Foods to avoid if you have anxiety or depression

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Most people don’t know this but studies have shown that some foods make us feel calmer while other foods can act as stimulants — at least temporarily. If you experience stress that results in increase in anxiety and possibly depression, making some modifications to your diet may give anxiety help and relief.

Stress describes the many demands and pressures that all of us experience each day. Stress may be physical, mental, emotional, or chemical in nature. Just about anything you encounter can cause stress.

Anxiety is a sign or symptom of stress. Quite often it is the persistent interruptions, hassles, and struggles you face each day that cause anxiety, not life’s catastrophes or disasters. For instance, listening to a phone ringing constantly, hearing a new baby’s cries, or worrying about paying bills can cause stress that leads to anxiety.

When you are anxious for days or weeks, it is called chronic anxiety. The problem with chronic anxiety is that it can lead to health problems over the long term. While there are no quick fixes, you can combat the destructive effects by eating to boost or reduce certain chemicals in your body.
While there are some foods that help with anxiety, we are going to be concentrating on those you should avoid if you have regular anxiety or depression.
1.    Caffeine.
A known stimulant and psychoactive drug, caffeine has long had a reputation for triggering the body's fight-or-flight response. Very similar to the symptoms associated with anxiety, caffeine can also make its users feel nervous, nauseous, light headed, jittery and yes, even anxious. If you're suffering through anxiety, I recommend reconsidering that morning cup of coffee and instead opt for an herbal tea or a ginger tea.
2.    Gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye products. For many anxiety sufferers, gluten can also be a huge trigger for anxiety symptoms. Research has now confirmed that people with Celiac disease and gluten intolerances are at higher risk for anxiety, depression and mood disorders. Talk to your doctor about getting tested for Celiac or a gluten intolerance. Cutting out gluten could be the difference between living with anxiety and managing it for the better.
3.    Dairy.
Research shows that people who have anxiety say they've noticed an increase in anxiety symptoms within minutes of consuming dairy products. About 10 percent of adults are lactose intolerant, and even more are thought to have difficulty digesting the casein found in cow's milk.
Dairy is also inflammatory. It wreaks havoc on the digestive system, causing, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, among other things. So if you're looking for ways to manage your anxiety, then reducing your milk intake will be highly effective.
4.    Foods high in sodium.
By now, we should all be aware of the fat-free craze of the past few decades. The sad reality of this fad is that most foods that are fat free are actually high in sugar and/or sodium. Researchers have concluded that too much sodium in our diets can have a negative effect on the body's neurological system, causing fatigue and damaging the immune system. A restful sleep is a major key to a healthy mind, mood and body. Not to mention, the overconsumption of sodium leads to weight gain, high blood pressure and water retention.

Salt is essential in maintaining good health and a balanced diet, but too much can trigger panic episodes and send you down a slippery slope of anxiety, panic and depression.

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