces the brain and gives you that feeling of calmness. It is recommended by Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy, ACTN, that patients with the Obsessive Compulsive disorder should consume more of whole grain and very little of refined grain products. You should stay away from consuming foods like white bread and sugar, in order to keep maintain a healthy blood sugar levels. Patients with abnormal blood sugar level might aggravate the severe symptoms of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Examples of foods rich in whole grains which is beneficial for OCD patients: oats, brown rice, popcorn, wild rice, barley, and quinoa. Also, it is important that you check the nutrition labels and be sure that the main ingredient is whole grain when making a purchase of certain foods (Bread, pasta, and cereals).
LOW-FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS
In order to maintain blood sugar balance and amino acid tryptophan, low-fat dairy products containing a reasonable amount of protein should be consumed. Consuming dairy products like milk and yoghurt can offer you the nutrients you need to maintain a proper healthy condition. Healthy consumption of low-fat dairy product helps fight Obsessive Compulsive disorder symptoms by making you calm. Most ideal snacks consumed during bedtime are rich in both protein and carbohydrates. According to National Sleep Foundation, a carbohydrate present in these ideal snacks allow the brain to have easy access to tryptophan. Amino acid tryptophan helps reduces intense anxiety, increase your calmness and solves any issues relating to sleep. In order to achieve this relief, you have to eat a balanced diet and ideal bedtime snacks, which includes consuming whole grains cereal, low-fat milk or yogurt.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Past studies have known that fruits and vegetables are a very rich source of antioxidants. They contain fiber and lots of water. Fruits and vegetables contain majorly beta-carotene and vitamin C. these nutrients support the body blood cells in fighting infections and diseases. According to psychiatrist Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, he stated that for patients with the Obsessive Compulsive disorder to enjoy relief from OCD symptoms like anxiety, diet highly rich in fruit and vegetables should be consumed more, however, care should be taken and not overeat them.
Fruits and vegetable recommended for consumption to patients with the Obsessive Compulsive disorder are berries, cherries, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, and squash.
FISH, WALNUTS, AND FLAXSEED
For patients to enjoy a reasonable amount of relief from OCD symptoms, their diet has to be rich in proteins and various healthy nutrients. Fish, walnuts, and flaxseed provide you with the basic necessary nutrients.
Cold-water fish – salmon, herring, lake trout, halibut, and mackerel. Walnuts are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This fat helps in the proper functioning of the brain. According to some on-going researches, omega-3 fatty acid might be of amazing help to patients with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
For effectiveness, this food should be consumed alongside healthy and balanced diet. Cold-water fish, walnuts, and flaxseed can be consumed with yogurts, mils, cereals mad baked goods.
HOW TO USE DIET TO PREVENT OCD?
OCD is a chronic illness, which has no cure for now. Although treatment exists that helps the patient live a quality life. However, it is believed diet can be used to prevent one from having this illness.
INCREASE SEROTONIN INTAKE
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, in charge of regulating your moods. It is produced in our brains. It plays an important role in our brain, it helps in replaying signals between our brain cells, it also regulates our sleep, feeling, mood, pain, urge, appetite, and anxiety. Lack of serotonin can lead one to have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Serotonin is produced by the conversion of tryptophan. According to FamilyDoctor.org, “serotonin may help prevent people from compulsive behaviors.”
DIETS THAT FOSTER SEROTONIN PRODUCTION
Serotonin production in our brains is fostered directly by amino acid tryptophan. The amino acid tryptophan is present in many different foods – protein-rich foods (turkey, chicken, milk, eggs and cottage cheese), whole grains (brown rice, and quinoa), beans and legumes (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds, nuts and root vegetables). Increase the consumption of these foods leads to more serotonin being produced more in the brain, leading to significant reduction in the symptoms of OCD.
HYPOGLYCEMIA AND OCD
A scientist recently found out the impact of excessive secretion of adrenalin on hypoglycemia. Clinical Nutritionist Jurriaan Plesman attested that OCD and insulin resistance are directly related. When there is instability in your blood sugar levels, insulin resistance brings about more stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Research studies showed that stress leads to increase in OCD symptoms – anxiety, fear, and panic.
Plesman further discussed that consuming hypoglycemic diet can help stabilize your blood sugar level and stop excess production of adrenaline and cortisol. Eventually, you have your Obsessive Compulsive disorder symptoms handled – reduced and prevented.
What you eat is really important if you really want to prevent your OCD symptoms and have your Obsessive Compulsive disorder handled. Although this method of prevention is effective, for more effectiveness you shouldn’t rely on using diets alone. If you need to change your diet, please consult your doctors first.