Nutrition affects anxiety in both direct and indirect ways. Low blood glucose can be an anxiety trigger, so crash diets and prolonged periods without food may make anxiety worse. Sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol can also trigger or exacerbate anxiety. People struggling with anxiety may wish to cut back on these ingredients or eliminate them altogether. Experimenting with a different diet can help people with anxiety feel an increased sense of control and self-efficacy. Certain foods may also reduce stress.
There are many ways anxiety manifests itself-panic attacks, stomachaches, autoimmune disorders, and acne, just to name a few, but it’s often life-altering. There’s no single mechanism through which food reduces anxiety. Each anxiety-friendly food boasts its unique benefits. With so many people suffering, there’s increased attention on finding a solution for anxiety. Anxiety symptoms can make you feel unwell. Coping with anxiety can be a challenge and often requires making lifestyle changes. There aren’t any diet changes that can cure anxiety, but watching what you eat may help.
Follow these steps:
- Eat a breakfast that includes some protein: Eating protein at breakfast can help you feel fuller longer and help keep your blood sugar steady so that you have more energy as you start your day.
- Eat complex carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are thought to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, which has a calming effect. Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains — for example, oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain bread and whole-grain cereals. Steer clear of foods that contain simple carbohydrates, such as sugary foods and drinks.
- Drink plenty of water: Even mild dehydration can affect your mood.
- Limit or avoid alcohol: The immediate effect of alcohol may be calming. But as your body processes alcohol, it can make you edgy. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep.
- Limit or avoid caffeine: Avoid caffeinated beverages. They can make you feel jittery and nervous and can interfere with sleep.
- Pay attention to food sensitivities: In some people, certain foods or food additives can cause unpleasant physical reactions. In certain people, these physical reactions may lead to shifts in mood, including irritability or anxiety.
- Try to eat healthy, balanced meals: Healthy eating is essential for overall physical and mental health. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and don’t overeat. It may also help to eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, regularly.
Some Common Features
- Promoting general health: Some evidence suggests that simply eating a more balanced, nutrient-dense diet can help with anxiety. For example, some people report reductions in anxiety when they eat a whole foods diet or when they correct nutritional deficits.
- Neurotransmitter regulation: Certain chemicals, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help regulate neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that help carry messages across a synapse. Many anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications also work on neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially among seniors and those who do not spend much time in natural sunlight. Vitamin D supports healthy brain function and may regulate neurotransmitters. Doctors think it may be especially critical for regulating dopamine, a brain chemical that plays essential roles in motivation and pleasure.
- Fighting inflammation: Inflammation is the body’s natural response to an injury. Chronic inflammation, however, can cause a wide range of maladies. Some research links it to anxiety. Foods that fight inflammation may help with anxiety as well as other chronic health problems.
Changes to your diet may make some difference to your general mood or sense of well-being, but they’re not a substitute for treatment. Lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep habits, increasing social support, using stress-reduction techniques and getting regular exercise, also may help. Be patient, as it may take some time before these changes have an effect on your anxiety. If your anxiety is severe or interferes with your day-to-day activities or enjoyment of life, you may need to consult Chen Ben Asher.
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Chen uses Functional Nutrition to help you find answers to the root causes of your illness and address the biochemical imbalances that may trigger your health and weight. She uses cutting edge lab testing and design the nutritional program to your specific needs as an individual. Food, supplements, lifestyle changes will have integrated to bring balance
If you are looking for personalized nutritional support, we highly recommended contacting Mor’s Nutrition & More Wellness Center in Cupertino, California today.