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What you should eat and avoid if you are suffering from OCD

Eat omega-3s to tackle OCD. © Shutterstock

While there is no proven cure for obsessive compulsive disorder, some small changes in food habit may help people suffering from the condition. Talk to your psychiatrist about your choice of food alongside other lifestyle modifications.

Written by Aishwarya Vaidya |Updated : December 20, 2018 6:53 PM IST

Do you get upset when your things are not placed in the perfect order? Do you fear using public toilets? Do you keep on checking if you have locked the door? All these are suggestive of the fact that you may be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Persons with OCD behave compulsively in order to bring down the anxiety triggered by their obsessions. According to the Anxiety And Depression Association of America, people who are suffering from OCD may have recurring mental images which can lead to anxiety, aggressive, fear of illnesses and a complete loss of control over their own thoughts and behaviours.

Those who suffer from OCD often experience anxiety, stress and depression. Interestingly, it has been found that making a few changes in the food choices may help control the symptoms of this mental health disorder.

What to eat

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If your are suffering from OCD, choose foods that have a calming effect and properties that boost cognitive capacities.

Opt for foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Foods rich in omega-3s can improve your mental well-being as well as your physical health. Various studies observed that omega-3 fatty acids are effective in can help you beating anxiety. To get your daily dose of omega-3s, include walnuts, chia seeds, egg yolks, lettuce and tomatoes in your diet.

Go for low-fat dairy products

Milk and yoghurt are some of the low-fat dairy products which have significant amount of proteins that can promote blood sugar balance and the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is known to have calming effect. According to the National Sleep Foundation, US, carbohydrates make tryptophan more accessible to your brain. Hence, you should eat whole grain cereal with low-fat milk or yoghurt to deal with anxiety.

What not to eat

Avoid foods that can wreak havoc on your mental health by worsening your anxiety issues

Ditch foods containing added sugar

It is known that loading up on food rich in preocessed sugar can trigger feelings of worry, irritability and sorrow. If you are an OCD patient, then your symptoms will only worsen. So, say goodbye to soft drinks, candy, and pastries which are sugar-laden.

Avoid caffeine

People who suffer from panic attacks and compulsive behaviours should try to limit their caffeine intake. Owing to its stimulating effect, caffeine can increase anxiety. According to psychologist Edmund J. Bourne's, The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, published in 2005, people suffering from anxiety disorders should assess all forms of caffeine in their diet and limit it.

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