Avoid Consumption of These 5 Things If You Have Anxiety

“You are what you eat” – this saying is something most people have heard during their lifetime, often enough times to not really take it seriously. However, for those that suffer with anxiety, what you eat can not only affect your health, but can have a serious negative impact on anxiety symptoms and episodes. As unrealistic as it may sound, some foods can actually trigger anxiety in us. Eating wholesome foods improves physical health as well as benefits the nervous system, which plays an important role in the way we feel and the emotions we experience. The following are some foods that should be avoided by people who suffer with anxiety:

1. Alcohol

Alcohol, being a depressant, interferes with the function of the serotonin in our bodies, which operates as a neurotransmitter that regulates our moods. Consuming alcohol, therefore, significantly alters a person’s reactions by impairing our body’s capability of controlling mood. Using alcohol to attempt to ward off anxiety is actually extremely counterproductive because alcohol disrupting our mental disposition will usually result in more anxiety.

2. Sugar

Frequently consuming refined sugar gives our bodies an empty thrust of energy. With the energy levels rising and dropping so quickly due to our body undergoing constant fluctuation of blood sugar levels, this destroys any attempt at mood stabilization. These fluctuations also lead to the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The effects of these hormones cause many people to feel panic and nervous, which is even worse for those who already suffer from anxiety issues.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is found in many popular drinks we consume, like: coffee, tea and energy drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant that can trigger the “fight or flight” response in the body. According to studies, this can be extremely detrimental to those who already suffer from anxiety. The effects of caffeine make you moody and nervous, which in turn makes your anxiety even worse.

4. Food Additives

Food additives (such as food coloring and preservatives) used in various products can disrupt the normal function of the nervous system, which can cause anxiety issues to worsen. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Aspartame, which are sweeteners most commonly used in many processed and diet food items, have been shown to have links with increasing anxiety levels along with various other health conditions.

5. Unhealthy Processed Foods

Unhealthy processed foods are full of additives and chemicals. These foods are likely to have long term negative effect on our bodies and mental health. The chemicals used in producing these foods are linked to various health disorders. The delicious or addictive tastes we get from these foods trigger a positive feeling momentarily, but in the long run they destroy our system from within. Avoiding chemicals and unhealthy food items is the best way to go to manage anxiety and be able to avoid anxiety attacks it better.

The Best Smart Phone Apps to Achieve Excellent Fitness and Health

Apps have become an excellent way to achieve better fitness, eating habits, and improve sleep. Below are some great fitness and health apps that can help you stay on get and stay on track.

Yonder is a free app for Android, and provides amazing destinations for outdoor excursions. The categories include swimming, biking, backpacking, and skiing. Users share photos and experiences are shared, providing a unique, and fun way to stay in shape.

Aaptiv offers audio fitness training on demand for Android and iOS. There are personal trainers who motivate individuals to get moving, and encourage exercise. The audio classes offered include yoga, elliptical, treadmill, trail runs, weight training, etc. Energizing music is matched to the specific activity selected.

Headspace is a meditation app for Android and iOS. They offer a beginning program that provides ten minutes of meditation each day for ten days. This is called the Take10 program. Subscribers have access to a multitude of exercises for the mind, ranging from a few minutes, to an hour. The app can be tailored so an individual chooses what they want to pursue. Daily benefits come from visualization, breathing, and guidance.

Forks Over Knives is an app available for iOS and Android that focuses on clean eating. They provide over 200 recipes derived from plants and whole foods. The great recipes are from popular chefs and provide full instructions as well as photos. The app allows users to make shopping lists, save their favorite recipes, and make notes.

Sleep Cycle is a sleep tracking app for Android and iOS, and it is designed to examine sleep patterns. The movements, and sounds made while an individual is sleeping are monitored. The app then wakes the individual during their lightest sleep cycle, allowing the person to wake more refreshed, energized, and motivated.

SideChef is another cooking app available on iOS and Android. There are amazing photos, and a large library of recipes. The difference is the prompt that provides step-by-step instructions through voice activation. Cooking healthy becomes easier since an individual does not have to touch their phone. The timer is built-in so the cook will be informed when a recipe has finished cooking.

