Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental disorders in the U.S, currently affecting more than 40 million Americans over the age of 18. Specifically, this makes up a staggering 18 percent of the population.
Anxiety can impact both mental and physical health. To prevent it from occurring or to address it naturally, introducing stress reducing methods into your daily routine is a must! However, yoga or meditation themselves are not enough. To effectively address this issue, you need a holistic approach which involves adding mood-regulating foods while removing stress-inducing ones.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is body`s natural response to stress. Worrying about certain things once in a while is completely normal and feeling nervous when faced with some problem or when making an important decision is a normal emotion.
However, having anxiety outbreaks on a regular basis indicates a chronic anxiety. They can cause such torment that it interferes with the ability to carry on your day-to-day activities and lead a normal life.
“The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction,” explains Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson.
As discussed earlier, anxiety has a tremendous impact on both mental and physical health. Some of the major negative side effects include panic attacks, insomnia, hypertension (high blood pressure), and digestive issues.
Although the causes of stress and anxiety are quite varied, some of the most common include stress, thyroid problems and imbalances, anxiety-stimulating foods like sugar and alcohol, and hormonal imbalances.
Food That Causes Anxiety
Did you know that the simple food choices can go a long way in making the difference between stable mood and anxious mood swings? You need to avoid food items and ingredients that have been scientifically shown to be the cause of anxiety-symptoms.
- Caffeine: As high caffeine intake causes anxiety, it is recommended to limit coffee and black tea to once daily
- Alcohol: It basically puts the body in an anxiety state, making it difficult to deal with stress
- High Sugar Foods: Sugar causes sugar spikes and dips during the day, which in turn increases anxiety outbreak
- Processed and refined flours: These have pretty much the same effect as sugar, causing blood sugar fluctuations and mood swings.
Foods to Reduce Anxiety
Eliminating anxiety-foods from your daily diet is a key step in any holistic approach. However, adding foods into your diet that have the ability to prevent and treat anxiety outbreaks is as important, too.
- High calcium foods: Calcium reduces anxiety outbreaks due to its calming and relaxing properties
- Magnesium rich foods: Magnesium helps calm the nerves, again reducing anxiety symptoms. Some of the best sources include avocados, sea veggies, and nuts
- High vitamin B content Foods: Vitamin B regulates moods and addresses anxiety naturally. Solid sources of this nutrient include grass-fed beef, green leafy veggies, and brewer`s yeast
- Omega-3 fats: These healthy fats reduce inflammation, regulate brain function, and stabilize mood