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By Shannon Pierce
You wake up and have a coffee. At lunch, you may grab some Chik Fil A. By dinner, you whip up something at home and even have a little dark chocolate to quell your sweet tooth. Seems like a decently balanced day for most Americans right? Well for the many Americans suffering from anxiety, this is a recipe for disaster. It’s no secret that you are what you eat, and that what you eat greatly effects how you feel. Here are a few foods to avoid if you want to keep your anxiety at a minimum.
1) Watch your sugar intake. Sugar will make you go on a blood sugar rollercoaster ride. It increases the stress hormone cortisol, making you feel jittery and on edge. Avoid sodas, even fruit sugar filled smoothies. If you do love smoothies, make sure to add some protein powder rather than just stuffing it with fruit. If you can sneak some greens in there, even better!
2) Fast food. No surprise here. Not only is it full of chemicals and processed ingredients that cause inflammation, but it can make it very difficult to manage your weight. When you are feeling crappy about yourself, rather than confident, your negative thoughts can build quickly.
3) Caffeine. Avoid at all costs. Some will recommend just one cup of coffee a day, however others recommend eliminating completely. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, and anxiety-ridden folks need to calm their nerves.
4) Chocolate. Don’t overdose on the dark stuff, thinking it is healthy for you. Even organic dark chocolate can be loaded with sugar. Go for low sugar versions, and make sure the cacao content is over 75%.
5) Refined breads, and definitely white bread. Go for the natural, unprocessed types such as sprouted grain breads, or at the very least make sure it is 100% natural whole wheat. All of the starch and sugar will send your blood pressure soaring.
6) Booze. Since alcohol can relax you, it can become very addicting for those dealing with anxiety. It is a depressant, causing you to feel depressed afterwards or the following day. Try to sip red wine if you totally need it.
7) Salty snacks. Chips and pretzels are full of sodium, starch, and carbs causing your blood pressure to rise.
So, what can you eat? Raw, unprocessed foods. Cook at home so you know exactly what is going into your body. Sip decaf green tea.
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