What we eat doesn't necessarily caused Anxiety. But that doesn't mean that millions of people aren't contributing to their anxiety every day by eating foods that create anxiety symptoms while avoiding foods that may fight anxiety.
The truth is that your diet does matter. What you eat affects how you feel, and how you feel is anxious. It stands to reason that changing your diet to one that is made for those living with anxiety can be a valuable part of treating your anxiety symptoms.
Human body is constantly repairing itself using nutrients, minerals and vitamins from food we ingest to replenish the chemical building blocks that are necessary for day-to-day functioning.
Naturally within moments, after you eat or drink something, your internal chemistry changes. Not surprisingly, what you eat affects how you feel both in the short and in the long run. If you suffer from depression or panic, there are certain foods you should avoid. These foods can adversely affect how you feel by influencing metabolic processes, over exciting the nervous system or by triggering immune system reactions.
FOOD THAT CAUSE ANXIETY/DEPRESSION
A known stimulant and psychoactive drug, caffeine has long had a reputation for triggering the body's fight-or-flight response. Very similar to the symptoms associated with anxiety, caffeine can also make its users feel nervous, nauseous, light headed, jittery and yes, even anxious. If you're suffering through anxiety, I recommend reconsidering that morning cup of coffee and instead opt for an herbal tea or a green juice.
2. Artificial and refined sugars
This is one that seems hard to ignore simply due to the fact that sugar hides in everything ! Studies have shown that although sugar does not cause anxiety, it does create changes in your body that can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and impairs the body's ability to effectively cope with stress.
A sugar crash is similar to a caffeine crash, and can also cause mood changes, heart palpitations, difficulty concentrating and fatigue— all of which can be interpreted as the beginning stages of an anxiety or panic attack.
3. Foods high in sodium(Salt)
By now, we should all be aware of the fat-free craze of the past few decades. The sad reality of this fad is that most foods that are fat free are actually high in sugar and/or sodium. Researchers have concluded that too much sodium in our diets can have a negative effect on the body's neurological system, causing fatigue and damaging the immune system. A restful sleep is a major key to a healthy mind, mood and body. Not to mention, the overconsumption of sodium leads to weight gain, high blood pressure and water retention.
Salt is essential in maintaining good health and a balanced diet, but too much can trigger panic episodes and send you down a slippery slope of anxiety, panic and depression.
4. Fried foods
Not only are fried foods difficult to digest, but they also have very little nutrition. Combining poor food choices with unhealthy cooking processes is a sure-fire way to exacerbate your anxiety symptoms. Most fried foods like French fries, chicken and onion rings are cooked in hydrogenated oil. It not only does a number on your waistline, but it's also terrible for your heart.
Fried foods also may increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Moderation is key. The next time you find yourself at Five Guys, try the kiddie size fry instead of the large.
5. Fruit juice
Fruit juice, just like soda and other store-bought beverages is packed with sugar. There are three different types of sugar : sucrose, glucose and fructose. Fructose is the sugar naturally found in fruits and vegetables, and is usually added to fruit juice and fruit flavored drinks. The problem is the body only processed fructose in the liver and is not the body's preferred energy source. What protects us from absorbing too much fructose when we eat fruits and vegetables is the fiber. When we get rid of the fiber, we put our bodies at risk of overconsumption.
So if you want fruit juice, make it at home, and if you're an avid juicer (like me), I recommend limiting the amount of fruit you put into your green juices. Stick to the 80/20 rule and you'll be good to go.
I'm sure we all remember those Got Milk ads that popped up during the commercial break of our favorite TV shows. Well research shows that people who have anxiety say they've noticed an increase in anxiety symptoms within minutes of consuming dairy products. About 10 percent of adults are lactose intolerant, and even more are thought to have difficulty digesting the casein found in cow's milk. Have I mentioned its impact on children?
The truth is, dairy is inflammatory . It wreaks havoc on the digestive system, causing, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, among other things. So if you're looking for ways to manage your anxiety, I guess the answer to the question Got Milk? , should be a big, fat, NO!
