Foods That Help Reduce Anxiety

Photo by Kotagauni Srinivas on Unsplash

One of the most common problem for many folks is anxiety. It’s a disorder characterized by constant worry and nervousness and is sometimes related to poor brain health. Medication is often required as treatment. Besides medication, there are various strategies you can use to help reduce anxiety symptoms, from exercising to deep breathing. Additionally, there exist some foods you can eat that may help lower the severity of your symptoms, mostly due to their brain-boosting properties.

Here are the best foods to help manage anxiety, according to science.

Avocado

We need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a B vitamin deficiency. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Bonus: They’re also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. Next time stress has you reaching for a pint of full-fat ice cream, opt for a non-dairy DIY version made with avocado blended with a ripe banana, vanilla extract, nut milk, and nonnutritive sweetener. Freeze, then chill-out.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in promoting brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Animal and test-tube studies suggest that curcumin may boost the omega-3 fatty acid DHA in the brain by helping your body synthesize it more efficiently. In one study, 20 mg/kg of curcumin produced significant anti-anxiety effects in stressed mice compared to those given a lower dose.

Curcumin also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to prevent damage to brain cells. These effects are partly due to curcumin’s ability to reduce inflammatory markers, such as cytokines, which are often linked with anxiety development. Additionally, curcumin consumption has been shown to increase blood antioxidant levels, which tend to be low in individuals with anxiety. More human research is needed to confirm all of these effects, but if you suffer from anxiety, incorporating turmeric into your diet is certainly worth a try.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate electrolyte balance and manage blood pressure. Eating potassium-rich foods such, as pumpkin seeds or bananas, may help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of the mineral zinc. One study carried out on 100 female high school students found that zinc deficiency may negatively affect mood. Zinc is essential for brain and nerve development. The largest storage sites of zinc in the body are in the brain regions involved with emotions.

Blueberries

When we’re anxious and stressed, our bodies crave vitamin C to help repair and protect our cells, and blueberries are packed full of it. Small but mighty, blueberries are bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C which have been shown to provide anxiety relief. One study1 examined the effects of oral vitamin C supplements on anxiety in a group of students and found that antioxidants may be useful for both the prevention and reduction of anxiety.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate – especially 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 improves mood.

Asparagus

This sulfur-rich vegetable also contains the specifically beneficial B vitamin, folic acid. Low levels of folic acid are linked to neurotransmitter impairment, which can lead to anxiety. A 5.3-ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance for folic acid! It also contains moderate amounts of potassium, which can lower blood pressure.

Oranges

There’s a reason orange juice is said to be part of the breakfast of champions: Vitamin C is another vitamin known to lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol. For a quick burst of vitamin C, simply eat a whole orange or drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice without added sugar. Or take a stroll down to the local Jamba Juice and pick yourself up one.

Kale (or Arugula)

Researchers7 at the State University of New York found that anxious symptoms are linked with a lower antioxidant state and that antioxidants can help with mood, too. Dark, leafy greens like kale, which is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin E, are needed to boost antioxidant levels and support optimal brain functioning. If you already eat salad or add lettuce to your sandwiches, replace it with kale. To reap the benefits without the bitter taste some find displeasing, add it to an omelet, soup or smoothie.

Sources & References:
www.mensjournal.com
www.healthline.com
www.medicalnewstoday.com
www.psycom.net
www.calmclinic.com
www.mindbodygreen.com

Healthy Food MasterGeneral Healthanxiety,brain,health
Photo by Kotagauni Srinivas on Unsplash One of the most common problem for many folks is anxiety. It’s a disorder characterized by constant worry and nervousness and is sometimes related to poor brain health. Medication is often required as treatment. Besides medication, there are various strategies you can use to help reduce anxiety...
Sharing is caring!