The sweetest medicine

— A note to the anxiety-prone —

Carbohydrates are ‘evil’, supposedly. But if you experience anxiety, consider this:

Serotonin enhances feelings of security, courage, assertiveness, self-worth, calm, flexibility, resilience — all of which have the effect of making one feel safe — a feeling worrywarts long for but rarely get to enjoy for long. You don’t have to take Prozac, however, to enjoy the effects of serotonin because your brain manufactures it out of nutrients found in common foods. The problem is that certain nutrients needed to manufacture serotonin must cross the barrier into the brain. Sugar facilitates the transfer process.


Eating sugar and carbohydrates, which are converted into sugar, has a tranquilizing effect. When you want to calm down, eat carbohydrates including potatoes, pasta, bread, beans, and cereal.

For the fastest tranquilizing effect, drink a beverage high in honey or sugar. A sugary drink will calm you in about five minutes. Sucking on pure sugar candy like gumdrops, caramels, mints, or lollipops is also fast acting. Other calming drinks include caffeine-free teas, such as chamomile or peppermint, with generous amounts of honey or sugar.


Don’t mix protein with the carbohydrates, such as putting milk on cereal or cheese on the bread, because the protein will counteract the carbohydrate’s calming effect. Low-fat carbohydrates are better than those that are high in fat, which take longer to work. Avoid chocolate, which is high in fat and contains caffeine.

All quotes above from
The Worrywart’s Companion
by Dr Beverly Potter


My take?
Do what works.
Disregard all else.