7. Acid Forming Foods
Foods like yogurt, pickles, eggs, sour cream, wine, and liver are all acid creating foods, and there are reasons to believe that these foods drop magnesium levels. Magnesium is a cause or contributor of anxiety in many of those suffering from anxiety symptoms, so cutting back on acid forming foods is important. Also soda do trigger anxiety, the extent is depends on individual body chemistry.
We all enjoy an occasional drink, right? But what happens when that one glass of wine at dinner turns into three glasses of wine and dessert? Alcohol in excess or at all (for some), is said to induce the symptoms of anxiety.
Alcohol is a toxin that leads to improper mental and physical functioning, by negatively impacting the levels of serotonin (the feel good chemical) in the brain.
Alcohol also affects the body and nervous system and can cause hypersensitivity, increased heart rate, lowered blood sugar levels and acute dehydration. If you're going out to dinner with a few colleagues, you may want to skip the drink menu this time around.
9. Junk/Fast Food
Sometimes when we are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, the best thing we can think of doing is driving to the nearest take away joint and indulging in that big, juicy burger. While that may satisfy you for a few minutes, the effects it has on your body will continue many hours later. No, you don’t have to reach for a salad every time but instead opt for some lean protein, which will not only have a positive effect on you and will also keep you feeling fuller for longer.
10. Food Additives
Man-made food additives have been used for so many years to enhance the appearance and flavour of our food, but not many people realise just how bad they are for you. The ones that could trigger anxiety the most are:
Aspartame - Also known as Sweetener (951), aspartame is used to replace sugar in a number of products, from “sugar free” soft drinks to gums and other tabletop sweeteners. Researchers have found link regular consumption of aspartame with a number of health conditions, including anxiety.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) - HFCS is a highly refined sweetener that can be found in most processed foods, particularly in the US. HFCS is very high in calories and, like aspartame, is considered a contributing factor to a number of illnesses.
MSG - This is an amino acid that is used as a flavour enhancer in soups, dressings, snacks foods and frozen foods. MSG is an excitotoxin which over excites cells to the point of damage. Regular consumption is known to trigger depression, headaches and fatigue.
Food Dyes - Food dyes are sometimes added to soft drinks, salad dressings, fruit juices and cheese. Some food dyes, particularly Red #40 & Yellow #5, can disrupt normal nervous system function, which may increase symptoms of anxiety.
FOOD THAT REDUCE DEPRESSION/ ANXIETY.
Most people know there are foods to avoid, but what about foods to eat? There are several foods that may reduce your anxiety symptoms. Remember, healthy eating leads to healthy hormonal functioning, which leads to an improved sense of well-being. So the better you eat, the better your anxiety will be. Good foods include:
Eating these foods aren't going to cure your anxiety, but they should reduce your anxiety symptoms and make it easier for an effective anxiety treatment to work. Eating healthy does have an effect on your ability to handle anxiety, so altering your diet to include better foods for anxiety is important.
Your body does need carbs and sugar, it just doesn't need refined sugars. Fresh fruit has sugar that can be converted to energy, and provides necessary nutrients as well. Blueberries and peaches may be especially advantageous.
Of course, vegetables are arguably even more important, especially for those with anxiety. Vegetables are rich in fiber, and many of the vitamins that those with anxiety deplete regularly.
A tremendous percentage of the population is regularly dehydrated because they do not drink nearly enough water. Dehydration nearly always leads to anxiety, which is why it's crucial that you consume enough water regularly.
Tryptophan Rich Foods
Foods rich in tryptophan are very effective at reducing anxiety. They have a natural relaxation component, and may increase your metabolism as an added bonus. Oats, soy, poultry, and sesame seeds all have a fair amount of tryptophan.
Magnesium Rich Foods
As much as 25% of the country or more is magnesium deficient, and magnesium plays a role in over 300 different processes within the body. It's a crucial vitamin that few people get, so magnesium rich foods like black beans and tofu are very important.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research into Omega 3's is still being conducted, but there is some evidence that Omega-3 is important for depression and anxiety. Omega-3's can be found in fish, flax seed, and winter squash.
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