Fight or Flight Fridays | The Truth Behind Diet And Your Panic Disorder

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Panic attacks are no fun. They cause a great deal of stress and can occur at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. Unfortunately, the treatment options for panic attacks are very limited and often rely too much on medication or therapies too complex for the average person to keep up with (not to mention the extremely high cost of these therapies). What if there was a way to help reduce panic attacks that is not complicated or costly? Believe it or not, panic and anxiety can be drastically reduced by changing a few aspects of your lifestyle. Studies have shown that certain foods can impact people with panic disorders by potentially intensifying the physical symptoms of anxiety. This increases the frequency of panic attacks as well as making it difficult to achieve a good night’s rest. Many anxiety sufferers find incredible relief from their physical sensations when reducing certain dietary triggers and introducing new foods said to be miraculous at turning symptoms of anxiety around. This involves both adding and removing foods from your diet.

What you need to ADD to your diet:

Tryptophan Rich Foods: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is not manufactured by the body and needs to be taken through diet. It is a protein that is so important we couldn’t survive without it. Ever become sleepy after eating turkey? This is because it is a rich source of tryptophan, which is known to be a natural sedative. Tryptophan has been effectively used to treat insomnia in many people, and usually 1 to 2 grams is enough increase blood levels enough to induce sleep. The body converts Tryptophan to Niacin and Serotonin, but only if the body has enough Iron and Vitamin B6. Foods that are rich in Tryptophan, Iron, and Vitamin B6 include eggs, soybeans, cheese, sunflower seeds, turkey, chicken, salmon, beef, milk, banana and potatoes.

Guacamole: Craving something rich and creamy? Guacamole is loaded with B Vitamins, which are commonly known as the anti-stress vitamins and aid our brain cells and nerves which can be lost with continuous stress. Mix it with some whole grain baked chips and you can be rid of your craving for something salty as well.

Blueberries: Blueberries are a ‘super food’ and rich in vitamins and plant nutrients with a variety of antioxidants that are considered to be extremely beneficial for relieving stress. These tiny stress busters are loaded with Vitamin C and will help repair and protect your cells.

What you need to TAKE OUT of your diet:

Caffeinated Foods: It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that caffeine isn’t the best for you, whether it comes from coffee, soda, or any number of junk food products like chocolate. This drug, as it is essentially, can throw off your body’s natural chemical balance and thus cause panic and anxiety, especially if you are already dealing with Generalized Anxiety or Panic Disorder. While staying away from caffeine alone won’t stop your panic attacks, skipping that morning coffee works wonders for managing them since you won’t be dealing with a powerful stimulant in your system.

Alcohol: While caffeine is bad for your overall health and stress management, alcohol is even worse. You don’t need to completely stop using alcohol, but the best panic attack treatment plans start with being willing to sacrifice. If you can drop your dependence on this stuff for a while it will do wonders for your anxiety disorder treatment, and get your body’s chemical balance back into the normal range. Don’t expect this to be an instant cure, but you will notice that you will have fewer panic attacks and just generally feel better if you reduce your alcohol intake.

Sugary Foods: now for the BIG one – sugar. Natural sugar is hard to come by these days, but even fruits full of sugar, like strawberries and apples, should be avoided if possible. Sugar is one of the worst substances for messing around with your panic attack treatment plan – a single donut can send your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride that makes you crave more sugar and then crashing if you don’t indulge. Is it any wonder that too much sugar can cause a panic attack? If there is only one thing that you take away from reading this article, make it that sugar is a very dangerous substance when it comes to managing anxiety.

There are plenty of other foods out there that are perfectly healthy and don’t induce and contribute to panic or anxiety attacks and that are perfectly healthy. Try reading up on foods that have a low pH level. High pH or acidic foods are often full of the things that make panic attacks happen more often. Your friends may call you a weirdo for having a chamomile tea instead of a beer during happy hour, but at least you won’t be diminishing your results on your anxiety treatment plan. Even though sugar is hard to avoid, just the knowledge that sugar can cause a panic attack is enough for you to pick healthier, sugar free foods or just a healthier version of a sugary food you may enjoy. Panic attacks are definitely not fun. But with this dietary info you may find that you will lessen, hopefully eradicate, many of your anxiety symptoms in the long run.

Follow The Anxious Athlete blog to start your week off right with Motivation Mondays, Fight or Flight Fridays, and a whole lot more knowledge on how I overcame my anxiety and panic disorder naturally.

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