Different studies have proven that there is food that can act like stimulants while others can make us feel calmer while reducing anxiety levels, so if you tend to suffer anxiety or panic attacks, some modifications or additions to your diet might help.
Studies have proven that certain foods act as stimulants, while others can make us feel calmer by reducing anxiety levels. Many foods help support brain function while lowering the severity of anxiety symptoms, thanks to their brain-boosting properties.
Here are 12 scientifically proven foods and beverages that help ease anxiety.
According to the National Institute of Health, dark chocolate is rich in flavonols such as catechin and epicatechin, which are flavonoid compounds that act as antioxidants and help ease anxiety. Flavonols found in dark chocolate can benefit brain function, have positive neuroprotective effects, increase blood flow, and enhance cell signaling pathways, allowing you to adjust better to stressful scenarios.
Who doesn’t love a steamy, soothing cup of chamomile after a long day or even when sick? According to the National Institute of Health, studies show that those who drink chamomile tea for prolonged periods significantly reduce generalized anxiety symptoms. Chamomile enhances your sleep quality, which plays a significant role in reducing anxiety.
According to the American Heart Association, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds provides almost half of your daily requirements of magnesium and potassium! You can eat pumpkin seeds on their own or sprinkle them on salads or dishes. If you don’t have access to pumpkin seeds, you can try cashews, pistachios, walnuts, or peanuts.
According to the National Institute of Health, whole grain foods are rich in probiotics, which promote a healthier microbiota. Incorporating whole grains such as oats, bran, and barley, as well as fruits, vegetables, and legumes, into your diet helps serotonin receptors in your gastrointestinal tract function adequately. They help not only your GI system but also your overall mood.
Although it is an under-consumed food in various parts of the United States, there is evidence that an adequate seafood intake—8 to 12 ounces per week—provides mood enhancement and a cognitive boost thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids, according to the National Institute of Health. Add salmon, sardines, shellfish, and mackerel to your plate, or try algal oil if you are vegetarian or vegan.
According to Healthline, blueberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants which studies indicate improve brain health and relieve anxiety. Some animal studies have suggested that certain compound chemicals in these berries may reduce oxidative stress and ease anxiety and depression symptoms.
Eggs are high in tryptophan, a neurotransmitter believed to ease anxiety symptoms. According to a study reported by PubMed Central, poor tryptophan intake could be associated with higher anxiety levels. Eggs are also an excellent source of vitamin D, which studies show decreases anxiety and depression symptoms.
Green tea is an excellent source of L-theanine, an amino acid linked to its positive effects on anxiety and overall brain health. According to Healthline, L-theanine has been reported to significantly lower subjective stress and cortisol levels—the anxiety hormone. L-theanine may also increase GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, neurotransmitters with anti-anxiety effects.
Almonds are an excellent source of nutrients like vitamin E and healthy fats, which promote brain function. According to PubMed Central, studies have shown that almonds offer mood-boosting properties and could reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Avocado is a nutrient-packed fruit that is rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium, a power combo that promotes brain serotonin production. Adding avocados to your everyday dishes—even smoothies—will help you get healthier fats and fibers while boosting a better mood overall.
Besides being an excellent source of probiotics, yogurt also has essential minerals that help ease stress symptoms and stabilize your overall mood, according to Healthline. Look for plain and unsweetened yogurts with at least five live and active cultures in the ingredients list.
According to Healthline, turmeric contains curcumin, which prevents anxiety and promotes brain health. This spice is known for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and for preventing brain cell damage linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
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This originally appeared on Planet Natural
Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.