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Foods that reduce Stress and Anxiety – And Foods that don’t

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There’s nothing that AnxietyPanda enjoys more than a lovely ol’ bowl of Caramelised Jackfruit & Bamboo dessert! Yummeh! But, AnxietyPanda has learned the hard way that not all foods are good for an Anxiety Panda.

There are foods that cause stress and will enhance the symptoms of anxiety and then there are foods that calm you down and reduce stress and anxiety! AnxietyPanda will teach you about these in the next few paragraphs.

Can Eating Habits Really Have an Effect on Anxiety and Stress?

Studies have shown that your eating habits most definitely can have an effect on anxiety and stress. Many foods contain additives, food coloring and food flavoring like MSGs, all of which are known to disrupt your nervous system function, which in turn leads to anxiety. Even certain food sensitivities can cause anxiety in the form of digestive

issues or even difficulty breathing (Scary!).

Certain foods like soy, gluten, and dairy may impact hormone levels and chemicals in the brain which may cause disturbances in the form of anxiety.

Skipping a meal is also a big problem and a trap that many of us fall into in today’s busy lifestyle. When you skip a meal, your body’s blood sugar levels drop and this may lead to you feeling angry (hangry!) or anxious. Physical symptoms may include dizziness or weakness, both giving reason to feel alarmed.

Not maintaining a proper diet and not getting all the necessary vitamins and nutrients your body needs will definitely have an effect on your mood and metabolism, and not in a good way. Make sure to get enough of what you need. Consult with your doctor for the best diet plan for your specific needs.

Eat This!

Spinach and Other Leafy Greens

Leafy greens, and the darker the better, contains pandalicious amounts of magnesium, a mineral used to treat not only anxiety but also ADHD. The magnesium helps to slow your body’s release of adrenalin and will lower cortisol levels and release happy hormones. You only need 1 cup of spinach a day to reap the benefits of this delicacy. Use it in your salad for lunch, get creative, this goal is easily attainable! You’ll be feeling good in no time!

Salmon and other Oily Fish

Fatty fishes like tuna or salmon are just the best for providing your body with the essential fatty acids it may need. The Omega-3 acids assist the body in reducing inflammation and also lowers the release of stress causing hormones and adrenaline. Fish is also a great source of high levels of Vitamin D which anxious people often have a deficiency of. About 2 portions per week should cut it.

Nuts & Seeds

Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecan nut, cashews you name it, they all contain rich amounts of healthy fats and lots and lots of vitamins and minerals and nutrients, such as protein, fiber, and Vitamins B21 and E, to name a few. Eat a handful of walnuts in the evening, they are a source of melatonin which helps with your sleeping patterns and promotes a good night’s sleep.

Seeds, like raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, is another fantastic source for anxiety-fighting vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They are not high in carbohydrates and contain high levels of magnesium and B vitamins, making it a very healthy snack indeed.

Turkey

Turkey contains the magical Tryptophan! Yes, it is the same amino acid that causes you to feel sluggish or tired after a large, delicious turkey dinner but eaten in moderation and small portions, it can also make you feel very calm and relaxed! Tryptophan helps the brain with the release of serotonin, the hormone responsible for improving calmness, reducing pain and regulating sleep patterns.

Berries & other Fruits

Berries and fruit come packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Blueberries, especially come packed with high levels of antioxidants and Vitamin C which helps to support your immune system and to fight free radicals in your body. Oranges and Lemons are also good sources of Vitamin C. The vitamin not only helps with your immune system but also helps lower your blood pressure and cortisol levels.

Don’t Eat This!

Sugar & Soda

Sugar is evil. You can’t get away from it. It seems to be in everything!

Sugar causes changes in your body, such as elevated glucose levels which causes levels of a protein that encourages the growth of neurons and synapses to drop. This is according to a study published in the Diabetologia journal. It can make your feelings of anxiety worse and you may feel more stressed.

And don’t think you can get away with a Diet-Soda. In fact, a diet-soda will definitely contribute to depressive feelings and other negative effects due to the high amounts of caffeine it usually contains. Even fruit juices are no angels. Stick to what nature gave you – water. It’s the secret to optimal health.

Caffeine, the vice of many

AnxietyPanda’s body cannot handle caffeine at all. After one cup, the whole body is jittery and butterflies are having a huge party in my stomach, so this highly addictive stimulant (you only need 1/16th of a teaspoon to become addicted!) is easy for her to avoid.

Studies have shown that caffeine has strong links to causing depression and experts reckon that the biggest reason for this is the fact that caffeine causes difficulty in falling asleep. Lack of sleep causes major mood disruptions and additional stress that will mess with your mental state. Caffeine will also minimize the absorption of anxiety-friendly nutrients and vitamins and increase stress hormones in your system.

Fried Foods

Containing almost no nutritional value at all, fried foods is a definite way to increase your anxiety. Food is fried in hydrogenated oil which contains all the bad fats (trans fats) that clog your arteries and are bad for brain health because it slows blood flow in the body and also to the brain. Your waist will also not be very happy with you.

Alcohol

There is nothing wrong with having your one alcoholic beverage of choice after a long day of munching bamboo in the forest, however, moderation is the key. It is a depressant and inhibits the release of serotonin in your body.

Although AnxietyPanda usually falls into a deep sleep after the consumption of an alcoholic beverage, it has been known to cause sleep problems for certain people which is really not good for your mental state and stress levels. It also causes dehydration. If you really have to indulge, be sure to have a glass of water in between.

Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle

There are many benefits to a healthy lifestyle and it is much easier to achieve than you may think. The simplest and most achievable step to do is to start. Just do it.

Panda-love <3

 

 

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  1. Excellent article! Thanks for all the info. I need to stop letting myself drink diet soda and drink water and eat some delicious berries and nuts!!!

    • Hannah, you are so right there! It’s all about mindset and it is very achievable!

  2. Jill Jill

    Hi Wanda, Thanks for this great article . I enjoyed it so much and did share the love.
    It is so easy to eat the wrong foods and rue the consequences as I am doing today. I ate wheat when I know my body doesn’t like it and boy am I suffering. Now am nibbling on some nuts as you suggested as I didn’t feel like eating for the rest of the day after the bread.
    Fortunately nuts are my favorite snack

    • Cravings are the worst if they are for something your body can’t have! It’s good that you are listening to your body. It will let you know what it needs.:) Hurrah for nuts!

  3. Thank god easter is over! I can give up my excess sugar from those easter eggs now…. Though i didn’t feel stressed… i’m sure my internal organs weren’t happy.
    THanks for sharing 🙂

    • Lol, who can resist an easter egg? AnxietyPanda is glad that you did not experience stress during this period. Although sugar doesn’t necessarily cause anxiety, it can emphasize or lead to certain reactions in your body that intensifies any stressful situation you may be experiencing.
      As for you organs – rewards them with lots of water and fresh fruit and veg 😉

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