The anti-anxiety diet
is a normal reaction to
stress. It helps one
deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep
focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety
becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it has become a
Effective treatments for anxiety disorders are available, and research is
yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with anxiety
disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.
Although tension and daily stresses are unavoidable, you can relieve tension
and manage stress better by what you do and don't eat. Here are some ideas for a
out caffeine. Caffeine belongs to a class of chemicals called
methylxanthines, which have a drug like stimulant effect on the body. Too many
fizzy drinks, coffee, tea or chocolate can overwhelm your nervous system and
take you from heightened alertness over the edge into nervousness and, in rare
cases, bring on panic attacks. Even if you think you can't survive without your
caffeine fix, try eliminating it for a day and see how you feel. As a central
nervous system stimulant, caffeine increases brain activity when taken in doses
of 50 to 100 mg or more per day. This is the amount found in one cup of coffee
or black tea. When used on an occasional basis, a cup of coffee can have a
pleasantly stimulating effect. For women with anxiety and panic episodes due to
emotional triggers, caffeine can aggravate the frequency and severity of their
episodes. Caffeine taken in excess (more than four or five cups per day) can
dramatically increase anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Even small amounts
can make susceptible women jittery. After the initial jolt, women with anxiety
symptoms find that caffeine intake makes them more tired.
less alcohol. Many women reach for a drink to calm their nerves, but the
consequences of overindulgence can outweigh the benefits of initial relaxation.
For some, a hangover, insomnia and dehydration make you feel worse than before
you had a drink, and the depressants in alcohol can make you feel sluggish and
anxious. Reach for a glass of water or all natural fruit juice when you need a
soothing drink, or limit your alcohol to a couple of glasses. Women with
moderate to severe anxiety, mood swings, and depression due to
menopause, or emotional causes, should avoid alcohol entirely or limit its use
to occasional small amounts. Alcohol, like a simple sugar, is rapidly absorbed
by the body. Like other sugars, alcohol increases hypoglycemia symptoms;
excessive use can increase anxiety and mood swings.
complex carbohydrates. During anxious times, turn to comforting
These foods act as a mild tranquiliser by increasing the amount of serotonin, a
calming neurotransmitter, in your brain. Complex carbs, such as potatoes,
wholewheat bread and pasta, take longer to digest than sugary simple carbs like
white bread, so you stay fuller longer and your blood sugar is likely to stay
steady, eliminating stress and anxiety. Eat carbs without
to feel instant contentment, but note that a balanced diet needs protein and fat
as well. Excess sugar can worsen the anxiety, irritability, and nervous tension.
a multivitamin and mineral supplement. An unbalanced diet can make you feel
fatigued, achy and unproductive, which can lead to feelings of anxiety.
whose role it is to unlock the energy in food, are crucial, particularly B-6,
which helps manufacture serotonin in the brain. Choose a daily supplement
that supplies 100 per cent of the daily recommendation of all vitamins and
well-hydrated. Be sure to drink eight glasses of water a day and always
drink more than you think you need. By the time you feel thirsty, you are
already dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and stress.
Rather than fighting to control anxiety--which generally causes more
anxiety--it is much better, at first, to learn to control the way you respond to
the emotional symptoms.