It seems that nowadays, the more people you meet and talk to, the more that you notice that there is a growing number of them that suffer from anxiety. This can be due to added stresses at home, work, spirituality, and relationships. It’s always best to take a look at all issues in life, but what if you could manage your stress and anxiety with food? A spike in blood sugar, giving you a false sense of euphoria, can 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 this sense of euphoria at all times, without added stimulants. If a doctor has prescribed anti-anxiety medication, consult with them before discontinuing any prescription.
I like to recommend crowding out the ‘bad’ foods, rather than avoiding them completely. By filling up on whole, natural foods, you will not longer have room for the unhealthy, processed items that can be contributing to your anxiety. When crowding out foods, you may be able to 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 making notations regarding 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 & sweets
• Refined flours, breads, pastas
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)
• 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.
Written by Sadie Salazar