Anxiety: Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations to improve symptoms

The quality of your health depends upon many pieces that not only include the health of your bodily systems, but also include a healthy diet, exercise, and spirituality.
Diet. Treatment of anxiety may center on developing general healthy dietary guidelines, in addition to making some key adjustments in your relationship with food.
Dietary recommendations for anxiety include:

  • Choose high-quality, organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free “grass-fed” meats.
  • Increase your omega-3 essential fatty acids by selecting flax seed, wild-caught salmon, minimal-mercury albacore tuna, fish oil, avocados, and sprouted walnuts.
  • Add plenty of dark-green leafy, organic vegetables to your diet.
  • Add healthy saturated fats to your diet, such as organic virgin coconut oil.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates that digest slowly and gradually increase blood sugar levels, such as asparagus, spinach, sweet potatoes, squash, and raw apples.
  • Add nutrient-dense, sprouted nuts and seeds to your diet.
  • Choose organic, cage-free eggs.
  • Choose dairy items that have live, active cultures (probiotics), such as organic, unpasteurized yogurt and kefir (as long as you’re not allergic to dairy).
  • Drink purified water throughout the day.

Foods to AVOID include:

  • All stimulants:
    • Limited caffeine from coffee, tea, and caffeinated sodas – Caffeine can interfere with healthy sleep patterns, especially when taken in the evening hours.
    • Tobacco products – Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, many of which cause anxiety and disrupt sleep.
    • Stimulant drugs – Some over-the-counter and prescription medications may contain caffeine. Side effects of some medications include anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness. If you are taking medications, consult your pharmacist about anxiety as a possible side effect. Also, stimulant recreational drugs or “uppers” such as cocaine increase anxiety and can produce panic attacks.
  • Sweetened fruit juices, since they spike blood sugar levels too rapidly – Opt for whole fruit instead to benefit from its healthy fiber.
  • Limited intake of fruits that have a high glycemic index such as apricots, raisins, banana, papaya, and mango.
  • All products containing refined sugar and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Splenda®, etc. Choose a natural sweetener like Xylosweet instead.
  • All simple or refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, etc.) – Read more about good carbs and bad carbs.
  • Alcoholic beverages in excess since they interfere with normal sleep patterns
  • Carbonated soft drinks that cause blood pH levels to become acidic
  • Bottom crawlers, such as oysters, clams, and lobster, that may contain toxic levels of mercury
  • Deep-sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish, that may contain toxic levels of mercury. Choose minimal-mercury albacore tuna instead.
  • Farm-raised fish that contain PCBs and not enough omega-3 essential fatty acids, due to their land-based diets. Choose wild-caught salmon instead.
  • Sodium nitrite found in processed foods such as hot dogs, lunch meats, and bacon
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in many foods as a flavor enhancer
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) found in many processed foods, deep-fried foods, fast foods, and junk food – Read more about good fats and bad fats.

Exercise. Regular exercise can help to relieve stress, tension, and anxiety by increasing blood flow to the brain, releasing hormones, stimulating the nervous system, and increasing levels of morphine-like substances found in the body (such as beta-endorphin) that can have a positive effect on mood. Also, expelling your excess negative emotions and adrenaline through physical activity can aid in producing a more relaxed, calm state from which to deal with the issues and conflicts that may be causing your anxiety.14

Other tips for anxiety sufferers

  • Heavy metal toxicity can produce vague symptoms that sometimes are mistaken for other chronic conditions. Discuss heavy metal toxicity with your healthcare professional before receiving any diagnosis or treatment for a serious chronic condition. Read more about heavy metal toxicity.
  • If you have “silver” dental fillings, get an evaluation from a mercury-free dentist who specializes in the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings. Mercury is a neurotoxin that damages and impairs neurotransmitters in the brain and can cause symptoms of anxiety. Find a mercury-free dentist in your area now!

Additional Information about Anxiety

  1. Anxiety Overview
  2. Common symptoms of anxiety
  3. Common causes of anxiety
  4. Help me choose a natural and alternative treatment for anxiety
  5. Conventional or prescription medications used in the treatment of anxiety
  6. Additional Reading for anxiety

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