Diet and CRPS
Diet can play a role in your recovery from CRPS. Cutting out caffeine and other stimulants is very important to reduce stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system but additional to that you can be to increase the amount of tryptophan in your diet. Tryptophan is a type of protien found naturally in certain foods. In the body tryptophan turns into serotonin. Serotonin acts as a chemical messenger in the brain, and is associated with feeling happy and good moods. Many anti-depressants are either serotonin based or work on increasing its presence in the brain. In CRPS low mood and depression is not surprisingly common and a high tryptophan diet can help boost mood.
Foods rich in tryptophan:
- Nuts and Seeds- Almonds, Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Fruits- Bananas, dried dates
- Veg- Spinach, seaweed, watercress, soya beans, chickpeas
- Dairy-Milk, Yoghurt, Eggs (particularly the whites)
- Poultry -Turkey, duck, pheasant
- Crustaceans- Crab. Shrimp, prawns, lobster
- Fish- Halibut, tuna, salmon, cod, haddock (most other fish)
- Soya- Soya protein, tofu, Soy sauce, soya milk
- Other- Hummus
Foods to Reduce Anxiety and calm down the nervous system
Whole Grain Foods- Whole grain is rich in magnesium, and magnesium deficiency may lead to anxiety. They also contains tryptophan, which becomes serotonin – a calming neurotransmitter and are a great source of energy and reducing hunger – both important for anxiety.
Seaweed has many of the same benefits as whole grains. Not only is it rich in nutrients – it also appears to have a high magnesium content, and kelp and other seaweed appear to be very high in tryptophan content. Seaweed is a good alternative to whole grains for those that are gluten sensitive.
Blueberries are more than a delicious fruit. Many consider it to be a superfood. It's rich in vitamins and phytonutrients (plant nutrients), with a variety of antioxidants that are considered extremely beneficial for relieving stress. Many experts also believe that peaches fall into this category as well, because they have nutrients that appear to have a sedation (calming) effect.
Acai berry is essentially the newest super food, and one that has received a great deal of press recently. It may not be the weight loss fruit that many people claimed it was, but acai berries are still rich in phytonutrients like the blueberry, and the antioxidant levels are off the charts.
Almonds are an underrated food. They contain zinc, a key nutrient for maintaining a balanced mood – and have both iron and healthy fats. Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, and low iron levels have been known to cause brain fatigue, which can contribute to both anxiety and a lack of energy.
Chocolate – Yes, whoopy its on teh list! But remember particuarly pure dark chocolate without the added sugars or milks – is also a great food for those living with anxiety and stress. Chocolate reduces cortisol – the stress hormone that causes anxiety symptoms. There are also compounds inside dark chocolate that improve mood.
Calmoille Tea- is an excellent herb for treating anxiety and insomnia. Note that you should avoid the use of Chamomile if you are pregnant, or if you are currently taking blood thinners.
Foods to Avoid
There are foods that help anxiety, but just as important is making sure that you're not eating foods that contribute to anxiety. Fried foods, high glycemic carbs (white breads, pasta, cakes and biscuits), white sugars, and alcohol. I am not saying cut all these out but you may find it really helpful to reduce these to a mininmum and eat more natural foods, whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
Water and Anxiety and Stress
Healthy eating is one of the best ways to control anxiety and stress. In fact, one of the best things you can add to your diet is more water. Many studies have found that dehydration affects as many as 25% of those with persistent stress or more, and dehydration is known to cause more anxiety.
There are also herbal supplements like kava and passionflower that may be valuable for anxiety.