Published: 10/02/2012 - Updated: 05/31/2016
Author: Miriam Reyes
Trying to eat healthy should not add additional anxiety and worry to your life. Therefore it is important to know what you eat and you don’t, as well as when and how often you eat, as this can affect your mood, energy levels, and how well you can handle the adversity and tension of doing a diet.
Here are some tips to overcome anxiety or stress that a diet cans cause us:
Focus on minimally processed foods
Research has linked a "complete food" to reduce the effects of depression and anxiety in the diet. This is a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, rich in omega-3, meats, fish and whole grains instead of the "western" diet, common in North America, which overflows with fried foods, grains and refined sugar products.
Stress plays a major factor in our anxiety, if the diet and its effects get us stressed, then we must try not to think about it, looking for relaxing therapies, or activity to distract you from food. Eat some citrus fruits, vitamin C helps to balance the production of stress hormones in the body during times of tension.
The exhaustive exercise in excess can generate more anxiety and appetite, but if we practice with moderation, which is approximately 30 minutes, at least three days a week, its effect will be opposite. Doing exercise helps us to be optimal and relief stress if we do it correctly. Take a walk can help us to combat anxiety in a very effective way.
Do not eliminate carbohydrates
Carbohydrates have a varied reputation when we are talking about anxiety. It all depends on what type of carbohydrates you consume. Avoid simple carbohydrates found in sugary foods as they can cause your blood sugar to rise and drop sharply, this will make you feel hungrier. Instead, add complex carbohydrates in your diet, such as those found in whole grains, to help your body to create serotonin, a hormone that sends messages to feel good and is good for sleep quality. Complex carbohydrates are also digested more slowly, so you will feel full longer and be less prone to digestive problems.
Put protein on your plate
Select lean cuts of meat, fish and poultry, to get the protein you need without adding saturated fat and cholesterol. A type of amino acid called tryptophan helps your body produce a feeling of well-being through serotonin. Besides protein makes us feel full for longer.
Do not eliminate fat from your diet
Eating foods that contain too much saturated fat can increase "bad" cholesterol and put you at risk for a heart attack. However, your body needs fat for energy, and very little fat in your diet you can lead to mood swings, anger and hostility. Choose foods that contain healthier fats, such as those rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats can help keep your body prepared against stress.
Keep it simple too
Food should be your ally against anxiety, not your enemy. A good strategy is to keep things simple with the rule of "eat what you see." For this simple rule to work, all you have to do is keep the healthiest foods on hand and unhealthy foods out of sight.
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Do not skip meals
Skipping meals will only lead to more anxiety, also not respecting schedules. It is recommended to eat 5 times a day; when you eat small and frequent meals throughout the day, it is easier to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable, avoiding anxiety.
The sources of nutrients that can help to relieve anxiety are:
Vitamin B complex: green leafy vegetables, whole grains, eggs, poultry, milk, soy.
Vitamin C: oranges, papaya, strawberries, melons, kiwis, peppers, parsley, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale.
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Magnesium: pumpkin, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables
Complex carbohydrates: oats, whole grain breads, brown rice, sweet potatoes, carrots, green vegetables
Healthier fats: omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish – salmon, herring, albacore tuna, walnuts, flax seeds, legumes, tofu, and olive oil, monounsaturated fats are another good option and can be found in avocados, almonds, cashews and peanuts.
Lean protein: fish, shellfish, skinless chicken or turkey, pork loin or tenderloin meat, dairy products low in fat or fat-free eggs, egg substitutes, beans, legumes, tofu, soy milk
Tryptophan: poultry, milk, bananas, oatmeal, cheese, nuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds.
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