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These Foods Can Increase Anxiety

By Stepy Kamei

Anxiety is not a new or rare condition in our society. In fact, while virtually every single one of us has experienced anxiety due to a stressful situation, nearly 40 million Americans struggle with some form of an anxiety disorder every year. It can be disheartening to know that there are a wide range of causes for anxiety. Hectic work schedules, long commutes, or other issues can spike anxiety in all of us. However, did you know that the food you eat can be impacting your anxiety levels as well? Keep on reading to learn more about how your dietary habits may be contributing to your feelings of stress and anxiety, and pick up some helpful tips on what kinds of foods you should be eating instead!

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

You may be tempted to turn to coffee or alcohol when it comes to wanting to settle your nerves or keep your anxiety at bay. Unfortunately, these particular beverages can actually make your anxiety worse.

The caffeine found in coffee tends to increase feelings of nervousness and anxiety in people as a negative side effect of its ability to wake a person up. Caffeine can also decrease levels of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical responsible for positive, joyful feelings. This is why caffeine can not only increase stress and anxiety, but increase feelings of depression as well.

Meanwhile, you may think a cocktail can soothe your nerves, but alcohol can have the kinds of physical impacts on the body which can cause anxiety. Alcohol can cause dehydration and sleep disturbances, which are known to increase feelings of stress and anxiety.

If you're prone to feeling anxious, it may be best to swap out your morning cup of coffee with tea (which provides caffeine without the jitters coffee supplies), and limit your alcohol intake.

Sugar, Fat, and Salt: Cut it Out!

It shouldn't be too surprising to know that foods which are high in sugar, fat, and salt tend to be bad for your physical health. However, these kinds of foods can also up your anxiety levels as well.

For starters, sugary foods can cause your energy levels to rise and fall quickly, which your brain may interpret as a rush of stress. Furthermore, fatty and salty foods can increase inflammation throughout the body, which your body may also interpret as a response to stress.

Generally speaking, it's best to stick with foods which are minimally processed and as fresh as possible, to avoid dealing with these issues. If you're still finding you're having a hard time keeping your anxiety under control, it may benefit you to speak with a licensed mental health professional for guidance on further helpful coping techniques.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monroe, La. 

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