Could What You Eat Be Playing a Role In Your Anxiety?

Written by Sadie Salazar

What if you could manage your stress and anxiety with food?

Many people suffer from anxiety, which can be due to factors such as stresses at home, at work, and in relationships. It’s always best to consider all issues in life, but what if the foods we eat are also causing anxiety?

For example, eating foods that cause a spike in blood sugar (such as a sugary latte or a cookie, for example) can give you a false sense of euphoria, and ultimately cause anxiety. The euphoria is gone once your blood sugar drops back down. But when you eat constant servings of whole, natural foods, which keeps your blood sugar level, you have a sense of euphoria at all times, without added stimulants.

I like to recommend crowding out the "bad" foods, rather than avoiding them completely. By filling up on whole, natural foods, you will no longer have room for the unhealthy, processed items that can be contributing to your anxiety. (If a doctor has prescribed anti-anxiety medication, consult with him or her before discontinuing any prescription.)

When crowding out foods, you may notice that your anxiety lessens when you have less of a particular food. For example, if you have less alcohol during the week, you notice that your anxiety isn’t as high.

Keeping a food journal and noting how you feel when you crowd out a certain food and when you introduce a new food will help you narrow down any food sensitivities. In my practice, I like to look at the whole person, not just their food intake, but this list will give you a start on combating your own anxiety.

Foods to crowd out:

  • Processed foods
  • Sugars and sweets
  • Refined flours, breads, pastas
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

Foods to introduce to help with crowding out:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fresh vegetables (especially green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, etc)
  • Omega-3s
  • Chamomile tea
  • Increase in B-Vitamins
  • Complex carbohydrates (whole grains)
  • Super foods like goji berries & maca
  • Water, water, water!!

Some other tips that may help are: exercising, yoga, pilates, or breathing exercises. Finding healthy ways to combat stress and anxiety will not only benefit your brain, but your body as well.

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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