Eating Away At Anxiety
Food affects how you feel.
What you put into your body has a direct relation to how you feel both physically and emotionally. We know that we need food to fuel us physically, but we don’t always think about how our diet affects our mood and emotions.
Remember that stress and anxiety affect you on all levels: body, mind, spirit, emotions, and energy. So let’s look at how we can help ease stress and anxiety at that “body” level by feeding the body with foods that have a calming effect instead of foods that stress the body.
What you might want to try
B vitamins are important for the nervous system and have a calming effect. They have also been found to stabilize the body’s blood lactate levels, which is related to stress and anxiety. When people feel anxious and their blood is measured, they tend to have high levels of lactate in their blood. The good news is the many foods contain B vitamins, including:
- whole grain cereals
- leafy green vegetables
- brewer’s yeast
- many meats and fish
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps your brain produce chemicals which can improve mood and have a relaxing effect. Good sources of tryptophan include:
- nuts and peanut butter
- sesame seeds
What you might want to avoid
Foods and substances that could contribute to anxiety (research is ongoing) include:
- anything containing caffeine
- sugar and sweeteners
- processed foods
- hormones in meat
I could write a whole book on the importance of nutrition in easing anxiety – and maybe someday I will! In the meantime, please do yourself a favor and make an appointment with a nutritionist, naturopath, or doctor trained in nutrition who can help you create a dietary plan and a program of vitamins/minerals/supplements that will work for you. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
Different people have different reactions to various foods and supplements, which is why an individualized plan is so important. (And, disclaimer: I am not a doctor or nutritionist.)
If you would like a referral to an experienced nutritionist, just call or email me.