Does Healthy Eating Affect My Anxiety?

By February 12, 2018November 19th, 2020Anxiety, Dr. Jenny Yip

When people are attempting to determine some of the things that are contributing to their anxiety, what some people may not be looking at is the food they are eating, and yet this can be one of the easiest ways to reduce anxiety. The things that we are taking into our bodies have a greater effect than you might think. Not only does food provide your body with the nourishment it needs, but what you eat can affect your state of mind. That is why eating healthy foods is so important.
 
While anxiety isn’t necessarily caused by the food we eat, what we are consuming can still add to your anxiety and cause anxiety symptoms. Some of the things that we may consume in our diet, like coffee and refined sugar, are actually making it harder for your body to fight anxiety. Even things like dairy products and eggs can affect our anxiety. Our bodies also struggle to digest fried foods well, which make it a lot more difficult for people to reduce their anxiety. That is why a greasy burger and chips may not be the best meal choice on a regular basis.
 
Most of the foods listed above are highly processed and high in sugar or caffeine. All of these things can trigger reactions inside the body that can raise your heart rate, or cause panic-like symptoms. Often times these symptoms will cause our minds to react in panic or stress because it is recognizing what normal signs are. While avoiding these foods won’t cure anxiety, it will help reduce anxiety. These foods can still be eaten in moderations, it is, however, advised that you monitor your intake.
 
Some healthier alternatives that could reduce anxiety could be things like fresh fruit, which has natural sugar that your body can convert to good usable energy, or vegetables, which are rich in the vitamins that your body needs. It’s also good to eat food that is rich in Magnesium, Omega-3, and Tryptophan, because of these things all help to reduce stress and anxiety. It is also very important to drink a lot of water so your body stays hydrated because a lack of water can lead to anxiety.
 
Another thing to remember about eating is that it is extremely beneficial to eat on a consistent schedule. Three meals a day at around the same time with healthy snacks between them will help maintain your energy so you aren’t struggling to get through the day. A good night of sleep and a warm bath before bed is also good because it helps your body metabolize the foods you eat, and it helps you to relax.
 
Overall, if you minimize the unhealthy processed foods you are eating and replace them with fresh and healthy foods, you will notice a considerable improvement in your anxiety levels as well as your physical health. A happy body leads to a happier mind, which is why it is so important to take care of both.