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Anjali Singh February 22nd, 2022 · 9min read

14 Best Foods That Help To Reduce Anxiety

“Eat to fuel your body not to fuel your emotions”

 The connection between food and the brain is significant. The variety of food we eat affects how we think or act. Therefore, if you often find yourselves stressed and notice signs of anxiety within, then make sure you know what food could lift your spirits and what could bring you down.

To manage anxiety, you must make changes to your lifestyle and steer towards a healthy diet. There is a list of superfoods that can help you reduce anxiety, including, legumes, lean protein (such as chicken breast, fish), whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. As prolonged anxiety issues might result in GAD, generalized anxiety disorder.

What Could Be The Symptoms Of Anxiety?

Anxiety is not the same for everyone, symptoms of it vary from person to person. The signs of generalized anxiety disorder could be both physical and psychological, including irritation, tension, concentration difficulty, excessive worry, fast heart rate, issues with personal, work and social relationships.

Doctors treat them with cognitive behavioral therapy and medications. However, along with these conventional methods of treatment, a proper nutritious diet can also calm anxiety.

14 Best Anti-Anxiety Foods That Help To Reduce Anxiety

Let’s dig in to know which food can help reduce anxiety:

1. Brazil Nuts

Nutrition facts: It is loaded with Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin E and Vitamin B-6.

One Brazil Nut contains up to 91mcg of selenium, which could fulfill the daily intake needed for an adult. Selenium is said to lift your mood and therefore may be helpful in reducing anxiety. So, make sure you don’t include more than 2-3 Brazil Nut to your diet. Selenium also acts as an antioxidant, which impedes cell damage. Along with this, this anti-anxiety food is anti-carcinogenic and thereby, staves off cancer from developing. Other sources of selenium are soybeans, mushrooms. Add either Brazil nuts, soybeans or mushrooms to your diet, as the inclusion of any of these can calm anxiety.

2. Eggs

Nutrition facts: Contains Good fat, high-quality protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin D (egg yolk), Iron, Minerals, Carotenoids(macular degeneration), Zeaxanthin and Lutein(disease-fighting nutrients), Tryptophan( create serotonin)

Eggs are another superfood that helps with anxiety and egg yolk is a great source of Vitamin D. It is a good source of protein, contains essential amino acids, which is good for your body’s growth and development.  Another good thing is Eggs contain Tryptophan which aids in creating neurotransmitter serotonin. This neurotransmitter is said to regulate your mood, sleep, behavior, and improve brain functioning to relieve anxiety.

3. Pumpkin seeds

Nutrition facts: Contains Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, squalene, Omega-3 and Omega-6, Antioxidants, Fiber, tryptophan(an amino acid),  reduces LDL, and atherosclerosis.

Pumpkin seed is an anti-anxiety food and is a good source of potassium, which helps you control blood pressure, and manage electrolyte balance.  It may also reduce signs of anxiety and stress.

As Pumpkin seeds are rich in Zinc and zinc is said to be good for nerve development. If you aren’t up to include Pumpkin seeds to your diet, then you can include a banana to your diet to get enough potassium needed for a day. Addition of any of these foods can reduce anxiety

4. Fatty Fish

Nutrition facts: Contains Good fat, is high in protein and Omega-3, also has sodium, Iodine Vitamin D

Fatty fish such as sardines, trout, salmon, mackerel are another food that reduces anxiety are known to be good for your mental health. Food enriched in Omega-3 contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which provides two fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA). These fatty acids control neurotransmitters and stimulate the healthy functioning of your brain. Thereby reducing anxiety to an extent.  It is suggested to eat fatty fish twice a week to reduce stress levels and anxiety. If you are a vegan, then you can add Omega-3 supplements made from microalgae to your diet.

5. Dark Chocolate

Nutrition Facts: Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Antioxidants, and is also an excellent source of polyphenols,  and is in high tryptophan

Dark Chocolate is my favorite stressbuster, is considered among foods that help with anxiety. Anytime I feel a little low or anxious about anything, whether it is personal relationships or work, trust me a piece of dark chocolate makes me feel better. I personally recommended you choose dark chocolate that contains more than 70% cocoa.

With polyphenols mainly flavonoids not only reduce cell death and neuroinflammation but also improves blood flow. With high tryptophan, it creates serotonin which acts as a mood enhancer. As it comes with a good amount of magnesium, dark chocolate may help in reducing signs of depression.

