I havn't seen a lot of discussion on diet relating to anxiety. I found the following information on the Mayo Clinic Website. I would have thought that protiens would be preffered to Carbs. Even if I'm eating breads i stoll seem to get jittery. Any thoughts or additional info?
Coping with anxiety disorder can be difficult. But treatments — such as medications and psychotherapy — can help. In addition, there are several things you can do on your own to reduce your anxiety, including watching what you eat. This includes eating a balanced diet, taking nutritional supplements as appropriate, and limiting or avoiding foods that may cause or mimic anxiety.
Although food can't cure an anxiety disorder, consider these changes to your diet:
Increase your intake of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate-rich meals and snacks are thought to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, which has a calming effect.
Eat frequent small meals during the day. Going too long between meals or skipping meals can result in low blood sugar, which can cause trembling, nervousness and irritability. Also, eat more complex carbohydrates (starches) and fewer simple carbohydrates (sugars). Complex carbohydrates take longer to metabolize, which helps prevent a sudden drop in blood sugar.
Include some foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts to serotonin. Milk, bananas, oats, soy, poultry, cheese, nuts, peanut butter and sesame seeds are good sources of tryptophan.
Stay well-hydrated. Even mild dehydration can affect your mood, increasing anxiety.
Limit or avoid alcohol. The immediate effect of alcohol may be calming for most people. But as alcohol is metabolized by your body, it can cause anxiety-like symptoms.
Limit or avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you feel jittery and nervous and interfere with sleep.
Well, the Mayo item just kinda makes sense: keep blood chemistry on an even keel so there are no jolts that might give you the uh-oh feelings. As for the well-balanced diet, I have yet to hear an unbalanced diet recommended for anything, so there you go. I know one of my biggest thrills after recovery was being able to drink regular coffee again -STRONG regular coffee, that "starts your heart."
You'll bump into a few folks here who are in search of -or believe they have found- something to eat or drink which acts as a remedy for panic. Odwalla juice, yogurt, etc. If it works for you, it works for you. But there is scant science to support any meaningful improvement among large populations.
My own theory is to be alert not so much for foods that are calming or medicinal, but rather for those which can make your chemistry react suddenly or are very hard to digest -and stay away from them.
But, that's just me. Your mileage will vary. See dealer for details.
I 1000% agree with JS! The Mayo Clinic article pretty much is all about common sense.
Certainly, if your diet consists of a pot of coffee in the morning, followed by twinkies for lunch and Reese Cups for Dinner with another pot of coffee chaser.....you aren't going to feel too hot, period. Oh wait....that is MY diet, btw...lol.
ANYTHING in moderation is not going to harm you or significantly alter your mood. Avoiding/limiting things like alcohol and caffeine are paramount until you get the anxiety under control, IMO. Increasing a certain kind of food ( ie carbs) really isn't going to make a huge difference, IMO.
Stick to the basics...avoid foods that don't agree with you...b/c if you end up with heartburn/diarrhea, etc...as a result of something you ate...that is going to inadvertently increase your anxiety level. Drinking lots and lots of water is always a good thing...anxiety or not.
In my personal opinion....the very most vital thing to remember when it comes to diet is to avoid erratic eating. Don't skip meals...eat sensibly...don't overdo it...if you stuff yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey at 10 pm after not eating all day...you are going to feel like garbage...both physically and mentally. Small more frequent meals is a great approach if YOUR specific brand of anxiety comes with nausea, diarrhea, etc.
If you want to try any suggestions like in the article...that is fine too....you just may find something that works great for you. Let us know if that is the case.
Lastly...try not to get too stuck on the "sugar" myth. So many people still insist that their children will bounce off the walls if they eat "too much candy/too many cookies"....etc. There is simply NO medical or scientific evidence to support that. Besides the obvious reasons that excessive sugar intake isn't good (maintaining a healthy weight, dental issues, etc)....the sugar-hyper connection is just a wives' tale. Unless a person has an imparied ability (ie diabetes) to metabolize sugars properly...your body takes care of getting rid of it. Trust me....I could show you two thighs and a big old booty as cold hard proof of that. ;0)
I completly about the sugar myth an children. I have a 6 year old and it's NOT the sugar that gets her, it's caffine. As far as me personally I ate a bowl of ice cream the other night and it triggered a real tough bout of depression the next day. At least I believe it was the ice cream. I "seem" tohave a sensitivity to the highs and lows of processing simple sugars. The breads not so much.
Caffine for me is a BIG no. 2 cups and I guarantee a panic attack. No doubt at all.
True story. When i first sam my doctor about the anxiety attacks he asked me about my lifestyle/diet.
I said: sit on my duff at a computer 8 hours a day. 6 diet cokes a day. 2-3 cups of coffee. Lots of starchy food. Lots of late night meals. I'm 6' tall 245 lbs (i'm down to 218 now though:).etc.. etc..
He let me finish and then stared at me blankly and asked. "Gee... what do YOU think it could be?"
I really like my doctor. :)
LOL. Sometimes the obvious is SO obvious that we miss it eh? There are a lot of people out there that would be devastated that ice cream caused anxiety for them...me...I've never liked ice cream. For that...I've been pegged as "freakish" by most people I know. :0)
I'm happy with a bowl of sherbet, tyvm.
Hey...if you experiment with the carbs/starches...let us know what you find out okay?
Sprry...I have to go...there is a new bag of Reese Pieces calling me.
This is an interesting topic...I don't have any answers or useful information, just myown observation. I personally eat very healthy, I don't eat sugar, I don't eat fast food, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables...probably the worst thing I consume is the wine that i will not give up. Not that I pound down a bottle every night, but I love good wine and enjoy collecting and drinking varieties....anyway, I digress...my point was, when I am stressed or suffering from anxiety, that's when my diet goes to hell....so which came first, the chicken or the egg? Obviously my anxiety isn't diet-related, but when it hits, it plays havoc with my diet. I eat things that I would normally never touch, and generally don't even care for. Somehow I think my subconscious is trying to subsititute foos for something else in my life...I have no idea. maybe my upcoming therapy will cler that up a bit for me.
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