Anxiety Diet Guidelines and Tips
If you are fighting against the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, it is a must that you are aware of relevant anxiety diet dos and donts. The foods you choose to consume will impact your mood and energy levels. Knowing the foods that you should be eating and the ones you should NOT be eating can help you deal with your anxiety symptoms.
Healthy eating can greatly help decrease your anxiety levels. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when planning your diet.
Don’t forget to eat whole foods.
Studies have shown that incorporating more whole foods into one’s daily diet can help reduce the levels of anxiety and depression. A whole food diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish. This also means avoidance or at least a reduction of refined grains, sugary and fried foods.
Don’t ignore the nutritional info.
If you want to stay healthy and improve your ability to fight the debilitating symptoms of anxiety, then you should make the effort to read the nutritional content of processed foods that you intend to purchase. Use your computer to search Google or whatever search engine you prefer to get information on those nutrients that will help you in your quest to be rid of anxiety and to stay healthy for life.
For starters, it would certainly help to learn about such key nutrients as vitamin C since it is beneficial for achieving balance during the production of stress hormones especially during anxious moments. Vitamin B is another important nutrient that you should aim to incorporate when planning your daily meals. B vitamins include folate, riboflavin, niacin, etc. These nutrients provide support to the functioning of the nervous system and replenish those nutrients that have been used especially during those times when your body is subjected to too much stress and anxiety.
Eating foods that are rich in magnesium can help relax an individual’s tensed muscles, lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels and regulate heart rate.
Don’t eliminate carbs.
Carbohydrates have been receiving a bad rap these days and some of the information about carbs and anxiety can be a bit misleading. The important thing is to know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs. That way you will know which kind to include in your diet and your body will never be deprived of the right amount and the right kind of carbohydrates that are essential for overall health.
Stay clear of simple carbohydrates which are commonly obtained from sugary foods such as soft drinks and foods made from white flour. These simple carbohydrates will only cause your blood sugar levels to dip and make you vulnerable to an “energy crash”.
On the other hand, you should incorporate more complex carbohydrates into your diet. Whole grain foods are rich sources of complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly by the body, making the person feel fuller longer and less vulnerable to digestive problems. Even more importantly, this type of carbohydrate can help in the production of serotonin which is responsible for sending out feel-good messages to your brain.
Don’t forget protein.
Protein is another macronutrient that should be included in your meal plan. Choose lean meat and poultry. Fish is another good source of protein. Including protein in your diet is important for the release of amino acids into the bloodstream. One better-known example of an amino acid is tryptophan that helps produce feel-good hormones.
Getting a good balance of these healthy nutrients is very important in your overall plan to treat anxiety.
Anxiety Diet : Healthy Eating Guidelines
Knowledge is indeed a powerful tool for keeping our mind and body healthy and free against the crippling symptoms of anxiety. Understanding the effects that our diet has on our mental and physical health enables each of us to take a larger degree of control over our lives. Our wellbeing is affected in so many ways by the foods we eat or don’t eat. Here are some dietary tips to remember while fighting anxiety.
Do get rid of unhealthy fats.
Eating foods that contain too much saturated fat will increase your levels of bad cholesterol which will not only exacerbate your symptoms of anxiety but will also increase your risk of having a heart attack. However, this does not mean that your body does not need fats, nor are all fats unhealthy. Fats are important as they are used by the body as a source of energy.
Including too little dietary fat in your body can lead to several symptoms of anxiety such as anger, hostility and mood swings. This is why you need to eat foods that contain healthy fats too. Fish contains healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids. Avocado contains fat which increases the body’s beneficial HDL cholesterol. Eat more of these food types and less of the types which add to your LDL cholesterol loading.
Do stay away from unhealthy foods.
If you are aiming to achieve optimal health so that you can better cope with the symptoms of anxiety, let food be your best friend. In other words, be sure you only eat good foods that help nourish your body.
Keep your kitchen cupboards, pantry and your desk drawers devoid of junk foods. Keep sodas out of the fridge. Seeing these unhealthy foods in your house and or at your work station will only tempt you to give in to your cravings for sugary and salty foods.
Instead, fill your pantry with fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans, brown rice, etc. Having healthy foods at hand will make it easier for you to come up with healthy dishes as well especially during breakfast when you are in the hurry to eat and leave for work. Keep healthy snacks available at work as well to prevent succumbing to the temptation of a candy bar or other unhealthy food. Clean water is the best drink you can consume.
Do observe regular times to eat.
Skipping a meal is definitely not included in the list of rules for healthy eating. If you skip your usual meal time, your blood glucose will become imbalanced, causing your energy levels to slump. As your energy level dips, you will likely experience mood swings thereby worsening your anxiety. This will cause you to seek out sugar-rich foods which will add to your mood instability. It is better to eat frequent small meals all throughout the day in order to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Do observe your body’s sensitivity to some foods.
The human body will sometimes send out some dietary distress signals. Unfortunately, most of the time the only way you will know that you are allergic to a certain food is after you have experienced an allergic reaction to it. There are foods that trigger itchiness, wheezing, skin redness, fast heart beat and hives. Experiencing these allergic reactions should give you a warning not to eat the same food again. These symptoms are a warning, so heed them and avoid the cause. Otherwise, you will be forced to deal with lightheadedness, nausea, stomach upset and some other physical sensations that will only worsen your anxiety.
