Anxiety Diet Conclusions

> Anxiety Diet Conclusions

An anxiety diet is low in sugar and low in food chemicals, first of all. These and other conclusions on how I managed to reduce my own anxiety levels are discussed here.

There are many causes of anxiety, many of which can be helped with a correct diet and exercise programme.

I found a way to completely cure my own anxiety problem through diet and supplementation - and through certain lifestyle changes - but I am currently still struggling with sticking to these measures.

During the Caveman Diet (paleo diet) my anxiety completely went away, but I had a problem with digesting so much meat and fats. Then I set up the Anxiety Diet experiment, which was successful to some degree but I was struggling with discipline. Both diet diaries are linked to above.

The trauma release exercises work especially well for post traumatic stress (PTSD), according to testimonials online. And they can also be useful for an anxiety disorder, as well as for general anxiety and depression.

Mood swings, insomnia and anger can also be helped by doing these exercises longer term. Read also: How to Control Anger for nutritional advice.

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What Made Anxiety Worse
Anxiety Remedies - To Make You Feel Bulletproof

Causes of Anxiety

What caused anxiety in me is obviously not going to cause anxiety in everyone. Not everyone has an anxiety problem at all! But once your body is out of balance, and you do suffer from anxiety, I suspect eliminating the anxiety-causing things below will likely be as helpful to you as they have been to me.

I found that the following items caused anxiety in me personally:

  • Adrenal glandular supplements. In the beginning these supplements, which are meant to strengthen the adrenal glands, made me feel stronger, less anxious and less tired. When I continued them too long, however, they made me very anxious and caused blushing/ flushing and social anxiety.

    I have also head of other people getting anxiety from supplements, in one case I think it was from melatonin. So if you are struggling with anxiety, quit all supplements you are taking - especially anything to do with hormones - for 1-2 weeks and see if your anxiety symptoms lift. You can then re-introduce the supplements back one by one to see how well you tolerate them.
  • Sugar. I thought eating less sugar would help but I didn't get significant improvement until I cut out all sugar, including sugary fruit, such as mangos.

    Some people may be able to handle more sugar than I did but according to the Chinese Doctor sugar is a very typical cause of anxiety.

    Try a low-carbohydrate diet for two weeks and see how you feel. Including plenty of protein-rich foods will help keep hunger and replace the carbs. Amino acids in protein also enable good moods. An example of such a diet is the Paleo Diet but there are raw food and vegan versions of low carbohydrate and sugar-free diets as well.
  • anxiety diet
  • In my case it was necessary also to cut out all processed carbohydrates and moderate the wholefood carbs as well, as I am especially sensitive to carbohydrates. Carbs caused dehydration, bloatedness, belly fat, tiredness and a permanently red face that was also more prone to blushing. They also caused general weakness and anxiety. Low blood sugar was closely linked to this as well, causing my muscles to feel weak and achy, as well as fatigued.
  • Alcohol clearly caused anxiety - not when drinking but the next day and much longer-term as well. My face would be red for the whole day after I had one or two beers. The blushing/ flushing would get much worse the day after I drank alcohol and sometimes while drinking. My mind wouldn't work as well so I wouldn't feel as confident talking and generally just the tiredness it caused would make my confidence level low as well. I would feel 'not very sharp'. I wonder if on an energetic level alcohol takes you out of balance as well - at least it makes you very acidic. I didn't used to have a problem with alcohol at all but I think the problems in tolerating alcohol are linked to the blood sugar imbalance.
  • Adrenal glands out of balance. Problems with both underactive and overactive adrenal glands can cause anxiety. Fatigued adrenal glands are a very common problem these days and Dr. James Wilson's book: 'Adrenal Fatigue' is the best source I have found to explain how to strengthen these. I managed to heal my adrenal glands with the help of hair mineral analysis, Dr. Wilson's book and the Chinese Doctor's herbs. Keep in mind that adrenal fatigue is a very common problem with people today and although it won't show in standard blood tests, it will profoundly impact your life and how well you can handle stress, how well you sleep, how easily fatigued you feel and how easily you put on weight.
  • Weak liver. This is a topic of another article altogether but it has been a huge realization for me. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the liver is the emotional organ: any anger and frustration especially weaken the liver but at the same time are caused by a weak liver. So the influence goes both ways: mind to body and body to mind.

