Are stress and anxiety contributing to your disordered eating behaviors? Is your Eating Disorder creating more stress and anxiety?
Both stress and anxiety can be extremely debilitating and make it difficult to enjoy your daily life. But how can you manage your stress and anxiety? Generally specific therapies and medications can help relieve the burden of anxiety. However, this is not the only way to ease anxiety.
One of the best ways to help ease stress and anxiety is through your diet. In addition to eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water, and limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine, there are many other nutritional strategies that can help relieve anxiety. So what are some medication free strategies to ease anxiety and stress?
1. Your Diet
What you has a direct impact on your body and how it functions. In fact, there are many foods that can help reduce anxiety.
- Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens are one of the most nutrient dense foods available to us. They help boost our immune system, help prevent the cancerous transformation of normal cells, and help fight against inflammation. Additionally, leafy greens are rich in magnesium which help us feel calmer.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid, both of which are good for fighting depression and anxiety. Additionally alpha lipoic acid helps stabilize your mood by helping your body convert glucose into energy.
- Cashews: More specifically, foods that are rich in zync. This includes: oysters, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks; all of which help lower anxiety.
- Avocado: These superfoods contain healthy fat that your brain needs in order to run smoothly. Additionally, they contain a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids which help fight against heart disease among many other things.
Antioxidants rich foods are one of the best foods you can eat when it comes to easing anxiety. Enhancing your diet with foods rich in antioxidants may help ease the symptoms of anxiety disorders. These foods include:
- Beans: Dried small red, Pinto, black, red kidney
- Fruits: Apples (Gala, Granny Smith, Red Delicious), prunes, sweet cherries, plums, black plums
- Berries: Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries
- Nuts: Walnuts, pecans
- Vegetables: Artichokes, kale, spinach, beets, broccoli
- Spices: With both antioxidant and anti-anxiety properties include turmeric (containing the active ingredient curcumin) and ginger.
Exercise is great for both your overall health and reducing anxiety. Getting your blood pumping can help promote the release of endorphins, which help relieve some of your stress or anxiety. It doesn’t have to be, nor should it be, an intense workout, just get moving and get your blood pumping.
Try going for a walk, for at least 10-15 minutes a day. This is a good practice to help calm your mind and allow you to let go of your stress. Think about what kind of movement makes YOU feel your best.
4. Cut Down on Caffeine
Caffeine can be beneficial for providing a little bit of stimulant, but consuming too much may backfire and increase your anxiety. Caffeine stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for the flight or fight reaction. It can also interfere with your adrenals and eventually your sleep patterns. So try your best to reduce your caffeine intake.
The Anxiety Takeaway
All in all, one of the best ways to reduce your anxiety is making small changes in your diet. While recovering from an Eating Disorder, nutrition should be the first line of defense. Your nutritionist will guide you to make the empowered choices to include foods that are rich in antioxidants, zinc, and magnesium which can help you manage your anxiety and improve your overall health. Additionally, incorporating some gentle exercise into your daily life could also help reduce your anxiety.
Interested in learning how to best explore in an effort to experience the vibrant life you desire? If so, I encourage you to check out my website. I offer a variety of programs all dedicated to helping you live a healthier life, from the inside out. My approach is positive and compassionate, my practice is based on the principles of Functional Medicine. Together we’ll take the deep dive into learning WHO you are as an eater, addressing the underlying cause of your symptoms. You’ll learn how to master the skills needed to Live the Change…Be the Change…See the Change.