Anxiety-Foods that can help with it and foods that can hurt those with anxiety.

Many people experience Anxiety and resulting panic attacks. The following information is a recommendation of ways to help put these emotions in check.

Foods to Eat

  1.  Tryptophan rich foods– Turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds to name a few. Bear in mind that there is some question as to whether or not tryptophan found in food crosses the blood-brain barrier. Although, from the personal experience of needing a nap after a roast turkey dinner, I think it might.
  2. Foods rich in vitamin B– Beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, nuts and eggs. Studies have shown a relation between B vitamins and mood. A deficiency of these essential nutrients can trigger depression.
  3. Whole Grains– Whole grains take longer for your body to break down thus releasing sugar into the bloodstream at a slower rate. Carbohydrates can increase serotonin production in the brain. Choosing mood lifting whole grains (brown rice, whole oats, and whole grain breads) can help your happiness meter.
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids– In addition to the possible heart health benefits of these acids, study results continue to demonstrate that consuming fatty fish (salmon, tuna, lake trout…etc.) can be an uplifting means of enhancing your mood.
  5. High Protein foods– Not only does protein leave you feeling full longer, it can also stimulate the production of the brain chemicals nor-epinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals are neurotransmitters like serotonin which carry impulses between nerve cells. Studies have shown that higher levels of these neurotransmitters can improve reaction time, alertness and mental energy.

The ideal mood boosting strategy is to incorporate good sources of protein like Greek Yogurt, fish, nuts, meats and lentils along with complex carbohydrates spread throughout your meals daily.

Foods to Avoid

  1. Coffee and caffeinated drinks– Some folks ingest caffeinated beverages to boost energy. Caffeine however, has been shown to inhibit serotonin in the brain. Suppression of serotonin levels can cause depression and/or feelings of irritability. In addition caffeine is a diuretic which increases the need to use the bathroom and may even cause mild dehydration.
  2. Candy and other sweets– Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. This rapid absorption rate can lead to an initial high or surge of energy commonly referred to in children as a ‘sugar rush’. Most often this ‘rush’ wears off as the body increases its insulin production to remove the sugar from the bloodstream thus resulting in feeling tired or run down.
  3. Alcohol– Generally speaking alcohol turns into sugar in the bloodstream and although the initial effects may seem to relieve stress and anxiety, keep in mind it is temporary. Long term, alcohol is a depressant as well as a diuretic similar to caffeine, so it is important to stay hydrated for several reasons including mood.

Remember as with all things moderation is the key. Consuming a 6-oz glass of wine with dinner is probably okay, drinking a bottle or more however isn’t recommended.

Let me know what you’ve tried, was it helpful?

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