Everyone is so busy these days…. Being “stressed” is a pretty common condition. The reality is that life isn’t going to slow down for most of us- right? Every body is unique and so are the mechanisms that can contribute to stress and anxiety in each person. It’s important to be mindful about regular things in your diet that might be “stressing you out”.
Caffeine. The side effects of excessive caffeine consumption can include heart palpitations, shaking and difficulty sleeping. Even if you don’t experience any of these, they could still affect your body hours later. Many people have caffeine sensitivity without knowing about it, so even one cup of coffee could be creating low level anxiety.
Food Additives. Food additives (even the “natural” ones) are used to enhance the appearance and flavor of our food. Did you know that some can actually trigger anxiety? Most commonly – aspartame, high fructose corn syrup and MSG. It is important to mention food dyes here….most commonly Red #40 and Yellow #5. Learn more http://kyoungnutrition.com/food-additives-friends-and-foes/
Salt. Diets that are high in salty foods increase blood pressure, which forces your heart to work harder. When this happens, your body releases the stress hormone adrenaline which paves the way to edginess and tension.
Sugar. Like salt, you should also avoid foods that contain refined sugars. After eating sugar, you will generally have a burst of energy and then your blood levels will drop. Blood sugar fluctuations lead to release of the hormones adrenalin and cortisol – both can contribute to anxiety.
Junk/Fast Food. Okay- you know this one already. No, you don’t have to reach for a salad every time but include lean protein, which will not only have a positive effect on you and will also keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and interferes with the production and use of serotonin- a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood. Alcohol also significantly hinders your metabolism. So that glass of wine before bed could potentially alter your blood sugar levels and hydration, which may lead to a restless rather than restful sleep.
Check out your daily intake of these potential triggers. How are you doing? Consider how the cumulative effect of even two or three of these foods on a daily basis might be contributing to you feeling stressed. Because external life forces creating stress may not be in your control, but what goes in your mouth is.