There are certain foods that can trigger anxiety.
According to Wikihow "dealing with a full-blown anxiety disorder usually requires therapy and/or medication, milder cases of anxiety can be treated with lifestyle changes including dietary improvements".
So what we eat can contribute to the way we feel.
Here is a list of foods to avoid:
- Caffeine - coffee can put your nerves on edge.
- Foods high in sugar - such as donuts, candy. Some people may not realise this, but too much bread, pasta and rice should also be avoided.
Soft drinks and fruit juices. Having a piece of fruit gives you natural sugar as well as fibre and other vitamins and minerals.
- Alcohol - The alcohol changes to sugar creating those highs and lows in your blood sugar. Also, alcohol will leave you anxious and jittery the following day.
- So called energy drinks - not only do they have poor quality nutrients in them, they can also make you feel irritable and shaky. They have a lot of sugar added and some contain a lot of caffeine.
All the above foods have high sugar content. This leads to an increased heart rate which results in excess nervous energy. Examples of anxiety or nervous energy are feeling restless, shaking of hands, your mind may seem like it’s going too fast.
Ways to ease anxiety
So enough of the foods that can trigger anxiety. Now I’ll talk about what you can eat that will have a positive impact on your mood. The following are some calming foods to pack in your pantry and also some to avoid.
- Have less caffeine - “Caffeine can exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression because it interferes with a tranquilizing neurotransmitter chemical in the brain called adenosine,” says Palinski.
As caffeine is a stimulant it can tell the brain to secrete a stress hormone, known as adrenaline. This hormone increases the heart rate which gives you feelings of anxiety.
If you drink a lot of caffeine, it would be a good idea to cut down slowly, so your body can adjust to the change.
- Whey - Because it is naturally rich in L-tryptophan, plus many other calming amino acids and nutrients. Whey is a great food source for soothing your nervous system.
Of course, only have whey if you’re not allergic to milk-based foods. There are good quality whey protein supplements such as Proventive or One World Whey, which would be helpful nutrionally and will keep your nervous system well-functioning.
- Eat fish - Research shows that low levels of omega three fatty acids can elevate anxiety levels. Foods, such as salmon or mackerel a couple of times a week will fill that nutritional deficit and relieve irritability symptoms.
- Bananas - contain vitamin B and magnesium, which promote feelings of happiness and have a soothing affect on the body. Not only are they healthy and calming, but bananas have the added benefit of producing serotonin and melatonin. These two hormones regulate how we feel and our ability to sleep well.
- Exercise - It burns off excess adrenaline. I always feel calm and positive after exercise, even if it’s just a brisk walk. I highly recommend it.