The 6 Best Foods to Help Reduce Anxiety Naturally
Swap these superfoods into your diet to help naturally lower anxiety for a healthier you!
In 2015, the World Health Organization reported just under 19 million cases of anxiety disorders in the United States – over 6 percent of the population at that time.
With numbers like these, and which are predicted to be on the rise, it’s more important than ever to make life choices that will contribute to a healthier body, mind and spirit! As well as external self-care, like regular exercise, social activities, journalling and massages, what we do for the inside of our bodies is equally important to combat stress and anxiety.
To help keep that ugly anxiety at bay, we’ve compiled a list of 6 superfoods known for their calming, stress-relieving properties. In this way, you can give your body more tools to work with when dealing with the pressure and stress of daily life.
Important vitamins, minerals, amino and fatty acids to help reduce anxiety
Before we dive into the list of foods, let’s start by exploring which nutrients are known for their anti-anxiety effects.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Amino Acid L-theanine
By understanding which nutrients are responsible for naturally negating anxiety, you can make more informed, healthy food choices – even beyond the list below!
The top 6 superfoods to help naturally reduce anxiety
As well as promoting brain health and functioning, salmon contains Vitamin D and Omega 3 Fatty Acids which help regulate the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, ie. the ‘happy chemicals’ which produce a calming effect inside our bodies.
- Try grilling fresh salmon with lemon and dill, then toss on top some leafy greens!
We all know about the probiotics or ‘good bacteria’ in yogurt and how it helps promote a stronger and healthier gut. But, yogurt is also believed to help inhibit free radicals and nerve toxins which can damage nerve tissues inside the brain, leading to the development of anxiety.
- Be sure to look for yogurts containing live active cultures in their ingredient list.
There’s nothing that makes you feel cozier than chamomile – except maybe hot chocolate on a cold winter day! That wonderfully aromatic, nearly minty smell of chamomile instantly calms the senses, and offers powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
- Drink chamomile just before bed to help calm your mind before you sleep.
This one doesn’t take much convincing to add to our diet, because most of us enjoy chocolate! Dark chocolate is full of stress-relieving flavonoids (antioxidants) and of course, increases serotonin levels because it tastes so good!
- Instead of a heavy, high-calorie dessert, switch in a small chunk of dark chocolate (around 1 – 1.5 Oz) for just a bit of sweetness after a meal!
Containing the amino acid, L-theanine, which is known to increase dopamine production, green tea is a great choice for calming the nerves and even helping to improve mental clarity and brain function (due to the caffeine working synergistically with the amino acid).
- Drink a cup of green tea each morning to help ease yourself into the day!
Turmeric contains high amounts of curcumin, which boasts powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and has also been shown to prevent damage to brain cells, where anxiety issues can start.
- Sprinkle turmeric into popcorn seasoning, into smoothies, and in more of those slow-cooker recipes!
Less anxiety means a healthier, happier you!
Hopefully, this gives you some new ideas on how to incorporate more anxiety-reducing foods into your diet. We’re excited for you to start reaping the benefits of this life-adjustment. Keep your chin up, and keep taking care of yourself, beauty! You deserve it!
For more health and beauty tips, check out more on the Hair Love blog, or, for a complete list of superfoods to keep you healthy as can be, download our free Ultimate Guide to Healthier, Happier Hair!