Foods to Help Ease Anxiety
Anxiety is a common condition that most people will experience at some point throughout their lifetime.
There are many treatments and medications that help to combat anxiety, but there are also natural approaches to reduce the effects.
One of those natural approaches is through the foods you eat.
Below is a list of foods that are known to effectively reduce anxiety symptoms:
Foods that Help to Ease Anxiety
1. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts contain selenium - a compound that is known to enhance a positive mood and reduce inflammation. These nuts are also filled with Vitamin E, a vitamin that is beneficial for treating anxiety. Research shows that those who lack Vitamin E tend to deal more with anxiety and depression than those who don't.
2. Fatty Fish
Fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring are high in Omega 3 fatty acids - a fat that is known to create strong cognitive functioning and improve mental health. It is recommended that you should eat at least two servings of fatty fish a week. In fact, research shows that eating salmon three times a week reduced self-reported anxiety.
Pumpkin seeds are extremely rich in potassium. Potassium rich foods are known to alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms. These seeds are also a good source of Zinc. A study found that Zinc deficiency in individuals may negatively affect the mood.
4. Dark Chocolate
A study conducted in 2014 found that consuming 40g of dark chocolate helped reduce stress in female students. Dark chocolate has a high tryptophan content, which the body uses to turn into serotonin - the happy chemical in the brain. It is also a great source of magnesium. It is found that eating enough magnesium can combat against anxiety and depression. When looking to buy dark chocolate, try to focus on consuming 70% or darker. Anything less tends to be full of sugars and milk.
Many people use chamomile in tea form as an herbal remedy because of its anti inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and relaxant properties. In fact, a study found that chamomile did reduce the effect anxiety had on individuals. I love to make chamomile tea and put it over ice!
6. Green Tea
Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine - an amino acid that has anti-anxiety and calming effects and may increase the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
Turmeric is a spice that contains an active ingredient called curcumin. Curcumin is known to lower anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that seems be a factor in causing anxiety and depression.
Egg yolks are a great source of Vitamin D and tryptophan - an amino acid that helps to create serotonin (the happy hormone). Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that regulates mood, sleep, memory, and behavior. Serotonin is also known to improve brain function and relieve anxiety.
Other foods that may help include: turkey, nuts, chia seeds, spinach, swiss chard, and cinnamon.
Although these foods are known to help alleviate stress and anxiety, they may not cure it. It is important that you see a doctor or specialist if it becomes unmanageable.
All in all, it is important to understand that a healthy diet is essential for proper brain functioning. Although a healthy diet may not cure anxiety or depression, it can make a big, positive impact.
Foods that are full of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, and caffeine are known to worsen anxiety. Try to steer clear of these food items and, perhaps, eliminate them from your diet if anxiety is something you struggle with.
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