When you’re stressed, there are various techniques to manage and even lessen your stress levels. Food can be one of your most powerful allies – or foes. When you’re stressed, it’s vital to pay attention to what you’re eating because it can affect your stress levels. Unhealthy eating habits can raise stress levels and increase your risk of developing health problems in the future if you don’t address them. A balanced and nutritious diet was likely the single most significant factor for optimum health, per a review published in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences in June 2016. Furthermore, some foods, primarily due to their brain-boosting characteristics, can assist support brain function and reduce the severity of your symptoms. Here are the best foods that help with anxiety.
Chamomile is an herb that has been shown to help with anxiety. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce anxiety-related inflammation. Though the mechanisms are unknown, chamomile – one of the best foods to relieve stress – is thought to aid in the regulation of mood-related neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. It may also aid in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, which is a key component of the body’s stress response. Some research has looked into the link between chamomile extract and anxiety reduction.
Combining dark chocolate into your daily intake may also help you feel less anxious. Flavonols, such as epicatechin and catechin, are plant compounds that act as antioxidants in dark chocolate. According to some research, the flavonols present in dark chocolate may improve brain function and provide neuroprotection. Flavonols, in particular, may improve blood flow to the brain and cell signaling pathways.
These effects may help you cope with stressful situations that can trigger anxiety and other mood disorders. Some studies believe that dark chocolate’s function in brain health may simply be related to its flavor, which can be soothing to those suffering from depression.
Food or drinks can sometimes help relieve stress by inducing a sensation rather than by providing nutrition. Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, an online nutrition coach and owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Kentucky, recommends drinking a warm cup of tea to help you relax. According to previous study, holding and sipping a hot beverage improves sentiments of “warmth” and friendship amongst people. Sipping a warm drink has a soothing impact regardless of flavor, but particular herbs, such as lavender and chamomile, have been demonstrated to have a relaxing effect on their own, according to Meyerowitz.
Turmeric is a popular spice in Indian and Southeast Asian dishes. Curcumin is the active element in turmeric. Curcumin may help to reduce anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, which are common in people who suffer from anxiety and depression. Curcumin was found to lower anxiety in obese people in a 2015 study. Another study discovered that increasing curcumin in the diet boosted DHA while also lowering anxiety. Turmeric, one of the best foods that help with anxiety, is simple to incorporate into recipes. Because it has a mild flavor, it works well in smoothies, curries, and casseroles.
Yogurt is an excellent meal to add in your diet if you suffer from anxiety. Probiotics, or good bacteria, are found in various yogurts and may help with a variety of things, including mental health. Probiotics may help the gut-brain axis, a complicated connection that connects the gastrointestinal tract and the brain, albeit this is still a new topic of study. Healthy gut bacteria, in particular, has been related to enhanced mental health in studies. Additionally, probiotic foods like yogurt may improve mental health and brain function by lowering inflammation and increasing the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Avocados, one of the best foods that reduce anxiety and depression, are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are great mashed into guacamole or sliced and added to salads. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, these healthful essential acids are known to lower stress and anxiety, improve concentration, and improve mood. Meyerowitz highlights the necessity of receiving the correct quantity of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet for overall health, which the federal government’s dietary standards describe as 1.6 g of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid, a form of omega-3 fats) for adult men and 1.1 g of ALA for adult women.
Omega-3 is abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring. Omega-3 is a fatty acid that has been linked to both cognitive function and mental wellbeing. Nevertheless, recent research has shown that eating too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 can increase the risk of developing mood disorders such as anxiety.
The essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in omega-3-rich foods that contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (DHA). EPA and DHA help the brain function properly by regulating neurotransmitters, reducing inflammation, and promoting brain health. Thus, fish is among the best foods for stress relief.
Nuts, among the foods that help with anxiety, are high in minerals, such as B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. B vitamins, according to Meyerowitz, are an important part of a healthy diet and can help with stress reduction. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts have been shown to help decrease blood pressure. Pistachios, in particular, may help to reduce stress levels, per a previous study. To prevent consuming too many calories, keep portions to a handful each day. Magnesium is also abundant in nuts and seeds, which is beneficial, according to Figueroa, because magnesium has been related to improved anxiety management.
High doses of vitamin C have been shown in several studies to help reduce stress. One double-blind study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences in January 2015 found that consuming 500 mg of vitamin C per day lowered stress levels and suggested anxiety avoidance. Another study, published in November 2013 in Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, looked at vitamin C and vitamin E and concluded that the vitamin C group had significantly lower anxiety levels than the other groups. A nice place to start is with fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and strawberries. Citrus fruits are among the top 10 foods for stress relief.
Another excellent source of vitamin D is egg yolksTrusted Source. Eggs are a good source of protein as well. It’s a complete protein, which means it has all of the amino acids the body requires for growth and development. Eggs also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter involved in mood, sleep, memory, and behavior regulation. Serotonin is also known to help with mental function and anxiety. Given that, eggs are considered the foods that help with anxiety.