Does what we eat really have an impact on our anxiety?
How could our diets possibly affect our emotions?
Think about this for a moment: Are you contributing to your anxiety by eating certain foods?
Although anxiety may not be directly caused by our diets, our food plays a major role in our emotions, how we feel, interact, and cope, day-to-day. Oftentimes, when we struggle with panic attacks and anxiety, research shows it may be worth adjusting what our ‘fuel food’ of choice is.
Everybody is unique in their biological makeup, so this is not a one-size-fits-all magic answer for everyone, but it can’t hurt to give it a try.
Ask yourself a few things:
When you’re anxious, do you just feel like eating a bowl of ice cream? Maybe a pint of ice cream?
Drinking excess caffeine or having a soda?
Overload of sugar?
We all have our guilty pleasures and a lot of us love our satisfying treats, especially when we’re stressed.
BUT, what does comfort food really do to us when we’re already struggling with anxiety?
3 REASONS TO STAY AWAY from comfort foods:
Comfort foods can actually increase our anxiety and depression within minutes of eating them, and ultimately, decrease our self-esteem.
So what foods should we eat?
An anti-anxiety diet includes some of these foods [Schnorr & Bachner (2016)]:
So, why do we do this to ourselves?
And why do we cause ourselves more anxiety, when we’re just trying to get rid of it.
It seems to be a vicious cycle.
4 simple ways to counter stress without turning to ‘comfort foods’:
Additional Articles and Readings:
The Antianxiety Food Solution : How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood, and End Cravings by Trudy Scott
The One-Day Anti-Anxiety Diet This Doctor Prescribes To His Patients Instead Of Meds
Schnorr, S. L., & Bachner, H. A. (2016). Integrative Therapies in Anxiety Treatment with Special Emphasis on the Gut Microbiome. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 89(3), 397–422.
Brittany Harty, MSW Intern