diet and anxiety

Anxiety

Sometimes it feels like my anxiety is driving and I’m the passenger. Any dietary tips that could help?

Anxiety is more prevalent than ever. With the invention of the internet, smart phones and wifi - life is moving at a faster pace than ever before. The antidote lies in slowing down, but that is not an option on most days for most people. There are definitely some simple dietary tips to curbing your anxiety and it’s not just about saying “no” to your second cappuccino.

First - Identify where you fall on the anxiety spectrum. Are you anxious at normal times? Like before speaking in front of a large group of people? Or are you anxious every time your phone rings? Are you losing sleep? Do you suffer from racing thoughts? Feeling scattered? Forgetting appointments? If this is you, you may have what is known in Ayurvedic medicine as a vata imbalance. Vata dosha individuals, (those with more air/wind in their bodies) are most prone to anxiety and their way of moving through the world can often perpetuate these feelings of anxiety.

And now a second set of questions….What is your morning routine around food? Do you eat breakfast? Do you drink caffeine? How often? Do you like to have salads or green juices for lunch? Do you ever eat meat?

If you answered yes to many of the above questions, it is actually great news! Why?!!? Because it means there are a lot of things you can do to start playing some offense against feeling anxious.

Eating breakfast (and eating in general) is actually a great tool for relieving anxiety. Food in the belly makes us feel grounded and balances out blood sugar. You can read about the link between low blood sugar and anxiety in Dr. Weil’s article here. If the food we are eating is easy to digest (spoiler alert: salads are NOT easy to digest), the blood sugar will balance itself quickly and efficiently. So to avoid making a short answer any longer…here are Litt’s top recommendations for meeting anxiety head-on:

  • Eat regular meals, try not to skip breakfast or lunch particularly

  • Opt for cooked, warm food when possible (rice bowls, soup, stew, dahl etc.)

  • If you like caffeine and alcohol, enjoy them, but keep the balance by consuming with food and plenty of water