How getting your health in check can also lessen the symptoms of anxiety.
Did you know that what you eat can seriously help (or hurt) your anxiety disorder? Really. The healthy functioning of your brain, central nervous system, and endocrine system is essential to maintaining healthy energy levels and a healthy mood, making it much less likely for you to feel anxious. Poor nutrition can lead to symptoms such as depression, low energy, poor sleeping patterns, diminished concentration, or addictive behaviors. Furthermore, for many people, things like caffeine and alcohol illicit negative physical and emotional responses such as nervousness, shaking, or irritability. Working to wean yourself off of these substances while working on improving your nutrition, in general, can help you reduce the above symptoms and as a result, your anxiety significantly.
So how do you eat and what do you do to make sure your anxiety stays in check?
Stabilize your blood sugar to avoid mood swings by eating smaller meals, less sugar and eating more often
Eat whole foods with mood-boosting properties such as fish, nuts, and leafy vegetables.
Choose foods with high antioxidant properties like green tea and dark chocolate as well.
Load up on calming products such as chamomile tea, lavender essential oils, or the amino acid L-lysine.
Keep a food journal focusing specifically on how different foods affect your moods.
Work on balancing your hormone levels to help support a calm and more positive mood.
Learn how caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine affect your mood and how you use them in times of stress so you can better understand how to live without these addictive substances.
Eating to maintain your overall health can be difficult depending on your knowledge of food and cooking, the amount of time you have to prepare meals and your ability to handle additional issues such as depression, work/life balance, and health problems. The best way to break through these issues and come out the other side with health and less anxiety? Hire a nutrition coach! A nutrition coach is a health expert that can help you navigate the world of eating right to stave off anxiety. They can help you choose the correct foods, monitor your calorie intake and help you understand your symptoms to ensure that you are selecting foods that work with your body. They can work in tandem with your therapist to help you with maintaining your health so you can adequately manage both the acute and long-term effects of anxiety. A nutrition coach can also make it easier to work through common symptoms of antidepressants such as fatigue or weight gain. A coach can also help you ease into a workout plan which may make it easier to cope with anxiety and live a full, healthful life.
Generally, better nutrition is often thought of as a complementary therapy when it’s being used to help treat anxiety. Getting your nutrition in check will do amazing things for your mood overall, but it shouldn’t replace medications or talk therapy unless suggested by your therapist.
Dr. Jeffrey Ditzell is a Psychiatrist in New York City and offers nutrition coaching in the New York City area.