6. Chamomile

Nutrition Facts: Rich source of Antioxidants, flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, and luteolin), a small amount of calcium, Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Manganese

Chamomile also comes under foods that help with anxiety as it comes with flavonoids, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, relaxant and antibacterial properties. Chamomile tea may help you manage anxiety, it is safe to use in considerable amounts.

7. Green tea

Nutrition Facts: Contains Polyphenols, Antioxidant, probiotic, Epicatechin, Epicatechin-3-gallate, Epigallocatechin, and EGCG, with a small amount of potassium.

With Catechins in green tea, it has great metabolism-boosting and potential cancer-fighting properties. You can replace milk tea, coffee or soft drinks with Green tea to your daily diet and you can see healthy changes in your lifestyle. Green tea includes theanine, an amino acid which is known to be mood enhancer as it may amplify dopamine and serotonin. Thereby, Green tea can be considered as foods that reduce anxiety which includes calmness.

8. Yogurt

Nutrition Facts: Calcium, Cobalamin, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Protein, Alpha-casein(casein helps in absorbing minerals such as phosphorus, and calcium), Whey(branched-chain amino acids).

Another power food in our list that helps reduce anxiety is Yogurt. It contains healthy bacteria, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. These bacteria are said to have a positive effect on your brain.  With anti-inflammatory properties, Yogurt, when included in our diet, may reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. As per recent research, including healthy bacteria in our diet may induce happiness in people’s life.

9. Kale

Nutrition Facts:  Rich in Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, calcium, Vitamin K, and Phytochemicals, Nitrate, and Polyphenols

Kale, when included in the diet, has been said to improve athletically and lower blood pressure, and reduce stress levels. Also, with a good amount of Vitamin C and beta-carotene in kale, it boosts antioxidants in your body, it may help with a mood disorder and aids brain functioning. Include Kale in sandwiches, & salad, or add some spices and kale to your regular smoothies to enjoy this anti-anxiety food.

10.  Avocado

Nutrition Facts: Vitamin B6, Thiamine, Niacin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, good-fat content.

Avocado has Vitamin B6 which creates neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which is known as mood-enhancer. Also, Thiamine, Niacin, and Riboflavin have positive effects on our nervous system and deficiency of any has been linked to increased anxiety in some people. Along with this, Avocado contains Vitamin E, which is good for reproduction, vision and glowing skin. So, include Avocado, another superfood that reduces anxiety in your diet and relieve stress. You can take it in the form of ice cream and smoothies.

11. Turmeric

Nutrition Facts: Manganese, Potassium, Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Calcium, Zinc, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), niacin, choline, riboflavin, antioxidants and dietary fiber, and Curcumin (a polyphenolic compound that lowers anxiety).

Being an Indian, I don’t remember if we had any curry which doesn’t have turmeric in it.  Curcumin, the active element helps you lower anxiety as it reduces inflammation which could cause mood disorders. Including turmeric in your diet increases DHA, which is also said to reduce anxiety.

12.   Asparagus

Nutrition Facts: Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-9 (Folate), Calcium, Iron, Cobalamin, Magnesium, Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Anti-oxidants, Fiber.

Asparagus is a great addition to your diet which you want to fight off anxiety and depression. Its intake can also help you get over Folate deficiency. Asparagus is also said to be a mood-enhancing nutrient. With one cup of Asparagus, you can get 2/3rd of your daily intake of folate. So, make sure you include this food to calm your anxiety.

13. Blueberries

Nutrition Fact: Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Vitamin A, Magnesium, Vitamin B-6, Iron, Fiber, Vitamin K, & Manganese.

Blueberries are one of the superfoods that help with anxiety. As it is full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, it helps protect and repair cells, when a person is stressed or anxious. It is considered as anti-anxiety food, which may be helpful in preventing and reducing anxiety. Satisfy your Sweet tooth with Blueberries, instead of sugary food.

 14. Almonds

Nutrition Fact: Protein, Magnesium, Fiber, Phosphorus, Good fat content, Vitamin E, Manganese, Copper, & Riboflavin

Almond also comes under the list of foods that reduce anxiety, as it has magnesium content in it. Magnesium is said to increase serotonin in the brain, which may relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Eat nuts like Almonds in your snack time and avoid trans-fat. This will not only help you curb anxiety but also with dietary fiber and good content fat, you can improve gut health.

So, people, this was our list of superfoods that help with anxiety. Try to include them in your daily diet and help yourself stay healthy and happy!  This will help you induce a healthy and positive lifestyle.

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