Knowing the right foods for anxiety disorders is a major step toward managing the symptoms naturally. Research studies showed that certain foods can lead to calmer mood, while others can trigger the opposite. This article will help you identify factors to consider for food selection. Lack of knowledge about the right food for anxiety disorders patients can worsen the symptoms and counter the effects of treatments. Patients should know how to integrate healthy diet to their whole treatment plan to achieve the best results.
Foods are a major risk factor for anxiety disorders in addition to gender, genetics and medical history. You may find it impossible to reverse some of these factors, but food habits are definitely within your control. There are conflicting responses on certain foods, since each person has a different food tolerance and medical condition. Some may find certain foods effective, but it can have an opposite effect on others.
People with anxiety disorders should avoid foods and drinks with high level of caffeine like coffee candies and coffee flavored chocolates, not to mention coffee beans and caffeinated drinks. Energy drinks often contain high level of caffeine and some are even linked to heart attacks. Taking more than 300 mg of caffeine can trigger anxiety among healthy people. Various studies on anxiety disorders indicate that caffeine can trigger short-term anxiety due to its effect on metabolic rate, blood pressure, and level of neurotransmitters. Although caffeine has many health benefits due to its anti-oxidant property, it is generally considered risky for people with severe panic disorders. For people with general anxiety, caffeine is not that bad, In fact, minimal caffeine intake has been shown to have positive effects on stress reduction and mood improvement.
Like caffeine, sugar can either trigger or prevent anxiety depending on the type or severity of the disorder and other medical factors. All forms of sugars stimulate the adrenal gland which causes fluctuations in chemical and mineral levels. High sugar diet can reduce the level of calcium in the blood and trigger panic attacks. Unfortunately, many healthy fruits have high sugar content, so people prone to panic attacks should be extra careful in selecting what fruits to take. One way of offsetting the anxiety-inducing effects of sweet fruits is to eat vegetables, preferably cooked ones.
Experts are generally against many processed foods which can trigger anxiety disorders and aggressive symptoms mainly due to the unhealthy additives and chemicals in such foods. Food allergies caused by these additives lead to a myriad of symptoms like aggressive behavior, irritability, fatigue and hyperactivity.
Food allergies add up to stress, which in turn can upset mood uncontrollably. Food additives can have similar effects as pollen and toxic substances. Symptoms like difficulty in breathing, inability to think properly, rashes and itchiness can affect the quality of life in the long run, leading to chronic anxiety.
Some symptoms of food allergy that may help you screen anxiety problems: runny nose, dark eye bags, asthma, skin inflammations, loose bowel movements, red cheeks, aggressive behavior, dizziness, bed-wetting, fatigue, insomnia, sore throat and acne.
There are conflicting claims on the adverse effects and benefits of carbohydrates to people with aggressive anxiety disorders. This is mainly because there are different types of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates , unlike complex carbohydrates, can lead to anxiety. This type of carbohydrate is often found in sugary products.
Foods that reduce anxiety disorders is not hard to find. Experts have found positive effects in the following nutrients. Complex carbohydrate can prevent anxiety by facilitating the production of serotonin, a hormone that promotes good sleep and calm feeling. Since complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, you would be less susceptible to digestive problems. Examples of food with complex carbohydrates are whole-grain breads, oatmeal and brown rice.
There are several reports on the positive effects of vitamin rich foods. Deficiency in vitamins is often linked to anxiety disorders. You can boost your vitamin A and C levels by eating eggs, green vegetables, whole grains, soybeans, oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, papaya and cantaloupe.
Some Foods That Contain vitamin A and C
Vitamin B1 can prevent anxiety by controlling the level of blood sugar and production of serotonin. Recommended dosage ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 mg a day. Vitamin B5 has been shown to have good effects on adrenals and stress regulation. Studies showed that folic acid and vitamin B12 can help counter anxiety-induced depression. Natural sources of Vitamin B include meat, liver, whole grains, turkey, yeasts, legumes, nutritional yeast and bananas.
Some Foods That Contain Vitamin B
Magnesium can reduce irritability, anxiety and nervousness. When taken with vitamin B6, the nutrient can improve anxiety-related premenstrual symptoms. Foods rich in magnesium include nuts, pollock, tuna, halibut and dark leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.
Vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sunlight is linked to higher level of anxiety and depression in some health groups during cold seasons. During winter seasons when getting sunlight exposure is impossible, eating foods rich in Vitamin D can help prevent seasonal anxiety and depression.
Keep in mind that a wholesome diet is equally important. Foods for anxiety disorders is not intended to replace all other food groups needed by a normal healthy individual. Overconsumption of these foods only may lead to malnutrition. The body needs several minerals, amino acids, vitamins and other essential nutrients, and some of these may not be found in sufficient amount in a certain food.
Poor nutrition can also lead to ineffective food metabolism and absorption. So even if you take specific foods for anxiety disorders, it’s futile if the nutrients are poorly absorbed. Make sure your diet contains enough calcium, zinc and other minerals and vitamins that help in food absorption.
For ultimate result, it’s always best when other factors like lifestyles are taken into account. It is highly recommended to seek expert advice when selecting foods. Medical experts in anxiety disorder field can fully inform you of the nutritional and health factors that are relevant to your current condition.