Here are 8 foods that can help relieve anxiety, as well as some foods to avoid.
8 anxiety-easing foods
Vegetables in the leafy greens group include kale, spinach, and swiss chard. One cup of kale contains nearly the entire daily limit of vitamin C.
Because fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is good for brain health and can help lower inflammation in the body.
According to studies, inflammation has a major impact on certain parts of the brain, including the amygdala, which is crucial for regulating emotions.
Salmon is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid your body uses to make serotonin, the “happy hormone.” This acid has been linked in several studies to lower levels of anxiety.
The most effective way to get omega-3s is through fatty fish, but if you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can also obtain omega-3s through avocados, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and olive oil.
3. Dark chocolate
Studies have shown that dark chocolate is linked to lower stress levels. Dark chocolate contains a high amount of flavanol, a plant chemical that is associated with enhanced blood circulation and better mood.
4. Green tea
Green tea is high in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and symptoms of anxiety in people who have stress-related mental health issues.
L-theanine, an amino acid that interacts with the body's neurotransmitters, is one of the key active ingredients in green tea. Studies report that green tea can help improve cognitive health in addition to reducing anxiety and stress. Additionally, L-theanine stimulates the production of relaxing alpha waves in the brain.
There is evidence to support the medicinal benefits of chamomile, including stress reduction and better sleep quality. Many people find that a warm cup of chamomile tea has a calming effect that can relieve tension in the body and calm nerves.
In recent years, scientists have learned more about the relationship between the digestive system and mental health—called the gut-brain connection.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help keep the gut healthy, which in turn can have a good effect on brain health by releasing serotonin and other mood-boosting chemicals.
Fermented foods such as yogurt contain high concentrations of these beneficial bacteria. In addition, yogurt may also help lower inflammation which is also linked to anxiety and depression.
7. Vitamin B6-rich food
Vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with greater levels of anxiety and stress. Foods rich in vitamin B6 include beef liver, some poultry, chickpeas, and starchy vegetables.
Berries are a good source of phytonutrients and antioxidants, both of which help lower stress and anxiety. Blueberries help boost the synthesis of nitric oxide, which lowers blood vessel pressure and blood sugar and relaxes the muscles.
What foods can worsen anxiety?
Although indulging in the occasional sweet treat is fine, eating a diet high in added sugar can have a negative effect on mental health. Studies have shown that people with high sugar intake tend to be at higher risk of anxiety and mood swings.
Alcohol use has been linked to an increase in anxiety symptoms due to its effect on neurotransmitters in the brain.
Caffeine consumption can result in an adrenaline surge that mimics increased heart rate and faster breathing, which feels similar to panic. Caffeine, particularly in larger doses, can worsen anxiety in those with and without mental health disorders.
Highly processed foods have been linked in studies to anxiety, possibly due to their role in promoting inflammation.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Can I Eat My Way Calm? Https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/ss/slideshow-calming-foods
Coping with anxiety: Can diet make a difference? Https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/expert-answers/coping-with-anxiety/faq-20057987
Eat These Foods to Reduce Stress and Anxiety https://health.clevelandclinic.org/eat-these-foods-to-reduce-stress-and-anxiety/
Eat to Beat Stress https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7781050/
Diet and Anxiety: A Scoping Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8706568/
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