There are countless people in the world living with various forms of mental illness. With anxiety quite common, people turn to numerous drugs, herbal remedies, and foods to try to soothe their discomfort.
Below, we take a look at some of the best foods you can eat that will help you with your anxiety.
As we all know, our mental health can sometimes correlate with our physical health. This means we should always try and choose food options that provide nutrients and vitamins. Take blueberries, for instance.
Blueberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. When we’re feeling anxious, our bodies need vitamin C to help protect our cells.
By consuming blueberries instead of other unhealthy snacks, we can boost our cells and lower our anxiety.
Since it’s important for our serotonin levels in our brain to remain at the appropriate level, choosing foods that increase serotonin levels can be impactful for our mental health.
Inadequate magnesium in our bodies reduces the neurotransmitter serotonin. Luckily, 1 ounce of almonds contains 75 mg of magnesium. The next time you want a snack, consider choosing almonds over other crunchy foods such as cookies or chips.
Other nuts contribute various nutrients as well.
Omega-3 fatty acids have proven effective when it comes to reducing anxiety. Foods that have omega-3 contain important fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Both EPA and DHA promote healthy brain function and regulate neurotransmitters.
One of the beneficial fats, omega-3, can be found in salmon and other fish such as trout, sardines, and herring. Choosing salmon over steak can be one of the first steps you take when it comes to reducing anxiety with your diet.
Other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include soybeans and chia seeds.
You may have heard people say to you, “Go outside to get some sun and soak up some vitamin D.” While the sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, we can’t forget about eggs.
Rich in vitamin D and protein, eggs provide amino acids that are essential for the body.
An amino acid, tryptophan, helps produce serotonin that will ultimately regulate your mood and relive anxiety.
Yes, you read that correctly. Dark chocolate helps with anxiety.
Combining high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan as well as magnesium, dark chocolate is one dessert you can snack on knowing it comes with benefits to your health.
Although it does provide added sugars, dark chocolate is still a great substitute for other options. When selecting a dark chocolate, the higher the percentage, the better.
Try to aim for 70 percent or more the next time you go to the grocery store and see the chocolate selection!
Increasing your brain health by eating fermented food products? That’s right. With many dairy products producing anti-inflammatory effects, it’s no wonder why yogurt is so popular among people of all ages.
Yogurt contains healthy bacteria known as Lactobaccilus and Bifidobacteria. These bacteria are helpful for the brain, as are fermented foods.
Other fermented foods you can consider include cheese, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
As we mentioned earlier, tryptophan helps decrease anxiety. It’s found in foods that are high in protein, such as eggs and turkey.
Since no other meat is included on this list, meat-lovers will be happy to know that eating turkey can help produce more serotonin in our brain due to the amino acid tryptophan.
Commonly recognized as the amino acid that makes people sleepy after eating turkey, tryptophan is much more than that. In fact, this amino acid can regulate moods and sleep as well.
The popular fruit avocado brings many healthy aspects to the table.
Rich in magnesium and vitamin B, the avocado offers the best of both worlds when it comes to selecting a fruit that gives you the nutrients and vitamins you need to promote a healthy brain.
Since vitamin B has a positive effect on the nervous system, eating avocados can help with anxiety and stress. Avocados are a great choice because not only do they offer both vitamin B and magnesium, there’s numerous ways to eat them.
From guacamole to avocado toast and everything in between, you’re certain to find your favorite way of eating this fabulous fruit.
Another food that’s rich in vitamins is kale and other dark, leafy greens. Kale is filled with beta-carotene and vitamin E which help to support antioxidant levels and boost the function of the brain.
Kale is rich in zinc as well.
An easy way to incorporate kale into your diet is by adding it to your salads. For those who frequently eat salads or sandwiches, simply swap out the iceberg lettuce for kale.
If you’re a smoothie-lover, consider adding kale to one of your smoothies.
Low levels of folate are common with those with anxiety. Thankfully, asparagus contains high levels of folate, a mood-boosting nutrient that can help with anxiety.
Since there are many different ways to cook asparagus, there’s no reason not to choose it over French fries or another snack. Simply steam, grill, or sauté, your asparagus and enjoy knowing you’re choosing a healthy alternative.
Put down the chips and fries and choose asparagus instead.
As you can see, having a balanced diet and eating healthy allows you to be strong both physically and mentally. We all know the importance of exercise and healthy eating, but when it comes to our mental health, sometimes we forget to consider the correlation.
That’s why we must do whatever we can to give our brain the help it needs.
The foods mentioned above provide a great place to start.
As always, if you’re suffering from anxiety, depression, or another type of mental illness, it’s important to consult with your doctor first and foremost. In the meantime, choosing wise food selections and incorporating a proper diet to your daily routine can help.
Whether you’re looking to help ease your anxiety or begin a healthier diet, you can start your journey of becoming a happier and healthier you by choosing the foods listed above!