How a Healthy Lifestyle can Prevent AngerShare
Whether it's due to a traffic jam or a disagreement with a family member, everyone has times when they get angry. Although becoming angry occasionally is inevitable, living a healthy lifestyle can promote a feeling of calm and prevent anger.
A healthy lifestyle includes eating a well-balanced diet, which includes the correct amounts of nutrients. Vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs and protein all play a role in brain function including the production of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals, which influence concentration, sleep and mood. When neurotransmitters are out of balance, you may be easier to anger.
Diet and Anger
Several different nutrients may affect mood including aggression. For instance, leading research shows a diet very low in carbohydrates may increase anger. The theory is drastically limiting carbs may interfere with the brain’s ability to synthesize serotonin, which helps boost mood and has a calming effect. When it comes to carbohydrates, eating healthy sources, such as vegetables and whole grains is your best bet.
Getting the right amount of certain nutrients may also prevent anger. For example, according to American Nutrition Association, some studies indicate a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids may lead to anger and depression. In addition to all the other health benefits of omega-3, such as decreasing inflammation, it may also tame your temper. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds.
Additionally, a diet high in trans fat may interfere with how the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acid. University studies indicated participates who ate a diet high in trans fats had higher levels of aggression. Besides raising bad cholesterol levels, trans fat may also increase how quick you are to anger. That gives you another reason to limit foods high in trans-fat, such as fried foods, cookies and donuts.
Exercise Reduces Stress
Most people know exercise is good for their heart and helps you maintain a healthy weight, but it can also reduce anger. It is probably not a surprise; exercise can help reduce your stress level and promote a feeling of wellbeing. But did you know doing a high intensity workout is your best bet for reducing stress?
Research has shown, working out at a high intensity decreases stress better than low or moderate exercise. High intensity exercise helps you cope with a negative emotion, such as stress, and turn it into something positive; a great workout.
In addition, high intensity exercise stimulates the production of a chemical in the brain, which promotes feeling of relaxation and elevates mood. It makes sense it is harder to anger when you are feeling relaxed and calm.
Any exercise is better than none. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exercise guidelines for adults over age 18 include a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate to intense exercise including aerobic activity and strength training.
National Institute of Health. Trans Fat Consumption and Aggression. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=transfats%20aggression Accessed November 2014.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How Much Physical Activity to Adults Need? http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html Accessed November 2014.
American Nutrition Association. Omega 3. Vitamins, Minerals May Reduce Aggressive Behavior. http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/omega-3-vitamins-minerals-may-reduce-aggressive-behaviour Accessed November 2014.
Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School Exercising to Relax. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/harvard_mens_health_watch/2011/february/exercising-to-relax Accessed November 2014.
Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. You are What you Way: How Food Affects Your Mood. http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/fall-2010/you-are-what-you-eat-how-food-affects-your-mood#.VGqA2mdxnIU Accessed November 2014.