Different studies have shown that there are foods that help in calming people while others work best as stimulants. Although one may require medication and/or therapy to deal with full-blown anxiety, milder anxiety cases may be managed using diet changes. Therefore, if you feel stressed or anxious, modifying your diet may help in alleviating your symptoms.
Below are some of the best foods that help in alleviating anxiety.
Vitamin B-rich foods
Studies have revealed the association between anxiety and B Vitamins such as vitamin B1 and thiamin. If you lack B vitamins such as B12 and folic acid in your body, there are high chances of getting depressed and anxious. Some of the best foods that are rich in Vitamin B that help fight anxiety include legumes, chicken, oranges, pork, rice, beef, eggs, nuts, leafy greens and other citrus fruits.
Whole grain foods
It has been shown that carbohydrates are key players in enhancing secretion of serotonin in brain. This is a chemical that helps in balancing or maintaining moods, and when it is produced less may leads to depression. It is therefore recommended to always go for the whole grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice and whole grain bread other than processed ones.
This is because whole grain carbs usually take longer to break down in the digestive system and release digestive sugar in the blood stream gradually. Processed carbs usually offer an initial energy surge followed by an insulin rush. This rapidly drops blood sugar. The ultimate result is a feel of been anxious or lethargic.
It has been proven that continuous consumption of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), that is found in various fatty fish such as herring, anchovies, salmon, lake trout, sardines, tuna and mackerels has the ability to enhance your moods. Avocados and olive oil are also good sources of these health fats. Other than reducing anxiety and depression, omega-3 fatty acid has other side benefits such as reducing the risk of various heart diseases.
Yogurt and other high protein foods
Proteins are very important elements in any diet. They help in stimulating production of norepinephrine and dopamine. Just like serotonin, these brain chemicals act as neurotransmitters that carry various impulses between nerve cells. In other words, these chemicals enhance mental energy and alertness. Some of the best sources of proteins include eggs, yogurt, meats, fish, soy, nuts, lentils and cheese.
For good results in fighting anxiety, it is recommended good combination of proteins and complex carbohydrates. These meals should be taken throughout the day.
Blueberries are also perfect in dealing with anxiety. They have high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanin. This element has shown positive health benefits such as enhanced cognition. Other berries including raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are also vital in alleviating anxiety.
They contain high levels of vitamin C that helps in combating stress. For this reason, therefore, it is important to always try substituting berries for any other fruits in your diet plan.
Chamomile and green tea
These teas are probably the best and broadly suggested bedtime calmers around. Studies have shown that other than calming and alleviating anxiety, chamomile tea also promotes sleep. Green tea, on the other hand, has a vital amino acid known as theanine, which other than protecting people against certain cancer, has the ability to boost brain as well as improving mental performance.
It is therefore recommended to always take two cups of these teas every day.
Water is a very important element in your body. It is important to know that been dehydrated has negative effects on your energy and mood balance. It is recommended to always remain hydrated throughout the day.
For this reason therefore, you should aim for about eight to 10 glasses of water every day. This quantity may differ based on different factors such as age, body size, and environmental conditions.
Avoiding food that aggravate anxiety
While choosing foods that help alleviate anxiety, it is also vital know those that may result to anxiety. Some of these foods include safflower oil, sesame oil and corn oil. These oils contain omega-6 fats that cause mood imbalances due to inflammation in the brain.
Other foods to avoid include alcohol and caffeine. Both alcohol and caffeine have different side effects that lead to anxiety such as interfering with your ability to sleep and rest.
Summarized tips to managing anxiety using foods
It is helpful to always have a well-organized dietary plan that will gradually encourage or discourage consumption of certain foods.
An overall healthy and well balanced diet may be vital in improving various symptoms associated with anxiety, but it is important to know that it may not cure or entirely manage your anxiety symptoms.
Other than food, there are other lifestyle-based behaviors that you can adopt to manage anxiety. These include physical exercises, meditation and journaling, among others.