10 Amazing foods that help with anxiety and stress
Whenever I used to get stressed or anxious, I’d stay indoors, wrap up in a big flat blanket and munch on junk food while watching my favourite movies. I’d basically hide away from the world and put on weight. This was my natural reaction whenever I felt vulnerable, scared or burnt out.
After visiting a doctor, I realised that I was combating stress and anxiety in precisely the wrong way. In fact, I wasn’t combating it at all; I was simply waiting for a particular attack to pass until the next one came along.
And I was getting unhealthier each time.
Overcoming stress and anxiety is down to you to face up to your problems and tackle them head on. Rather than get defensive and cower under your blanket as I used to do, you need to make lifestyle changes, including changes to your diet.
There are foods that can make you feel more anxious, and there are also foods that alleviate your symptoms and brighten your mood. Although junk food is comforting in the short-term, it isn’t helping you in the long-term. Instead, let’s take a look at 10 healthy and amazing foods that help with anxiety and stress.
The Japanese love to eat seaweed, and it’s been an integral part of their diet for thousands of years. Seaweed is one the wonderful super foods that contributes to their longevity, and it also has some great benefits for those who are suffering from stress and anxiety, too.
Rich in nutrients, seaweed also contains plenty of magnesium. If you don’t have enough magnesium in your system, you could develop symptoms of anxiety.
Seaweed also contains tryptophan, a compound which turns into serotonin. This is a calming neurotransmitter that helps to tranquillise your mood whenever you’re feeling stressed.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark leafy greens such as kale contain plenty of folate, a compound which has been four to better regulate your mood. It does this by upping the production of dopamine and serotonin, two mood-regulating neurotransmitters that can soothe you and make you feel more relaxed.
The argument goes that depression is often caused by our lifestyle, especially our diet. If your diet is low in folate, you’re more prone to a bad case of the blues.
Other dark leafy greens that you can try include spinach, collards, turnip greens, swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage and iceberg lettuce.
One of great foods that help with anxiety and stress are whole grains. Several studies have been carried out into whole grains and how the benefit those who are suffering with anxiety or stress. Like seaweed, whole grains contain magnesium and tryptophan.
They also help to create energy in your body, and because they’re rich in dietary fibre they also reduce the pangs of hunger. Both of these are crucial for alleviating symptoms of anxiety.
Whole grains should be an important part of your diet if you are suffering from stress or anxiety because they contain nutrients that have otherwise been stripped away from modern pre-packaged meals.
Whole grains include oats, quinoa, corn and buckwheat.
Turkey is another good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our bodies need us to get hold of from our diet. Once tryptophan is in your body, it converts into the heavenly serotonin.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, other ace sources of tryptophan include nuts, eggs and pumpkin seeds.
Blueberries are some of the healthiest snacks you could ever munch on and they also deserve a place in our list of foods that help with anxiety and stress. A delicious fruit, blueberries are also considered by some to be an actual bona-fide superfood.
This is down to the high amount of vitamins and phytonutrients. Blueberries also contain lots of antioxidants that have been linked to relieving symptoms of stress.
You can buy a packet of blueberries from your local grocery store and easily substitute them for your usual afternoon snack.
Yay! Chocolate! We all know that chocolate is the ultimate comfort food that gives us a pick-me-up whenever we’re feeling down, so it’s great to learn that chocolate really is one of truly beneficial, as well as delicious foods that help with anxiety and stress.
Dark chocolate in particular is a great stress-reliever because it reduces cortisol production in your brain. Cortisol is the so-called “stress hormone” that is known to cause symptoms of anxiety.
There are also compounds in chocolate that are capable or brightening your mood.
Anxiety has for a while been linked to low levels of folic acid. Asparagus is pretty a hero when it comes to folic acid content, as just a single cup contains a whopping two-thirds of your daily recommend amount!
Asparagus is easy to boil in a pan, and can be added to any kind of meat dish you can think of.
Warning: Asparagus has a tendency to make your urine smell differently, so try not to get stressed about that!
You might have a bit of trouble finding maca root in your local supermarket or grocery store, but you should be able to find it in a nearby health store.
Maca root is essentially a powder that you can add to numerous dishes (think chili powder, garlic powder etc). Its health benefits are found in its root which contains more phytonutrients than pretty much any other fruit or veg.
Whole Wheat Bread
One of great foods that help with anxiety and stress is whole wheat bread. As well as the aforementioned tryptophan, carbs also boost your brains production of serotonin.
Choosing mood-lifting carbs is not always easy, but we recommend that you try whole wheat bread. It’s much healthier than white bread, and it’s definitely a better source of carbs than processed food or sugar treats, such as candy bars.
Salmon is one of the best brain foods you can eat. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to lift your mood whenever you’re feeling low and unmotivated.
Numerous people who suffer from depression or anxiety regularly consume omega 3-’s as a supplement to enhance their mood.
Other fatty fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include lake trout, tuna fish, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and herring.
Do you know other foods that help with anxiety?
Stay happy and healthy!