Keelo is available for iOS and Android, and is an app designed for highly intense interval training. The workouts last seven to twenty minutes, and focus on conditioning, cardio, and strength. The goals of the individual are used to devise the correct workout plan. A virtual coach is available to ensure the person continues with the workout. This helps make certain all fitness goals are reached.

5 Foods That Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension, better known as high blood pressure, is not a joke. When you have this condition, your risk of having a heart stroke or heart attack are increased significantly, both of which are life-threatening consequences. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 75 million Americans have hypertension. This is at least one-third of the American population. To be honest, some Americans are obviously not taking this condition seriously. If you are one of those Americans that suffer from high blood pressure, below are some foods that can help you keep your blood pressure under control.

1. Leafy Greens

Some people will complain about eating this kind of food, but leafy greens can be life changers. The following are some great leafy greens to add to your diet:

• Arugula
• turnip greens
• spinach
• beet greens
• romaine lettuce
• kale
• collard greens
• Swiss chard

To make the leafy greens more enjoyable to eat, you can mix them in with some fruits and nut milk to make a great smoothie. Mixing fruits in with the leafy greens will make the smoothie taste like the fruits you add versus tasting like the leafy greens.

2. Berries

Berries contain organic compounds called flavonoids, which are the reason that berries are so effective in the fight against high blood pressure. Berries should be easy to add to your diet. Though berries are best in their natural form, you can get berries into your diet in other ways. Many sherbets and yogurts contain berries. You can put them on your cereal too. They are also a great addition to the smoothies you can make with the leafy greens.

3. Bananas
Bananas are full of the mineral potassium. Potassium is important in helping to manage high blood pressure because it lessens the effects of sodium.

4. Dark Chocolate
Studies show that dark chocolate is very effective in lowering blood pressure. You could mix the dark chocolate with yogurts and berries. This particular food would seem to be one of the most enjoyable ways to lower your blood pressure.

These are just a few of the great fresh and whole foods that can help to manage high blood pressure. Also, an important point to consider is that avoiding processed foods and sugary foods will significantly help as well. In summation, fresh whole foods will help you achieve a potentially longer and healthier life.

When to Eat Fruit: Two Simple Rules

Fruit is a powerhouse food, containing the vitamins, fiber, sugar, and hydration that our bodies crave in wonderful colorful packets of all shapes and sizes. Fruit can be tossed into smoothies, chopped up into salads, or eaten singularly au-natural and on-the-go. This miraculous food is packed with healthy sugars, so it is best to keep these two simple rules in mind when it comes to eating fruit, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

What is the best time to eat fruit?

Rule # 1: Eat fruit in the morning, or between meals

Fruit is perfectly packaged by nature in a way that makes it a great on-the-go snack. Throw an apple into your brief case, or toss a clementine into your purse! Fruit contains natural sugar molecules, which our brains and bodies need for fuel. If you are working and start to feel light-headed or hungry, fruit would be a perfect snack to get you through until the next meal. Fruit is digested quickly (compared to a heartier snack, like nuts or cheese), so you might notice that you are hungry again after an hour or an hour and a half. Fruit makes a great light pick-me-up snack during the work day, that won’t leave you feeling tired. Instead, it delivers energy through the sugar and water that it offers the body. Because sleeping leaves us dehydrated, fruit is an excellent energizer in the morning as well. A grapefruit will leave you feeling more awake and alive than even a cup of coffee!

What is the worst time to eat fruit?

Rule # 2: Avoid fruit with your meals, or after a workout.

If you are interested in losing weight, you should try to limit fruit intake with meals. Food molecules take different amounts of time to break down in the stomach, and because fruit has a great deal of fiber in it, it can slow down the work that your stomach is doing. Fruit should also be avoided directly after workouts. After a hard work out session, lean towards proteins which help your body recover rather than delivering simple sugars. Our bodies use different macro-molecules in different ways, and our muscles need protein to rebuild. Fruit can give your body nutrients, water, vitamins, and fiber, but if your body needs protein, you might continue to crave foods and overeat. This leads to weight gain.