Dietary Choices That Can Lower or Enhance Your Anxiety
Modern people usually don’t have enough time to prepare meals and eat healthy food. The huge number of daily tasks has a significant impact on our mental health, too.
Because we’re psychologically and physically tired at the end of the day, we don’t have time to visit the nearest gym and waste all that built-up negative energy. The modern world is a place where the habitual relief valve is a lot of junk food instead of something that can make us feel better.
With that in mind, we can freely say that anxiety is one of the most common lifestyle diseases in the modern era. However, our daily habits can affect our mental health, and help us avoid the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
How to Recognize the Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Lots of anxiety symptoms include everyday conditions due to exposure to stressful situations. However, if you experience some of the following symptoms, you need to change your lifestyle a little bit:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Chest tightness
- Heart palpitations
- Elevated heart rate
If you notice that you worry too much about daily activities, or if you have issues with social relationships, you should try to improve your lifestyle by introducing some healthy habits.
10 Foodstuffs That Can Lower Your Anxiety
“There is a clear and important connection between the brain and the gut,” explained a health and nutrition educator Jodi Godfrey, and he added “Researchers now refer to the gut as the second brain. When essential nutrients are not sufficiently available, there is a direct effect on the production of neurotransmitters and brain chemistry that can increase or lessen anxiety-related behaviors.”
Avocado is rich in vitamin B6, which helps the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin – the happiness hormone.
Heart-healthy fat and stress-relieving B vitamins included in avocado are the number one fighters against anxiety. Riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin influence our mood, as these amino acids have a positive effect on the nervous system.
Blueberries are rich with vitamin C, a crucial vitamin for our bodies that repairs and protects our cells. Besides, blueberries are filled with antioxidants, and that’s another reason why this powerful fruit can reduce, but also prevent anxiety.
Godfrey explained that the sweetness of blueberries acts as a positive immune booster, unlike added sugars that can disturb the healthy bacterial balance, resulting in increased anxiety.
Apart from being tasty, almonds are rich in magnesium. A sufficient amount of magnesium can keep the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in balance.
By eating one ounce of almonds instead of cookies or milk chocolate, you can take in a fifth of the total daily recommended value of magnesium. Moreover, the combination of almonds and avocado is tasty, and it can substitute an entire meal.
Chocolate is one of the most popular desserts across the world. However, sugars added in chocolate can increase your anxiety by up to 50%, so you should avoid your favorite noisette sweets. However, dark chocolate is a safe choice!
Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa, which is one of the most powerful mood boosters. One study confirmed that 40g of dark chocolate can reduce stress.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, usually found in yogurt and fermented products can improve our brain health. There is a study that confirms that healthful bacteria increases happiness, and more importantly, fermented foods like yogurt can reduce social anxiety.
As a probiotic food that contains live and active cultures, yogurt contains a lot of nutrients. Yogurt is tasty, and it can be combined both with salty and sweet foods.
If you like to include salads in your meals, you mustn’t avoid arugula. It’s quite tasty, and you can add it to your sandwich, put it on pizza, or eat it combined with other vegetables.
As we mentioned, antioxidants can improve your mood, and arugula, also rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene, is a perfect choice that can support your optimal brain function.
Fatty fish, such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, and trout, are high in omega-3. This fatty acid can incredibly affect our mental health and cognitive function. Two servings of fatty fish are enough to support a healthy brain-gut microbiome.
For example, you should replace red meat with salmon or sardines because these two species of fish contain vitamin D.
Firstly, eggs are a great source of protein, containing amino acids that support the production of serotonin. The regular consumption of boiled eggs can help you manage your mood, memory, sleep, and behavior in general. Most importantly, it will help you to reduce anxiety and improve brain function!
A cup of chamomile tea on a daily basis can improve your mental health thanks to the presence of flavonoids. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and most importantly, the relaxant properties of chamomile can reduce your episodes of anxiety.
Instead of adding sugar, add a spoon of raw honey and enjoy!
There is a review that confirms that 200 mg of theanine, an amino acid naturally contained in green tea, can have a calming anti-anxiety effect. You can drink green tea every day instead of coffee or soft drinks.
By replacing some unhealthy food choices with the options on this list, you can improve your life and reduce and prevent anxiety. All these nutrients are readily available, so you have no reason to avoid them. Change your habits even today.