Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. An individual suffering from anxiety can find living difficult and painful. Day-to-day activities become a challenge when you suffer from anxiety. In order to treat anxiety, one needs to find the root cause of it. One common cause that is overlooked: calcium deficiency.
So What is the Link Between Lactose Intolerance and Anxiety?
Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products. Milk and other dairy products contain an important nutritional supply of calcium. Lactose Intolerant individuals that cannot consume dairy products tend to lack calcium in their diet. A calcium deficiency can result to anxiety.
How does Calcium Deficiency cause Anxiety?
Calcium is vital for our bodies to function properly. Most importantly, calcium is needed for our brain to function healthily. A calcium deficiency can result to anxiety and moodiness. The electrical pulses found in our nervous system greatly depend on calcium for proper function. When calcium is lacked in our nervous system, the chances of anxiety attacks and mood swings increase significantly. Hypocalcemia, better known as calcium deficiency, is commonly found in individuals that suffer from lactose intolerance. Hypocalcemia can accelerate anxiety significantly among individuals that suffer from anxiety from other causes. A low calcium diet can also result in muscle cramping, heart palpitations, numb fingers and tingling toes – common symptoms also found in anxiety. Additionally, depression and anxious thoughts result from a low calcium intake.
The most common reason for having a calcium deficiency is not eating enough calcium enriched foods and supplements. An over enriched protein and sodium diet results in the body to excrete calcium. As we get older, our bodies ability to absorb calcium decreases significantly. This why it is important to take a calcium supplement.
How do I increase Calcium in a diet that is dairy and lactose free?
Since dairy was the perfect way to get calcium in your diet, there are other great ways to get a good amount of calcium from foods that are dairy and lactose free. The recommended daily calcium is explained as follows:
|SEX||AGE||CALCIUM DAILY INTAKE|
|Male||19-70||1000mg per day|
|Male||70+||1200mg per day|
|Female||19-50||1000mg per day|
|Female||51+||1200mg per day|
Having foods that also have a good amount a calcium and vitamin D is crucial. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb the necessary calcium. Below is a list of foods that contain calcium and vitamin D.
Lactose and Dairy Free Foods with their Calcium Content:
- White Beans: 1 cup = 191mg
- Canned Salmon: Half can = 232mg
- Sardines: 7 Sardine Fillets = 321mg
- Dried Figs : 8 whole dried figs = 107mg
- Bok Choy: 1 cup = 74mg
- Blackstrap Molasses : 1 tablespoon = 176mg
- Kale: 2 cups raw = 188mg
- Black eyed peas: half cup = 185mg
- Almonds: quarter cup half roasted = 72mg
- Oranges: 1 medium size = 65mg
- Turnip Greens: 1 cup cooked = 197mg
- Sesame Seeds: 1 tablespoon = 88mg
- Seaweed: 1 cup raw = 88mg
- Instant Oatmeal: 1 cup = 187mg
- Orange Juice: 1 cup = 500mg
- Soy Milk: 1 cup = 300mg
- Firm Tofu: half cup = 861mg
- Cheerios: 1 cup = 114mg
If you live a fast pace life and cannot eat the above foods, remember to take calcium supplements.
NB: Do not exceed a calcium daily intake of 2500mg as it causes abdominal pain and constipation. Do not take calcium and magnesium together – they cancel each other out. Take your calcium supplement during the day and the magnesium supplement at night. Magnesium aids a good night rest.
Always watch the amount of calcium you consume. Consuming too much will cause an upset stomach and too little can cause anxiety. Always look for calcium enriched foods and supplements that contain vitamin D to assist calcium absorption in the body.
Did this post help you fight anxiety? If you have any comments or question, feel free to post them below.