cooked beans

Yes, I Have Anxiety #3: Deal With It, book by Misti Stephen, Natalie Stouya, and Nicole Stephen

“The Connection Between Diet and Anxiety: Insights from “Yes, I Have Anxiety,”


Anxiety is a prevalent mental health condition that influences millions of people all over the world. While there are several factors that contribute to anxiety, including genetics and environmental factors, recent studies have also suggested that diet may play a role in anxiety management. In the book Yes, I Have Anxiety” by Nicole Stephen, Natalie Stouya, and Misti Stephen, the authors discuss the connection between diet and anxiety and provide dietary recommendations for reducing anxiety symptoms.

  1. The impact of diet on anxiety:

One of the key dietary factors that may contribute to anxiety is the intake of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can raise pulse rate and blood pressure, causing anxiety and restlessness. The authors of Yes, I Have Anxiety” recommend reducing or eliminating caffeine intake to help manage anxiety symptoms. This includes cutting back on coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages.

Another dietary factor that may impact anxiety is sugar consumption. Fatigue, mood swings, and anxiety can result from a high sugar intake that causes a rise and fall in blood sugar. The authors recommend reducing sugar intake and choosing healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  1. Dietary recommendations for reducing anxiety:

In addition to reducing caffeine and sugar intake, the authors of Yes, I Have Anxiety” recommend increasing consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are fatty acids that are vital and that contribute to cognitive health, reduce inflammation, and enhance mood. Omega-3s are found in oily fish such as salmon, almonds and seeds such as chia and flaxseeds, and fortified foods such as eggs and milk.

The authors also recommend consuming foods that contain magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate the nervous system and can reduce anxiety symptoms. Magnesium-rich foods comprise dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

  1. Practical tips for incorporating anxiety-reducing foods into your diet:

Finally, the authors suggest incorporating probiotics into the diet, either through supplements or through foods like yogurt and kefir. Probiotics can help improve gut health, which has been linked to improved mental health outcomes, including reduced anxiety symptoms.


In conclusion, while diet is not a replacement for professional treatment for anxiety, it can be a helpful complementary strategy. Individuals may be able to manage their anxiety symptoms more successfully by decreasing their consumption of caffeine and sugar, increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium, and incorporating probiotics. Before making significant adjustments to the diet or treatment plan, it is crucial to discuss them with a medical professional.

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