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Feeling Anxious? Rethink Your Diet

Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress but too much anxiety can become a debilitating condition and paralyze your ability to make rational decisions. As such certain food factors can exacerbate anxiety levels and have a negative impact on day to day living. Aside from yoga, meditation and exercise, there are several key dietary factors that could be helping or hindering symptoms of anxiety.

Dietary Changes for Anxiety

1. Switch to Decaf

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, and too much of it can be overwhelming to your brain. It can cause nervousness and panic attacks. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, pop, and even chocolate. Reducing the amount of caffeine you are eating will show almost instant improvements for anxiety related restlessness and irritability.

In some cases some people may also have a caffeine addiction, which is itself the cause of the feelings of anxiety.

2. Cut Back on Alcohol

When people feel stressed they sometimes reach for a drink to "Calm their nerves." Unfortunately booze causes dehydration, insomnia and too much will just give you a hangover. Alcohol sometimes acts as a depressant that will bring out negative emotions in some people. The source of their anxiety could end up feeling even more exaggerated and ultimately, they wind up feeling even more upset both mentally and physically.

3. Eat Complex Carbs

When we're upset or anxious turning to comfort food is fairly common. Ice cream is a popular one if the comic strip Cathy is to be believed. Other xamples include chocolate, candy, potato chips, cookies, etc. The problem with simple sugars, aside from being having no nutritional value, is that they don't keep you full for very long, and cause a constant craving for more sugar. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, beans and legumes take longer to digest.So i nstead of picking up chips when you're feeling anxious prepare some veggies and hummus or even air popped popcorn instead.

I personally like carrot sticks and Jell-O in such situations.

Eating healthy and avoiding anxiety inducing things like caffeine and alcohol is the first steps toward minimizing anxiety. Or if you do consume those things also drink a lot of water to help minimize fatigue, headaches and stress, all caused by dehydration.

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