Lifestyle

5 Dietary Changes That Could Help To Manage Anxiety

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If you are living with an anxiety disorder, or even if you are just a generally anxious person, it can rule your life. It’s important that you find ways to manage your anxiety on a daily basis, otherwise it will only get worse.

Everybody’s anxiety is different so there is no one right answer. Medication can help some people, and talking therapies are a good way to deal with the root causes of your anxiety. Exercise is another common way that people relieve stress and deal with their anxiety, but one thing that people don’t think about so much is their diet. But the things that you eat and drink can have a big impact, so it’s something that you need to consider. These are some of the best ways to change your diet to help manage anxiety. 

1. Cut Back On Alcohol 

Alcohol can be problematic for people with anxiety. When you have a drink, it can relax you and help you to relieve your anxiety, but that only works in the short term. Regular alcohol consumption can actually increase feelings of anxiety over time, so even though it gives you short term relief, it makes the problem worse overall. There is also a serious danger that you will begin to rely on alcohol to medicate your anxiety, and that is likely to lead to problems with addiction. That doesn’t mean that people with anxiety issues can never drink alcohol, but you do need to be careful about it. Try to cut back a bit and make sure that you are not using it as a way to medicate your anxiety. 

2. Cut Back On Caffeine 

We all enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, but if you are drinking excessive amounts of caffeine, it could be contributing to your anxiety. Caffeine has been shown to increase feelings of anxiety, especially in people that drink a lot every day. When you consume a lot of coffee or tea, it’s likely that you’ll develop a caffeine addiction, so it can be tough to cut back. You will probably feel more anxious when you first start reducing your intake because your body is craving the caffeine, but once you get past that, it could help you to manage your anxiety a lot more effectively. You will also have more energy overall because you are not reliant on caffeine. 

3. CBD Supplements 

CBD is a relatively new treatment that has only been around for a few years, but in that time it’s become so popular for a lot of different reasons. People use it to manage pain and improve sleep, and it’s good for anxiety relief as well. It comes in a lot of different forms like a drop on your tongue or a supplement, so it’s easy to add to your diet. It doesn’t necessarily work for everybody but there is a lot of promising research going into it, so you should consider adding it to your diet. 

4. Fatty Fish 

Omega-3 is a fatty acid that has been linked to brain function and mental health. Research suggests that people that consume a lot of fatty fish may have better overall mental health. This one change will not remove your anxiety entirety, but it can improve your overall mood. You should try to get 3 portions of fatty fish and other omega-3 rich foods each week. Salmon in particular is a good fish to eat because it is one of the only food sources of vitamin D. A lot of mental health issues have been linked to vitamin D deficiency, so it’s important that you boost your levels if you have an anxiety issue. 

5. Eggs 

Eggs are one of the best foods for people with anxiety because they contain a lot of great nutrients that promote good mental health. Firstly, they’re another great source of vitamin D, which so many of us are lacking. Secondly, they also contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps to produce serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate your sleep, your mood, and your behaviour. It’s absolutely essential for good mental health and increased serotonin levels have been shown to improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. If you eat foods like eggs that help to increase serotonin, it can help you to manage your anxiety a lot more effectively. 

Dealing with anxiety is incredibly complex and it can be difficult to find the right balance in your own life, but your diet could have a big impact so make sure that you think about it in the future. 

Have you changed your diet to help manage anxiety?

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.