Can Changing Your Diet Really Help With Anxiety?


Did you know your diet can affect anxiety levels? If you’re tired of only using medications for your anxiety, consider how you can incorporate lifestyle changes such as diet modifications. As with any change you may be considering, talk to your doctor ahead of time about any concerns you may have. 

Try these diet strategies to help lessen anxiety symptoms:

  1. Eliminate alcohol. Although there is a belief alcohol relaxes the body, it can be harmful for those with anxiety. Alcohol makes you more dehydrated. It can also affect hormone levels, and cause changes in your brain, including gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) which helps to regulate anxiety.
  • If you drink too much, you may not be eating enough. Alcohol has a lot of calories and carbohydrates. Not getting the right nutrition can increase anxiety. Experts point out that the toxins in alcohol can increase anxiety attacks. 
  1. Watch out for caffeine. Kicking a caffeine habit is tough. However, eliminating caffeine can help reduce anxiety. 
  • Too much coffee can act like a stimulant for anxiety. Pay attention to other hidden sources. Red Bull might give you a much needed boost, however, the long term effects are detrimental. Caffeine can increase your heartbeat, and make you feel like you are having a panic attack
  1. Beware of refined sugars. Refined sugars can make anxiety worse, they hide in many of the foods you eat. They act like a stimulant.
  • Carefully read labels to ensure that there are no refined sugars. Consider downloading a free food and nutrition app, to help when grocery shopping. Refined sugars can be in many things that you might not even suspect, including bagels, cereals, oatmeal, crackers, and other products. Even canned vegetables may have unnecessary added sugar. 
  1. Get enough B vitamins. Research shows a lack of B vitamins in your body can contribute to anxiety.
  • It’s easy to get a deficiency of these vitamins, so try to eat more legumes, meats, eggs, rice, leafy greens, and other sources of these nutrients. Consider eating more asparagus and avocado. Studies have revealed that these two vegetables can lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Avocado has B vitamins and asparagus have folic acid. 
  1. Look for your own triggers and eliminate them. You may have specific foods that trigger anxiety, so it’s important to determine which foods can negatively affect you. 
  • In some cases, the anxiety-triggering foods or beverages are linked to traumatic events. A difficult memory can rise to the surface after eating or drinking them, causing anxiety. In other cases, food intolerances and allergies may cause anxiety. There are reports that show Many of the common triggers include dairy, gluten, processed foods, soda, and fried foods.
  • Keep a food journal and track how you feel after eating dairy, fried foods, or other things you suspect may be triggers. Make a note about your emotional well-being before and after eating each item. This will help narrow down the list and make it easier to see what food should go. 

The food that enters your body can affect more than just the scale. It can also affect anxiety levels. Pay attention to what you eat each day and keep track of anxiety symptoms that manifest themselves after you eat certain foods. I hope this post helps you examine how diet does affect your mood. Once you have identified that both are linked, consider a Nutritionist consultation. Please feel free to share this article with anyone in your circle!

To Your Success,
Juan