    One of the best ways to strengthen the liver and the liver Chi is to move. Stretching, walking, exercise - all strengthen the liver more than you think. And as the liver gets strengthened your emotions get strengthened. You can also help the liver along by other methods, e.g. by taking antioxidants and plenty of water. Importantly, however, you should also try to resolve any frustration and anger in your life to support the liver.
  • Exhausted nervous system. Stress in general can wear your nervous system down over time and cause anxiety. The only way to correct this is to reduce 'sympathetic nervous system' -activating aspects of daily life and increase 'parasympathetic nervous system' -activating activities. Some of the latter (good activities) are: meditation, relaxation, admiring nature outdoors or even from images, yoga, QiGong, etc. Reducing anything stressful will help, as will having free personal time to just relax and unwind and to pay attention to oneself and one's own thoughts.

    Of course human beings always need challenge as well, so it is not necessary to live your whole life quietly and calmly... only long enough to rejuvenate and rebalance your nervous system.

    In the long term a healthy balance between the two types of activities should be established, though in the beginning it may be necessary to cut out as much of the sympathetic nervous system activities as possible.
  • There are also supplements that can help with anxiety, though they are probably not on their own as effective as the lifestyle changes described above. Research: GABA, rhodiola, valerian, kava kava, skullcap, and liver strengthening herbs.
anxiety dietFrozen Pitvice Lakes, Croatia.

Other things to consider, based on other peoples' reports on what helped them to curb anxiety:

  • Some people apparently get anxiety from eating meat, perhaps because of the adrenalin of the animal in the meat, or other hormones. In my case, eating organic meat indirectly helped to cure my anxiety, because it made it easier to stay away from carbohydrates and kept hunger well, but also possibly because of the added amino acids for more feel-good brain chemicals.
  • Heavy metal detox. If you are balancing your endocrine system by naturopathic or dietary means, it is possible that you start detoxifying harmful metals from your system. Metal toxicity and metal detoxification can both cause anxiety. In this case consult your nutritionist on how to slow down the detox to a comfortable level.

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Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety Remedies - To Make You Feel Bulletproof

What Made Anxiety Worse

The things listed below clearly made my anxiety worse. Again, not everyone will have the same effect but once your body is out of balance, these can be very anxiety-causing:

  • Caffeine. I would get heart palpitations, blush more easily and get very dehydrated.
  • Tiredness. I would have a red face, feel less intelligent and blush easily.
  • Eating dairy. Because of my specific constitution, eating dairy made me phlegmy and caused me to cough anytime I ate anything. The coughing, having to clear my throat and not being able to speak clearly and loud at times would contribute to feeling less confident.

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Causes of Anxiety
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Anxiety Remedies - To Make You Feel Bulletproof

