About 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. If you live with chronic stress or anxiety, you can spend most of your daily life with tools such as therapy, mindfulness, exercise and anti-anxiety medications.
But did you know that anxiety can be caused by certain foods that we put into our bodies?
This is not to say that these tools and procedures are not necessary to alleviate anxiety. They are often a healthy choice for one’s lifestyle.
But if anxiety is still affecting your life, it will be worth considering what is on your plate.
Read on for four foods that can trigger your anxiety and tips on what to eat instead.
Believe it or not, the drinks that were often used to soothe social unrest actually make it worse.
“While it may appear to calm the nerves, alcohol can have a negative effect on hydration and sleep, both of which can trigger anxiety symptoms when suppressed,” said Pelinsky Wade, RD, CDE. “Belly fat for dummies,” says the author.
Alcohol changes the levels of serotonin and neurotransmitters in the brain, which increases anxiety. And when you run out of alcohol, you may feel more anxious.
Drinking in moderation – about 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men – is usually safe, unless your doctor advises you to.
Try it instead – there is no real alternative to alcohol. If you like the taste but don’t need the side effects, consider drinking non-alcoholic beer. Drinks that feel special, such as sparkling water with non-alcoholic cocktails or fancy butters, can also be a good replacement in social situations.
According to the National Coffee Association, 62% of Americans drink coffee daily, and the average amount per day is more than 3 cups. When it comes to our worries, our favorite morning ritual is actually doing more harm than good.
“High levels of caffeine can not only increase anxiety and nervousness, but also reduce the production of the good chemical serotonin, which is felt in the body, which leads to depression,” explains Wade.
Caffeine is usually stored in small amounts. But high doses can cause unpleasant side effects, such as anxiety and panic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that the average dangerous adult can consume 400 mg (mg) of a reliable source of caffeine per day without dangerous or adverse effects.
Also keep in mind that many products contain caffeine, including tea, chocolate, and some headache medications, and they can contribute to feelings of anxiety.
Try it instead: Herbal teas, such as peppermint, lavender or lemon balm tea, are refreshing hot drinks with calming effects.
3- Sneaky Added Sugar
There is no way to avoid sugar 100% of the time, as it is found naturally in many foods, such as fruits.
But added sugar plays an important role in general anxiety.
“Extra sugar sends your blood sugar to the roller coaster of spikes and drops, and with it, your energy goes up and down.” “When your blood sugar drops, your mood becomes sour and anxiety levels rise.”
The body releases insulin to help absorb excess glucose and stabilize blood sugar levels, but the rush of sugar causes the body to work harder to return to normal, causing highs and lows And decreases.
Consumption of large amounts of processed sugar can trigger feelings of anxiety, irritability and sadness.
All foods that do not fall into the added category of sugar that you should consider avoiding or reducing are similar to sweets. Spices such as tomato sauce, some salad dressings, pasta sauce, and breakfast pulses may contain high sugar content.
Try it instead – fortunately, you don’t have to refuse your sweet tooth by digging out processed sugar. Stevia, erythritol, and yacon syrup are natural alternatives to sugar. Fill your plate with naturally sweet fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes.
4- Refined Or Better Carbohydrates
Better carbohydrates are associated with an increased risk of serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Better carbohydrates are foods that have lost many of their fiber and micronutrients.
Anxiety seems to be being added to the list of health concerns that can be linked to better carbohydrate intake.
A 2019 study, a reliable source, found that better grain consumption was linked to both anxiety and depression in women. Another study, a reliable source from 2018, found that rats fed more carbohydrates and then developed anxiety and depression when faced with stress.
Refined sugars and refined grains are the two main types of refined carbohydrates. Refined grains have been ground to remove fibrous parts such as bran and germs, which also remove many nutrients. Here are three common examples of refined carbohydrates.
- White flour
- White rice
- White bread
Improved sugar comes from plants such as sugarcane, sugar beet, and fragrant agave. Action has been taken to extract sugar from them. These refined sugars are different from the natural sugars found in fruits and dairy products. Common good sugars include:
- Sucrose (table sugar)
- High-sugar corn syrup
- agave syrup
Refined carbohydrates are found in many modern foods, including:
- White bread
- White rice
- Breakfast cereals
- Salty and processed foods
Try Instead: Try grains and bread made from whole or sprouted wheat. Even whole grain cereals rich in some carbohydrates can be very healthy. If you are gluten free, try bread or pasta made from brown rice, oatmeal, or quinoa.
Food Allergies, Sensitivities, Intolerance And Anxiety
In the United States, 5 to 8 percent of children and 3 to 4 percent of adults have food allergies.
Adolescents with food allergies and allergies are at higher risk of developing anxiety disorders. In a study of 10 to 16-year-olds, people with food allergies are more likely to have separation anxiety, general anxiety, and symptoms of anorexia nervosa.
This is especially true in low-income families. In a study of children in such groups, people with food allergies generally had increased symptoms of both social anxiety and anxiety.
The study’s principal investigator said food allergies can be costly, including the cost of food purchases, food preparation, and epinephrine auto-injectors, which expire each year. He suggested that the lawsuit could be a source of frustration for those with limited financial resources.
Adults can also be affected. Parents of children with food allergies have significantly increased rates of stress, anxiety and depression compared to parents of children without food allergies, according to a study.
Anxiety can result from prolonged exposure to a perceived threat. If you have a food allergy, you may be at real risk of serious food allergies whenever you eat.
A simple concern can help you stay alert: read labels, check ingredients when you eat, and always have your epinephrine with you. But constant worries about food allergies can get out of hand. If so, the concern can be handled with the right support, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Support groups
If you or your child needs help, do not hesitate to contact a medical professional for testing and diagnosis. They will make sure to help you develop menu plans that take into account related fears.
The American Anxiety and Depression Association is a good place to start looking for resources or a therapist.