Foods for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

By Guest Contributor

Last updated April 7, 2017


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It might seem odd that foods for anxiety is a thing, but if you’re one of the millions who experience panic attacks and anxiety each month, you’ll be happy to discover these changes in diet can help to reduce anxiety and panic attacks.

Of course there’s no food that’s a magic pill to completely eliminate the problem, but anyone who deals with these kinds of issues knows that almost anything is worth a try.

Here are foods to consider adding or avoiding for best results.

Fruits & Veggies

foods for anxiety - vegetables

Antioxidants not only help protect you from infections, but they are also able to affect your mood balance and promote more efficient blood sugar management.

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of these antioxidants.

The good news for those of you who aren’t huge fans of eating tons of fruits and veggies is that you can choose to make delicious smoothies instead. They’ve long been a popular option for a reason 🙂

Here are some great mix and match ideas – have fun and get creative!

Probiotics

foods for anxiety - probiotics

You’ve probably at least heard of probiotics, but if your knowledge doesn’t go past a vague notion of their supposed value, you’re not alone.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your intestines and aid in a healthy digestion process. One of the most well-known sources is yogurt.

When you don’t have a good balance of the right bacteria it can wreak havoc on your system, affecting things such as:

[one_half_first]

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • infectious diarrhea
  • skin conditions like eczema

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  • urinary and vaginal health
  • oral health
  • brain function
  • etc.

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Here are some probiotics suggested to help depression and anxiety.

Fish & Poultry

foods for anxiety - fish

A well-balanced diet may well include fish and poultry because they provide a good variety of nutrients, some of which are vitamin B, zinc, and iron.

Salmon and flounder are fattier fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids or “healthy fats.” Healthy fats like these are great for your brain and are said to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Avoid Coffee & Other Caffeinated Drinks

foods for anxiety - avoid caffeine

It may be disappointing to hear, but it’s wise to avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks as much as possible for anxiety-related mental health and warding off panic attacks.

Although caffeine can help boost energy levels, it also messes with the serotonin levels in your brain. When serotonin levels aren’t where your body expects them to be, it’s easy to start feeling irritable and depressed without realizing it.

In addition,

levels of cortisol after caffeine consumption are similar to those experienced during an acute stress.[]

Basically, it’s like creating stress conditions for your body.

Another side effect of caffeine is keeping you awake and increasing restroom use, which can lead to dehydration, another cause of depression.

If you can’t bear the thought of giving up coffee, tea, and soda, try to at least switch to decaf and see what effect it has. It may be well worth it!

Panic attacks can come on without a moment’s notice, but taking these diet choices into account is one way to lessen the possibility of anxiety ruining your day.

See also related: 65 Common Symptoms of Stress + 6 Natural Ways to Manage Stress

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics#1
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15617861
https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199307/stats-panic-disorder
https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/coffee-and-hormones

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