Everyone is anxious at one time or another. Anxiety is a natural mechanism used by the body to alert the mind to possible danger. Anxiety becomes a problem when it becomes severe and interferes with the quality of life. Only about five percent of people experience severe anxiety. This form of anxiety manifests into a mixture of mental and physical symptoms.
The healthy response to a threat is called the “fight or flight” response. The body prepares to defend itself through combat or run from a situation that appears to be bigger than the person can handle. Anxiety is also used to deal with demands and tasks in everyday life. It helps us meet deadlines and remain focused on tasks at hand.
But when “healthy” anxiety turns to dread of facing everyday life, it becomes a disorder. Effective treatments have been developed to provide improved therapies that help people with an anxiety disorder get back to productive lives.
Following a healthy diet plan can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Although food alone is not a cure for anxiety disorder, food is important in providing the body the proper nutrition to fight the symptoms of anxiety and to keep the body in optimum shape to manage and cope with the symptoms.
One of the first diet changes to make is to avoid or reduce caffeine. Remember that caffeine is not only in tea and coffee, but also in soft drinks. Many people use caffeine as a boost of energy, but caffeine creates a vicious cycle. Caffeine can speed up your heart rate and keep you from going to sleep, but these are also symptoms of anxiety disorder. Drinking caffeine only perpetuates symptoms of anxiety disorder.
Alcohol should also be avoided. Just as caffeine can worsen anxiety disorder symptoms, alcohol does the same thing. Many people will drink alcohol to calm anxiousness, but overindulgence for a long period of time can only make things worse. A hangover, dehydration and insomnia do nothing to help the anxiety disorder. Alcohol can also be a depressant producing a sluggish or anxious feeling.
Alcohol acts in the body as a simple sugar, so it is absorbed rapidly. This increases high blood sugar symptoms. This rapid absorptions triggers mood swings.
Complex carbohydrates are the best foods to eat when one feels anxious. These foods include potatoes, wholewheat bread and pasta among others. They produce a mild natural tranquilizer called serotonin in the brain. They work to keep blood sugar level to help eliminate anxiety and stress. They are known as “comfort foods”.
It is vitally important that you keep the body hydrated with no less than eight glasses of water per day. When the body becomes dehydrated, you suffer from stress, headaches, and fatigue, three conditions to avoid if you have an anxiety disorder.
Take a good multivitamin and the minerals needed for your daily needs. A good B vitamin supplement is important in combating anxiety and stress as they work together with you food to provide energy. The B-6 vitamin helps to create serotonin, the natural tranquilizer discussed earlier. A good multivitamin provides 100% of your daily need of vitamins and minerals.
Even though we cannot eliminate all daily tensions and stresses, we can relieve and manage them better when we eat nutritious foods that gives the body what it needs to remain healthy and support itself. Keeping the body healthy keeps the mind healthy.