Choosing which foods we will nourish our bodies with is among the most important decisions that we will make each day. With our dietary choices we have the potential to either heal or harm ourselves, and this is particularly true when it comes to anxiety.
Research has shown that certain foods can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, whereas other foods have the potential to combat and ease these feelings. If anxiety is something that is affecting your life in some way then taking notice of the following tips could go a long way to helping you overcome it!
Tryptophan is an amino acid that has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress. It is a precursor to serotonin, which is extremely beneficial for promoting feelings of calm and happiness.
Tryptophan naturally occurs in several plant-based foods, most notably in bananas, oats, peanut butter and sesame seeds.
There is much research to suggest a connection between the various B vitamins and the mood. In fact, a deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to a low mood, anxiety and even depression.
Eating a range of foods that contain B vitamins is the best way to enjoy the many benefits of this vitamin group. Good foods to include are leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts, spirulina, watermelon, spinach, rice and legumes.
Carbohydrates often get a bad rep in the wellness world, but they are actually great for increasing serotonin production. Whole grain carbohydrates are the best choice and you should make an effort to avoid processed carbs, such as white rice and white bread.
When you eat whole grain carbohydrates it takes a while for your body to break them down, and this means that sugar is being released into the bloodstream relatively slowly. This is great for consistent energy levels as well as consistent mood.
The best things to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta and legumes.
Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dietary choices that encourage feelings of anxiety!
Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, are often favoured for the quick burst of energy that they can provide, but after the high comes the inevitable crash – and this can impact your mood as well as your energy levels! Furthermore, studies have shown that the presence of caffeine can actually inhibit serotonin production. This can quickly cause you to be more prone to feelings of irritability, anxiety and depression!
If you are trying to improve your diet then it can be helpful to learn more about your eating habits. Emotional eating is something that many people have a hard time with. This is essentially when we eat as an emotional response to something – both positive and negative!
Emotional eating can hinder your healthy eating efforts, but it is possible to tackle this issue! Click here to join my weekly Get Inspired newsletter AND you’ll automatically receive my Emotional Eating advice!