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How is your Diet Connected to your Anxiety?

If you struggle with anxiety, finding ways to soften it will help you to continue on the path of confidence in your own self-worth that you set out.

The good news is that there are natural ways to deal with anxiety, and today I want to share with you how your diet can help ease anxiety or make it worse.

Caffeine, Sugar, Alcohol

These three things can actually cause feelings of anxiety. Caffeine is a stimulant that can inhibit the chemicals in the brain that induce sleep, as well as increasing adrenaline production. It can take the body as long as six hours to eliminate caffeine from the body, which is not good news for your sleep cycle if you have consumed it in the late afternoon or evening.

Sugar and alcohol can have the same effects, so watch your sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake and perhaps eliminate them altogether.

If you do consume one or more of these three things on occasion, remind yourself of the effect they can have on you, but don’t beat yourself up about it. The point here is to be honest with yourself. If that anxiety does rear its head the next day, you will know that it’s most likely caused by one of these three culprits. For example, the lack of sleep you experience might have been brought on by the double espresso you had after dinner.

Foods to Combat Anxiety

There are some amazing foods that when added to your diet, actually help combat anxiety.

When you feel that anxiety begin to creep up, here are some great foods to have close at hand!

Herbal tea

Make a cup of tea as soon as you feel that anxiousness bubbling at the surface. But not just any cup of tea. There are certain herbs that can help promote sensations of calm and reduce anxiety levels.

Look for nervine tea. Nervines are herbs that can be used to help with mild anxiety, and of course, stress. Look for nervine tea that contains one or a mixture of the following lavender, lemon balm, passion flower, chamomile, oat straw and verbena. These nervines can help nourish a depleted and weakened nervous system. The good news is that there are lots of tea varieties available that include many of the herbs listed above.

Look for foods rich in magnesium – a strong, calming mineral.

Many of us are deficient in magnesium, so there’s another good reason to get more of these foods in. Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale and Swiss chard are full of magnesium. Make it a habit to include these in your diet every single day – in a salad at lunch or as a side for dinner.

Legumes like soybeans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans are also all rich in magnesium. As with nuts and seeds and dark green leafy veg, make it a habit this month to get some legumes into your diet every single day too. Hummus, dhal, black-bean burgers or chilli are some easy suggestions.

Nuts and seeds

Keep some nuts and seeds at your desk or in your handbag. You can hit your daily quota of magnesium by eating just half a cup of pumpkin seeds! And, of course, you can also include cashews, flaxseeds, pecans, sunflower seeds, almonds and Brazil nuts – all of these are loaded with magnesium too. Try making a trail mix of all of these to keep your energy levels up and your anxiety low.


If you look at what to eat to counter anxiety, it’s actually pretty simple, not to mention delicious. Get some sort of salad in daily, along with a handful of nuts and seeds, add some beans to your salad or some hummus for a snack, pop an avocado in your salad too or enjoy it on toast in the morning. Pretty simple. You just need to make it happen every day so that it becomes a healthy habit for life.


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