Overcoming anxiety without medications involves making lifestyle changes, and that includes changing your diet.
Some foods help reduce anxiety, and others can make it worse. Choose the right foods and you can drastically cut down on the amount of anxiety you experience – and possibly improve your mood.
Below are some of the foods that improve happiness and reduce stress, so that you can make better decisions with your eating habits.
Organic Blueberries are rich in vitamins and phytonutrients (plant nutrients), with a variety of antioxidants that are considered extremely beneficial for relieving stress. Many experts also believe that peaches fall into this category as well, because they have nutrients that appear to have a sedation (calming) effect.
Acai Berries – are rich in phytonutrients like the blueberry, and the antioxidant levels are off the charts.
Almonds – contain zinc, a key nutrient for maintaining a balanced mood – and have both iron and healthy fats. Low iron levels have been known to cause brain fatigue, which can contribute to both anxiety and a lack of energy.
Seaweed – Not only is it rich in nutrients – it also has a high magnesium content, and kelp and other seaweed appear to be very high in tryptophan content. Seaweed is a good alternative to whole grains for those that are gluten sensitive.
Whole Grains – If you can tolerate gluten, you may benefit from foods with whole grains. Studies have shown that true whole grains, not processed, have several benefits for those with anxiety:
- Whole grain is rich in magnesium, and magnesium deficiency may lead to anxiety.
- Whole grain can help calm your neurotransmitters.
- Whole grains create healthy energy while reducing hunger – both important for anxiety.
Whole grain foods can have a powerful effect on anxiety, and contain nutrients that have been stripped out of modern day diets.
Chocolate – especially pure dark chocolate, without any added sugars or milks, is a great food for those living with anxiety and stress. Chocolate reduces cortisol, the stress hormone that causes anxiety symptoms. There are also compounds inside dark chocolate that improve mood.
Maca Root can be found in a variety of health food stores. This powder can be added to foods and beverages and it’s believed that this root has more phytonutrients than nearly every type of fruit and vegetable, including magnesium and iron – two important nutrients for controlling anxiety. It also is often used for healthy stamina and energy.
Crucial Foods to Avoid
Along with the foods that are good for you, there are some you should limit or avoid. This list includes fried foods, empty carbohydrates, unrefined sugars, and alcoholic beverages.
If you have panic attacks, you may also want to avoid coffee, because coffee can increase your heart rate and trigger a panic attack. On the other hand, if you have general anxiety, coffee may actually be beneficial. Many find that caffeine, in moderation, can actually reduce stress and improve mood.