Stress and anxiety can be aggravated not only by what you eat, but the way you eat. Any of the following habits can aggravate your daily level of stress:
- Eating too fast or on the run
- Not chewing food at least 15-20 times per mouthful
- Eating too much to the point of feeling stuffed or bloated
- Drinking too much fluid with a meal which can dilute stomach acid and digestive enzymes
These behaviors put strain on your stomach and intestines in their attempt to properly digest and assimilate food. This increases stress in two ways: 1) Directly through indigestion, bloating, and cramping, and 2) Indirectly through malabsorption of essential nutrients.
Supplements and Nutrients
There are specific nutrients which can help with stress and decrease anxiety. These include: Magnesium – aids with muscle relaxation, maintenance of the heart muscle, neuromuscular transmission and widening of the blood vessels. A deficiency of magnesium can cause:
- Behavioral disturbances
- Cold hands and feet
B Complex Vitamins are the spark plugs for our body. They help provide energy by acting with enzymes to convert major nutrients such as carbohydrates to energy forms. They are important for the normal function of the nervous system and are helpful in bringing relaxation or energy to individuals who are stressed or fatigued. A deficiency of certain B vitamins will cause:
- Loss of appetite
Calcium works with maintenance of electrolyte balance, muscle contractions, nerve transmission, regulation of cell division, hormone secretion and bone and teeth formation. A deficiency can cause:
- Heart palpitations
Seek Out Foods High in Omega-3
Fish oil has been shown in many studies, to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and reduce plaque buildup in your blood. By reducing your bad cholesterol, you are helping your body to fight off stress and relieve anxiety, tension and even prevent heart disease. Fish that are high in Omega-3 are excellent ways to help your blood stream.
While you may not believe that eating well and exercising will make your anxiety disorder go away completely, you may want to consider how these lifestyle changes might improve your mental well-being as well as give you the strength you need to cope and recover.