What Is Anxiety
Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress. It's a feeling of fear or apprehension about some future or current event. The first day of school, going for a job interview, giving a speech or the ongoing covid-19 situation may all cause anxiety.
Occasional anxiety is completely normal. However, experiencing intense, excessive and persistent anxiety can interfere with the quality of your life and impact your health in the long term. Therefore, it is beneficial to look into the root causes of the issue and reduce those anxiety triggers. One of these triggers which we tend to overlook is the type of foods that may contribute to that underlying unease and anxiety.
It is interesting to note that foods that cause inflammation and pain also trigger anxiety and by reducing these foods you will start feeling better on multiple levels.
Gluten is a protein found in a variety of grains. Gluten is particularly problematic for those with Celiac disease or gluten allergies. However, a large number of the population is sensitive to gluten and may experience inflammation, pain, and other health issues from it.
Sugar and Processed Foods
Refined sugar and carbs are incredibly inflammatory. When you eat too much sugar, your body cannot process it quickly enough. As a result, it releases pro-inflammatory messengers called cytokines that may lead to physical and mental health issues. These processed foods are also high in other anxiety-triggering substances such as vegetable oils, artificial flavourings, gluten and additives.
Processed vegetable oils, such as corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and peanut oil are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Over consumption of these oils can cause an imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids contributing to inflammation, pain and anxiety.
Aspartame and MSG are two particularly dangerous artificial flavourings that may trigger anxiety. However, you need to be careful with all artificial ingredients and other additives or preservatives,
including monosodium glutamate, artificial colouring, high fructose corn syrup, guar gum, sodium benzoate and trans fats.
Conventional Meat Products
Animals raised for conventional meat products are not treated by the highest of standards. They are often treated with hormones and antibiotics, fed with grain instead of grass which promotes inflammation and other health issues when consumed. Always try and eat organic and ethically raised meat.
Too much caffeine may trigger anxiety. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks, such as sodas and energy drinks may cause the shakes and stimulate a fight or flight response similar to anxiety. Sodas and energy drinks are also full of sugar and artificial ingredients that can further trigger anxiety.
How To Reduce Anxiety Naturally
Conventional treatments of anxiety often include pharmaceutical medications. However, these medications usually serve as a bandaid without addressing the cause or fully solving the problem. They also have multiple side affects which can impact your health down the line.
Itt is possible to reduce anxiety naturally through a nutritious diet, a healthy lifestyle, and appropriate supplementation. For some key strategies on reducing anxiety and living a more enjoyable life check out the following blog posts covering these topics:
Foods to Beat Anxiety, Magnesium Relieves Stress & Anxiety and four Herbs to Treat Stress.
You can also contact me to customize a specific plan for you to reduce your anxiety naturally.