5 Food that Can Cause Increased Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Published: 09th August 2010
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Anxiety, panic attacks and food are linked in a number of ways. What we put in our body can actually be fueling your anxiety. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent panic attacks by virtue of controlling, avoiding, or reducing the foods that cause panic attacks. Here are some food that have been shown to increase panic attacks, severe anxiety, depression or moodswings.



1. Caffeine



coffee, tea, alcohol, coke stimulate an adrenal response in your body, which can result in an increase in your anxiety levels, nervousness and insomnia. Caffeine also deplete the body of necessary vitamins and minerals that help balance our mood and nervous system. Recommended dosage - less than 100mg per day (one cup of percolated coffee or two diet cola beverages per day. Less than 50mg per day is preferable.



2. Sugar and refined starches



A diet high in refined sugar is indicated in a variety of mood disturbances and decreased energy. This is believed to be due to the release of insulin to quickly decrease blood glucose when large amounts of sugar are consumed. This causes a blood sugar "crash" or hypoglycemia, which is a state of low blood sugar. High sugar diets can also cause lactic acid to build up in the blood. If you suffer from anxiety you should limit your sugar intake and try to eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains. Also, try eating smaller meals throughout the day.



3. Salt



Salt raises your blood pressure and depletes your body of important minerals. Your heart will have to work harder and will be stressful. Studies have shown that higher salt intake indeed causes higher anxiety level. Most of the salt intake comes from processed food. Stop buying canned or frozen food that list salt as a major ingredient. Recommended dosage - do not excess 1gm of salt per day.



4. MSG



MSG is a flavor enhancer that is commonly added to our food supply. The high sodium levels of MSG can have a major irritating effect on the nervous system producing the following: headaches, tingling, numbness and chest pains. MSG's safe consumption limit is 1 / 3 ounce per day or 9.45 grams per day.



5. Alcohol



Consuming alcohol is often thought of as a way to relax and calm down. But drinking too much alcohol not only increases lactic acid levels in the blood, it also causes fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This leads to increased anxiety, irritability, and disturbed sleep patterns. It is best to drink in moderation and If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and not associated with any addiction.



If you are suffering from anxiety or panic attacks it might be time to look at your diet. Try to relax. This can be a simple breathing technique. Or it can be something more organized such as yoga or meditation. This way you can automatically reduce the chance of a panic attack.



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