Salt intake increases blood pressure and nervous tension. Adding salt to your foods or consuming foods such as pretzels, potato chips or salted crackers can add to feelings of anxiety and stress. Limit salt intake by switching to unsalted crackers or pretzels and decreasing the amount of salt you add to your food.
What You Want to Eat
Foods High in Protein
Foods containing high levels of protein can help to energize you and are a much healthier alternative to caffeine. Some examples of foods high in protein include: lean beef, chicken (no skin), fish, peanut butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eating carbohydrates and starches can help to create a calming effect. Too many carbohydrates, however, can increase feelings of fatigue. Including some foods with protein (listed above) with carbohydrates and starches can help in relaxation but not cause tiredness.
Some ideas of carbohydrates to include in your diet are potatoes, rice, nuts, cereals, seafood, pasta, unsalted crackers, whole grain breads, and corn.
It is easy, when we feel stressed or anxious, to reach for the unhealthy alternatives, thereby, increasing our stress and anxiety levels. By planning ahead and changing eating habits, we can decrease these feelings. Some tips to help eat healthier:
Drink eight glasses of water per day. Not only is this considered healthy, drinking water can decrease your need to eat more.
Carry healthy snacks with you. Keep snacks of nuts, trail mix, or protein bars in the car, in your desk or in your purse. If you find yourself stressed or tired, eating these snacks can help you to relax. Drops in blood sugar can also increase feelings of stress and anxiety so having protein rich snacks such as these throughout the day can help to minimize drops in blood sugar.
Have healthy snacks around the house. Keep carrots and celery in the refrigerator and reach for those instead of the cookies or the chocolate. Other ideas can include trail mix, sunflower seeds or plain popcorn.