Did you know the foods you eat affect your mood? Relieve anxiety with these foods.
Millions of people around the world suffer from anxiety and maybe you’re one of them. Small things stress you out. Panic attacks happen occasionally. Or you just feel tense and on edge all the time. While medications and therapy are known to help relieve anxiety, you may want to try modifying your diet before seeing your doctor.
Foods and drinks can have a powerful effect on your mood. Some calm you and others stimulate you. Someone struggling with anxiety will want to avoid food that stimulate and focus on those that calm. Here are foods to eat and foods to avoid in your quest for peace of mind.
Scientists have only begun to learn the connection between your mind and your gut. What they do know is that a healthy balance of good bacteria in your digestive system is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for regulating your mood. Maintain or restore healthy bacteria in your gut by eating foods that contain probiotics. Examples include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and pickles.
You may drink a cup or two of coffee each morning to help you wake up, but you should know that caffeine is a stimulant that can worsen symptoms of anxiety. Foods and drinks high in caffeine will increase your heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. You’re also more likely to feel nervous, jittery, and have trouble sleeping when consuming a lot of caffeine. People who deal with panic disorder are at a greater risk for panic attacks when they have caffeine, so skipping it altogether may be helpful.
Indulge in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
They’re not only good for your heart, but they’re also good for your brain. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed, are able to reduce symptoms of anxiety. So snack on nuts in between meals and fix some fatty fish for dinner tonight.
Avoid Empty Carbs
Cookies, candy, and white bread may taste good going down, but sugar and refined carbs can actually exacerbate your anxiety. These foods cause a spike in your blood sugar followed by a sudden drop. When you feel dragged out from a sugar coma you’re less able to cope with stress. Sugars and refined carbs are also known to increase inflammation in the body, which may contribute to mental health conditions.
And don’t think you’re safer by eating artificial sweeteners. Those that contain phenylalanine or aspartame may trigger or worsen anxiety.
Go with Magnesium
Studies show that anxious people are often deficient of magnesium. Eating a diet rich in magnesium is good for mental health. Take a quality magnesium supplement or eat more eggs, legumes, greens, nuts, avocado, and seeds to get relief from your anxiety.
Skip Processed Meats
Highly processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and deli meat are filled with preservatives, nitrates, and sodium. Not only do they increase your risk of certain cancers, but these meats may also contribute to mental health conditions like anxiety. So while processed meats may be savory and easy to prepare, they’re better left out of your kitchen.
Aim for Antioxidants
You know fruits and vegetables are good for your body, but did you know they’re also good for your mental health? Foods high in antioxidants work to protect the mind and body from damage and inflammation caused by free radicals. Bright-colored fruits and vegetables are your best source of antioxidants but seeds and nuts are also great options.