Apart from cutting out everything in the lists above, these seemed to help significantly in making me feel stronger and less anxious:
  • Eating enough fats: avocado, cheese, live organic yoghurt (though dairy doesn't suit me). Diets too low in good quality fats can hinder your brain function and can cause both anxiety and depression. Raw organic fats are the best kind and truly cold-pressed and fresh oils are good as well, although they can be difficult to find. Some saturated fat is important too, e.g. coconut oil, cacao butter or other tropical fats. Olives and pieces of coconut fat work well as well.
  • Exercise. I can't emphasise the importance of this enough. Weight-bearing exercise seems better for me than running. Exercise balances hormones, oxygenates tissue and makes you feel much more confident and upbeat. Exercise also stimulates feel-good hormones, which reduce anxiety. This seems to have a huge impact - I can feel on top of the world after a good, tough exercise session. And practising martial arts as exercise regularly gives you even more of a confidence boost because you are learning new skills. The same goes for outdoor sports.
  • Spending time outdoors. I would feel much better after having a walk outside - whatever the weather - whereas sitting indoors in a stuffy office in front of a computer would make me feel worse - more tired, less energetic and less self-confident.
  • Rhodiola rosea. This supplement seems to make me feel more happy and give me a kind of 'fresh' feeling on my skin when walking outdoors! Strange but true.
  • Zinc. Might have played a part in calming me down and be able to tolerate sugar a little better.
  • Pink Himalayan salt, 0.5-1 teaspoon in water per day. This seemed to hydrate me at some point when my adrenal glands needed strengthening. Normal table salt would not have the same hydrating effect. Later even the natural salt became dehydrating, however, so careful with this.
  • Overcoming protein deficiency. If you have been a vegetarian for a long time, and you if you haven't been particularly careful about meeting your protein needs, you may well be protein deficient like I was. I did a two-week organic animal meat eating experiment which I called the Caveman Diet Experiment, and found out that my anxiety disappeared very quickly.

    Although there are many healthy raw vegans, and I think that it is completely possible to get enough protein from raw vegan foods. But I also think that if your diet is junk-vegan or junk-vegetarian, with a lot of processed foods, you most likely haven't met your protein and other nutrient needs for a long time. In Ayurveda they use red meat as a special remedy in some cases, whereas generally the diet advised is vegetarian.
  • Supplementing with B-vitamins (important for a happy mind) and with magnesium (oil on the skin, calming). B vitamins are especially important if you drink alcohol and/or eat/ have eaten white flour products and starchy foods because both of these deplete B vitamins. The majority of hangover symptoms are caused by B-vitamin deficiency.
  • Trauma release exercises, changing your life to feel happy (stop cheating on your dreams), different types of mind-body work, therapy, counselling, life-coaching.
  • Food and chemical sensitivities. Use the Pulse Test to find these and eliminate offending foods and chemicals from your environment. Read the book Brain Allergies to help understand how this affects your mind and feelings.
  • Positive affirmations. These were extremely powerful in changing how I felt about myself and daily life but you have to stick to it for a while, even though you might not feel like it every day.

    Take all your frustrations, anger and negative aspects of your life and write down the opposite positive statements, as if those things were true now: e.g. "I am happy, healthy, wealthy and have the life of my dreams."

    Make lots of these statements and record them on your phone or a recorder, and listen to them with headphones just before going to sleep and just after waking up in the morning. Every day, if possible. This does work when you do it regularly and long-term, and I recommend you try it out. You can keep adding positive affirmations whenever you recognise negative thought-patterns appearing in your mind. Think of it as programming your own mind or as brain-washing yourself to feel good about yourself and to love your life.

I believe anxiety to be partly a problem of dehydration, partly of overactive (sympathetic) nervous system, partly of imbalanced hormones, partly of weak endocrine glands, partly of blood sugar imbalance, partly of weak liver and partly of lack of energy. Sometimes anxiety is also a problem of heavy metal toxicity. Accordingly, the above suggestions play a huge part in correcting these. Hormonal problems according to the Chinese Medical Doctor are to a large extent a problem of dehydration and weak liver.

In conclusion, what made the biggest difference out of all these points, towards lessening anxiety and increasing self-confidence, were cutting out sugar from the diet, cutting out processed carbs and sugary wholefoods, cutting out grains almost completely, being alcohol- and caffeine-free; and taking B-vitamins and zinc in supplement form. Starting a 30-minute muscle exercise routine every other day was hugely helpful as well, and so was taking walks outside (surprisingly). All the other things mentioned here, as well as Angelica essential oil, provided additional support for anxiety.

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Causes of Anxiety
What Made Anxiety Worse
Anxiety Remedies - To Make You Feel Bulletproof

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