Making positive changes in your diet can make a huge difference in the way you cope with your anxiety symptoms. Enhanced mood and improved sense of well-being are just few of the many benefits of healthy eating. Healthy diet must be coupled with proper treatment for better management of anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety Diet : Habits That Cause Anxiety Symptoms
The causes of anxiety are different for everyone, but there are some habits that may exacerbate your symptoms. While some things in our lives may be or certainly appear to be beyond our control, there are steps we can take to reduce the symptoms of anxiety that reduce our quality of life. We can at least be less vulnerable to anxiety if we avoid some negative habits that can cause anxiety symptoms to worsen. Some of the habits to avoid include:
Drinking lots of coffee
Many people drink more than two cups of coffee in a day as part of their efforts to keep up with the increasing demands of modern living. They drink lots of coffee because they do not want to feel sleepy during the day or because they have to work all night in order to finish a certain task.
Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant that not only helps keep you awake; it unfortunately also activates the person’s “fight or flight” response. Frequent consumption of coffee can stimulate even the tired mind which will then lead to sleep deprivation and other symptoms of anxiety such as irritability, fatigue, inability to focus, heart palpitation and muscle aches.
Eating junk foods
Junk foods are no doubt delicious. Eating junk food saves you from the hassle of cooking and preparing your own meals at home. Unfortunately, these advantages of fast foods are far out-weighed by the risks they pose to a person’s health. The very ingredients that make the food taste so good are those that affect our mood balance (or imbalance) and cause us to feel jittery, rushed and agitated.
Fast foods are loaded with sugar, sodium, fats and bad carbs. Eating fast foods can cause a sudden increase of a person’s blood sugar levels. Additionally fast foods contain little or no fiber. This is why when you eat fast foods, that glucose becomes quickly metabolized and absorbed by the body.
Worse still, the negative effects do not just end there. The insulin released by the body in response to the blood-sugar overload will continue to persist in a person’s blood for a period of time and the absence of fiber leaves nothing for insulin to work on. The blood sugar is rapidly depleted leading to a ‘sugar slump’.
As a result, the person will experience feelings of exhaustion and anxiety even if his stomach is full from eating fast foods!
Skipping meals and starvation
Having a hectic daily schedule often leads people to getting into the habit of skipping meals and starving themselves. They do this as because they feel they have too many other things to do and eating is not included on their priority list. This habit only leads to a decrease in the person’s blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels drop below 50 mg/dl, an individual may experience irritability and anxiety.
Eating too much
If skipping meals make your blood sugar levels too low, overeating can also make it increase to very high levels. If your blood sugar levels increase up to 300 mg/dl, be prepared to experience high levels of irritability and anxiety as well! Avoid eating too much. This is important whether you have anxiety or not.
A balanced diet will assist in maintaining balanced moods, and lessen feelings of ‘being out of control’. Our food intake is one area we have the opportunity to take control.
Ignoring clutter in the environment
Experts who conducted studies on human productivity revealed that those who maintain cleanliness in their workplace and home environment were found to have higher levels of productivity compared to people who just ignore clutter. Clutter and dirt can greatly contribute to the person’s anxiety. It is best to include maintaining a clean environment as part of your anxiety reducing regimen.
Eliminating habits that add to anxiety symptoms is an important part of self-empowerment and reducing anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety Diet : Healthy Nutrition For Managing Anxiety and Depression
Foods can either nourish or destroy our mental and physical health. If you want to manage and alleviate the adverse effects of anxiety and depression, there is no valid reason to not eat healthy foods! Understanding how your daily nutrition affects your moods may make it easier, so use the following information to learn how you can lift your mood and feel happier and healthier by eating healthy foods.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Many studies have proven that omega 3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. You can obtain omega-3 fatty acids by eating flax seeds, sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon and oysters. Eating more of these types of foods can also reduce your likelihood of wallowing in sadness and other depressive thoughts.
Several studies have revealed that those people who eat plenty of fish were also reported to have fewer problems with regards to their mental health. An increase in fish consumption may be helpful in lessening the symptoms of bipolar disorder, postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder.
Another study conducted in New Zealand also showed that people who ate fish regularly had better mental health compared to some of the population who rarely included fish in their diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids are not only good in protecting people from the dangers of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, but all this new research has unveiled the capability of omega 3 fatty acids to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Additionally, there are no side effects to consuming these naturally-occurring fatty acids, unlike those of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs.
Having low levels of vitamin B6 is known to cause or increase many symptoms of anxiety and depression. Furthermore, lack of vitamin B6 can also have adverse impacts on a person’s memory and cognitive function, which can also lead to anxiety symptoms.
Our brains must have enough vitamin B6 to be able to manufacture serotonin and dopamine, which are hormones that greatly influence our moods. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that an increased intake of foods that are rich in vitamin B6 has helped many people to become less vulnerable to anxiety and depression symptoms.
Vitamin B6 can be obtained by eating some of the following examples: Cauliflower, mustard greens, tuna, salmon, turnip greens and spinach. As much as possible, eat veggies while they are still in their most natural state in order to obtain the most nutritional value.
Healthy nutrition and vitamins are important for managing anxiety and depression and is the safest method of ‘treatment’. There is certainly enough evidence to prove that eating healthy foods does more than just care for your physical body. It is encouraging to know that eating the right foods also contributes greatly to mental health and acuity, as well as helping to overcome depression and anxiety symptoms.