According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults in the US (ages 18 and older) suffer from anxiety disorders.
That is 18% of the US Population.
Not only are anxiety and depression disorders very common in the US today but they are also very expensive. Anxiety disorders cost the US right around $42 billion each year. Yowsa!
What you may not know is that anxiety can often be treated with a change in diet. Ditching certain foods from the diet and adding others back in can bring many sufferers much relief. There are also some key nutrients that can be added back into the diet in order to help the body continue towards optimal healing.
I have spent many days of my life struggling with anxiety. It is NOT a fun feeling. Anxiety nearly always stems from a diet which will throw off your brain chemistry. Stress and lifestyle are other factors that can cause feelings of anxiety to escalate and further deplete the body of what it needs to function properly.
If you desire to ditch your anxiety you must first overhaul your diet. Even if much of your anxiety is caused by stress and lifestyle a proper diet can help the body handle stress more easily.
Do you have anxiety or feel stressed and overwhelmed? Do you get panic attacks? Or feel awkward or uncomfortable in social situations? Do you have obsessive thoughts or behaviors? Do you have that busy mind that won’t switch off, negative self-talk and/or problems sleeping? What about emotional or stress eating? Or do you know someone who does? Or do you work with clients or patients who have these symptoms?
Anxiety is on the rise and it can at times be eliminated by addressing nutritional deficiencies and biochemical imbalances!
These 5 foods are the worst foods for anxiety suffers to eat and drink. In order to ditch anxiety these must be removed from the diet.
Refined Sugar – Refined sugars not only deplete the body of much-needed nutrients, but they also cause your body to be on a blood sugar roller coaster. This can further deplete your endocrine glands and wreak havoc on your body. The depletion of the endocrine glands is what will cause feelings of overwhelmedness, depression and anxiety. Once your endocrine glands are depleted, increased anxiety can occur, as well as disruption of your sex hormones and a decreased libido. Not only that but increased sugar intake is known to increase your chances of getting heart disease by causing an imbalance in your blood sugar and depleting your body of essential nutrients. Sugar is also known for feeding cancer cells. Run away from any refined sugars. Run far away.
Caffeine – Coffee, a drink that so many find glorious (I am not a coffee drinker), stimulates the adrenal glands which sends the body’s fight or flight mechanisms into action. This can exhaust the adrenal glands, causing the endocrine system to become exhausted. When your endocrine system is exhausted it is difficult for it to handle stress. Feelings of being overwhelmed will come easily, and loud noises will put a person over the edge who has exhausted adrenals.
Fat – Didn’t think you’d see this here did you? I am a big advocate of fats, especially animal fats from pastured raised animals and wild caught fish, cold pressed nut and seed oils. I don’t mean to stay away from those. Actually, fat is a big factor in healthy endocrine function. However, we do live in a world with horrible rancid fats that can cause free radicals to exist in the body and harm it. What oils should you stay away from? Canola oil, refined oils, margarine, and anything that you might find in a fast food restaurant. Never touch olive oil that is in a clear container or any nut or seed oils that have not been cold pressed.
The other problem is that if animals are not pasture raised, they are fed grains that are toxic to their digestive system and their body. These animals are kept in refined quarters and are so sick they need lots of antibiotics. Yuck! I recommend ditching any fats that come from unhealthy animals along with strange oils like cotton seed oil.
Refined Flours and Wheat – Breads, pasta, bagels and cookies can all be sources of refined flours and wheat products. Many people who struggle from depression also struggle from a dysbiosis of the gut. Other grains such as Rye, Oats and Barley can be culprits as well, if they contain gluten which irritates the digestive tract. Once the gut is inflamed the digestive tract is not able to absorb essential nutrients to keep the body properly balanced. Many studies have indicated that people with a gluten intolerance have very low levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical needed in the body to reduced anxiety and depression.
Soy – This food is a hormone and endocrine disruptor and is almost always of the GMO variety. Soy has a very depressing effect on the thyroid and can cause the body to have trouble absorbing iodine, iron and zinc. All these nutrients are essential to a healthy immune system. Soy is very difficult to digest, especially when it is not fermented. This protein can also damage the digestive tract. According to The Mood Cure, “Soy contains mineral-blocking phytates, acknowledged even by the soy industry as interfering with the absorption of antidepressant thyroid hormones as well as the thyroid- and brain-crucial mineral iodine, iron and zinc.”
If you struggle from anxiety try ditching these five foods in order to see if you start feeling better. The next step is helping your body to get the nutrition it needs from the right foods and supplements.