8 Food That Can Reduce Your Anxiety
I believe you’re my healer,
I believe you’re all I need,
I believe you’re my portion,
I believe you’re more than enough for me
When you feel threatened, the brain stimulates the release of adrenaline and cortisol (the fight or flight hormones), which prepares your senses to react, either by alerting the senses or increasing the heartbeat, so that you could protect yourself from danger.
Yes! You are a slave of hormones and neurons, you’re just a mere peasant to all the chemical reactions that occur inside you. After the danger has passed, the brain again tells the body to release another set of hormones which relax the muscles, or may result in vibration of your body. This intricate and automatic process going on inside is referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response and we don’t have any control over it. Poor us, lucky they!
Since it is a biological mechanism, synthetic drugs and treatments are not the only answer to the problem. What you eat can influence your mental health. It may not be a universally acknowledged fact but some foods have a calming effect while others stimulate restlessness when eaten. Something as simple as food choice is the key to making someone with anxiety, feel good or bad.
Even science has proven that eating certain foods, and not emotions, can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Although, the effects of foods on anxiety may be temporary but a properly channeled dietary treatment technique can prove to be immensely helpful. The concept of changing your diet to treat anxiety may seem hard but all it requires are a few modifications to food choices and habits. Basically, all you need to do is avoid some foods and eat more of other beneficial one’s.
Anxiety arises when a person is tense, nervous or worried, usually about some issue which can leave an impact on their life.
Commonly people get anxious when they are going through the following situations:
- Giving an exam
- Being diagnosed with an illness
- Being treated at hospital
- Facing an interview
- At a new job
- Moving to a new place
- About to have a baby
- Getting married or divorced
If you are going through any of these situations, then worrying about the outcomes may affect your sleeping and eating patterns along with your concentration.
Food therapy is a very good way to deal with anxiety in these situations and can efficiently limit and alleviate anxiety before it turns into a disorder.
8 Best Foods For Anxiety
Dietary sources which have been found to decrease the incidence of anxiety.
1.Chamomile Tea (It’s Not A Reptilian Tea)
Chamomile Tea is a natural anti-anxiety herbal medicine which can have a calming effect on the nerves. The soothing chamomile tea has been shown to decrease the symptoms of anxiety in patients. A study carried out by the Nottingham Medical School in the UK found the bioactive compounds present in Chamomile like Apigenin, Luteolin and Bisabolol, relax the blood vessels and smooth muscle fibers in the body.
2. Probiotic Foods (The Ones That Have Bacteria In Them)
Foods rich in probiotics like yogurt, pickles, kefir etc. are considered as anxiety fighters. The gut holds more than 100 million neurons and is responsible for releasing 95% of the hormone serotonin in our system which keeps depression and anxiety at bay. So, the health of the gut is believed to be very essential for managing anxiety. Imbalance of the micro-flora has been held responsible for disrupting the chemistry in the brain. In addition to the beneficial micro-flora, probiotic foods are also hailed because of the extra vitamins and minerals they contain.
3. Turkey (Everyday should be Thanksgiving day)
Turkey is one meat source which has been found to relax people. Researchers believe that since turkey contains high levels of Tryptophan it can fight maladies such as depression and anxiety. Tryptophan is a protein which acts as precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which has been shown to reduce the symptoms of numerous anxiety disorders.
4. Turmeric (Never joke on a Turmeric)
The bioactive compound of turmeric called ‘Curcuminoids’ is a powerful antioxidant, known for its neuro-protective quality and research has shown it can enhance the moods of people with major depression and anxiety disorders.
When it comes to fruits avocado is considered to be the superhero among the fruity population. Not only is the fruit hailed for its nutritional value it is believed to contain naturally lower the blood pressure in the human body upon consumption, which can majorly lower the levels of anxiety and depression. In the same way, the presence of beneficial B vitamins and monounsaturated fats present in avocados are required by the body for the release of neurotransmitter and to promote better brain health.
6. Dark Chocolate (My Gateway Drug)
Dark chocolate has been found to lower blood pressure upon consumption which has been linked with decreased rates of anxiety and depression. Since dark chocolate contains a higher quantity of the bioactive compound ‘cocoa’, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant property, it is believed to significantly lower anxiety. People who moderately consume dark chocolate have shown better moods than those who do not consume it.
7. Green Vegetables (Yes, They Are Better Humans Than Us, I Guess)
Edible plants like spinach, asparagus, lettuce, broccoli etc. are rich in numerous vitamins and minerals, which help in regulating the hormones released by the brain. Such greens are especially enriched with the mineral magnesium which is believed to be a natural neuro-elaxant and therefore, believed to be essential for lowering or avoiding the symptoms of anxiety.
8. Omega 3 Fatty Acids (For Your Oh Mega Anxiety)
Experts believe that depression and anxiety are triggered when the inflammation levels in the body are very high. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids e.g. fish, almonds, walnuts etc. are therefore believed to decrease anxiety in people with such disorders. Other than controlling inflammation, Omega 3 FA’s can also lower the levels of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which are known culprits in causing anxiety.