6 Diet Tips For Limiting Stress and Anxiety
Banishing your anxiety involves implementing healthy lifestyle changes, while ending some of the bad habits you may have picked up. I don’t mean bad habits like picking your nose, leaving the TV on, or arson (but seriously, cut that shit out). I’m talking about poor diets. Some food and drink items can mellow you out and help relieve stress, while some can wind you up like Speedy Gonzales on meth. Your body is a temple; avoid jamming said temple full of garbage. This article will discuss some of the foods that will reduce stress, and some that you should try to avoid.
Hello!? Hello, taste!?
Step One: Not Too Much Caffeine.
Caffeine is physically and psychologically addictive, which may explain why so many of us slam the stuff down like it’s going out of fashion. In small quantities, coffee and teas provide numerous health benefits. However, there are several problems with caffeinated beverages when taken in excess.
It’s hard to resist when they spring the gourmet shit on you.
Firstly, too much caffeine can directly cause irritability, restlessness and anxiety. Secondly, caffeine can interfere with sleep, indirectly increasing anxiety. Thirdly, caffeinated drinks tend to cause dehydration, which we will discuss later.
And by later, I mean now.
Step Two: Keep Hydrated!
This just in: water is important shit. Not surprising, considering the majority of our body weight is made up of the stuff, not to mention 85% of our brain. The benefits of keeping hydrated are too numerous to list, but many people don’t realise the importance of water when it comes to normalizing hormone levels and improving sleep patterns. Not to mention one of the first symptoms of dehydration is irritability. And, let’s face it, irritability is the ugly step-sister of anxiety.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to the amount of water required per day. For most people, 2 litres per day is adequate. This depends, however, on many factors such as body weight, temperature and physical activity.
Consider it an achievement every time you hit the restroom and produce crystal-clear urine.
Step Three: Limit Liquor
Alcohol can feel relaxing in the short term, but heavy drinking does your mental health no favours. It causes dehydration, and we now know that dehydration is bad, mmkay. It can also have undesirable effects on your serotonin levels, blood sugar, and heart rate. Like coffee and tea, consuming a small amount of grog can have a positive impact on your health. Just keep it in moderation, Rummy.
Consuming hamburgers whilst blotto: not recommended. Tsk tsk Hoff.
Step Four: Wholegrains, Mofo!
Wholegrains, like those found in whole grain bread and pasta, are jam packed with nutrients. They provide you with a nice clean hit of energy, unlike the peak-and-crash energy rush provided by refined carbohydrates. They contain goodies such as magnesium and tryptophan, both potential anxiety-stoppers. Western diets revolve around simple sugars now, which can increase anxiety. Substitute these with wholegrains and thank me when you notice the difference in your mood.
Think of yourself as a vegetarian zombie
Step five: Watch Out For Sugary Junk
Not only do these foods crap upon your general health, they can cause an increase in anxiety. Sugar and insulin imbalances may lead to shakes and jittery-ness. Cakes and fizzy drinks will give you a “sugar rush”, which is not as awesome as it sounds. This not-awesome rush will not only potentially induce panic, but also cause fatigue with its inevitable “crash”.
In particular, don’t accept sugary products from this guy.
Step six: Fruits and Vegetables
Last but certainly not least, ample fruit and veggie intake is important. These natural miracle foods are good for anxious bodies for many reasons.
Modern diets often cause the body’s pH level to become out of whack, as many of the foods we eat are acidic. If your system becomes too acidic, you cannot function at your best. pH imbalance can reduce your body’s ability to remove toxins, leaving you more prone to stress. Fruits and vegetables tend to be alkaline foods, which help to restore balance.
Many fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, and packed with anti-oxidants. So-called “superfoods” like blueberries are especially so. Sufficient anti-oxidant intake is considered beneficial for relieving stress, as is adequate vitamin and mineral consumption.
Vegetables such as broccoli and spinach also provide essential omega 3 fatty acids. Also include some walnuts and almonds in your diet for another rich source of healthy fats, zinc, and vitamin B12.
Spinach: great source of niacin, zinc, and large unsightly forearms
Try to eat clean! This doesn’t mean scrubbing your McDonald’s meal with soap, this means eating plenty of healthy, natural foods. The other stuff is ok in moderation. A glass of wine with dinner is fine, same as a coffee in the morning or the odd donut. Most people would probably find eating perfectly 100% of the time to be a bit dull, not to mention anti-social. Just keep the bad things in check while increasing your intake of the good stuff.
Until next time,
Don’t Worry Be Happy!