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Stress/Anxiety/Depression and the Relationship to Food!

Has stress, anxiety or depression been part of your life for so long that it almost has become your friend? headache-1472830_1920It’s with you throughout the day but somewhat unnoticed. But at night when you are asleep and all is quiet, it seems to pop its ugly head. You’ve tried therapy, supplements and even Essential Oils. You vowed you don’t want to go down the path of prescription medication but you are tempted those nights you are awaken at that God-awful hour of 3 am and then cannot fall back asleep. You are almost at your wits end and don’t know what to do? Medication is not the path you want to go down but you know you need to find relief. Something needs to change but you are unsure what.

Have you considered your diet? Have you looked at the food you are eating that can aggravate anxiety and/or depression? Those foods are inflammatory foods. The can cause inflammation internally. Which causes many illnesses externally. Perhaps it’s something to consider. It’s worth a 30-day detox from them to see if anything changes.

So what food should you avoid? Here is the list.

  1. Caffeine – Caffeine is a stimulant and can increase your heart rate, which increases feelings of anxiety. It also lowers your serotonin levels in your brain, which can lead to depression. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, some sodas and chocolate.
  2. Sugar – This “sweet” condiment can cause an imbalance in your blood sugar. So shortly after you have eaten it, you have this “surge” of energy. Only to have a crash after that. Then you feel tired and worn out. Do you in the afternoon have the need to take a nap? Problem is you are at work and that can’t happen. Perhaps look at what you ate for lunch. Was it white bread, pasta, white rice, cakes, crackers, candy, pastries, soda or soft drinks? They are loaded with sugar and can cause your insulin to be like a yoyo all day.
  3. Wheat – Sometimes wheat allergies can show itself in symptoms of anxiety or depression. Common allergy is the gluten in wheat. Also, unless you are eating “Certified Organic” wheat, you are getting wheat that has GMOs and glyphosate (or Roundup) in it. That is very unhealthy. Wheat is not just in bread but in pastas as well. If it’s gluten you are allergic to, then you need to remove barley and rye as well from your diet.
  4. Dairy – Many people have allergies to diary and some of those symptoms are digestive. But it is also known to cause feelings of anxiety and/or depression.
  5. Salt – Unfortunately, your average table salt of sodium chloride can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause depression. It also can lower your potassium and potassium is needed for a healthy nervous system. Sea salt is the best condiment of salt to use.

You might ask if these foods can cause anxiety are their foods that help? Yes there are. What are some of those foods that can improve your mood and give you an uplifting feeling?

  1. Asparagus – What’s so good about asparagus? It gives you folic acid, which can help fight depression and boost your mood. Just one cup of asparagus gives you two-thirds of your daily requirement of mood boosting folic acid.
  2. Avocado – This “fruit” is full of B vitamins. B vitamins are known to lower stress reactions, improve your mood and raise your energy levels. They are also loaded with monosaturated fat and potassium, which can also help to lower your blood pressure.
  3. Blueberries – These delicious berries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which make them excellent stress fighters. Also, studies have shown that Vitamin C helps fight high blood pressure. It also can lower the stress hormone cortisol. But eating “organic” blueberries will be essential. They are part of the “dirty dozen” and should be eaten only as organic Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen.
  4. Wild-Caught Salmon – This fish is full of healthy omega-3s, which is known to decrease internal inflammation and keep cortisol and adrenaline levels from spiking. Gives you a calming effect.
  5. Cashews – These wonderful nuts are high in zinc. Those suffering from anxiety and depression are known to be deficient in this mineral.   We need healthy levels of zinc to keep our immune system in proper working order to fight illnesses from manifesting in our bodies.

So consider looking at the foods you are eating. It’s worth a 30-day detox to see if you feel different. Will you have to refrain from eating these foods forever? Maybe not. You might be able to go back to them once you have gotten a handle on your anxiety and/or depression. Or you can find that in fact you have allergies to some of these foods and when you remove them from your diet you feel fabulous. It’s worth a try.

Do you have trouble understanding fully what to eat or not eat and how to get starte? Do you feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what to replace these foods with? Then consider giving me a call. As a Health Coach, I can help you navigate this new journey to health and wellness. Give it a try. You are worth it!

Your Health, Wellness and Organizing Expert … Believing in You!

 

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