Anxiety is a common problem for many people.
Anxiety is a disorder caused by worrying and nervousness and is sometimes related to poor brain health. Medication is often required as treatment.
Aside from medication, there are several strategies you can use to help reduce anxiety symptoms, from exercising to deep breathing.
There are some foods you can eat that might help lower the severity of your symptoms, mostly due to their brain-boosting properties.
Here are 6 foods and beverages that may provide anxiety relief.
Salmon may be beneficial for reducing anxiety. It contains nutrients that promote brain health, including vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They help regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can have calming and relaxing properties. Studies show that these fatty acids can reduce inflammation and prevent brain cell dysfunction that leads to the development of mental disorders like anxiety. Consuming adequate amounts may also promote your brain’s ability to adapt to changes, allowing you to better handle stressors that trigger anxiety symptoms. Vitamin D has also been studied for the positive effects it may have on improving levels of calming neurotransmitters. Eating salmon a week may be enough to promote anxiety relief.
Chamomile is an herb that helps in reducing anxiety. It contains high amounts of antioxidants proven to reduce inflammation, which might decrease the risk of anxiety. Many researchers have studied the association between chamomile and anxiety relief. They’ve found that those diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experienced a significantly greater reduction in symptoms after consuming chamomile extract, compared to those who did not. Another study found out similar results, as those who consumed chamomile extract for eight weeks saw reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Several studies have been conducted on chamomile extract. A lot of more research is necessary to evaluate the anti-anxiety effects of chamomile tea, which is most commonly consumed.
Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in promoting brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Some studies suggest that curcumin may boost the omega-3 fatty acid DHA in the brain by helping your body synthesize it more efficiently. In one study, 25 mg/kg of curcumin produced significant anti-anxiety effects in stressed mice compared to those given a lower dose. Curcumin also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to prevent damage to brain cells. These effects are partly due to curcumin’s ability to reduce inflammatory markers, such as cytokines, which are often linked with anxiety development. Additionally, curcumin consumption has been shown to increase blood antioxidant levels, which tend to be low in individuals with anxiety. A lot more research is needed to confirm all of these effects, but if you suffer from anxiety, incorporating turmeric into your diet is certainly worth a try.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate into your diet may also help for easing your anxiety. Flavonols are present in dark chocolates, which are antioxidants that may benefit the functioning of the brain. They do this by improving blood flow to the brain and promoting its ability to adapt to stressful situations. These effects may allow you to adjust better to the stressful situations that can lead to anxiety and other mood disorders. Some researchers suggest that the role of dark chocolate in brain health may be due to its taste, which can be comforting for those with mood disorders. In one study, individuals who consumed 75% dark chocolate twice daily for two weeks had improved levels of stress hormones commonly associated with anxiety, such as catecholamines and cortisol. Eating dark chocolate has shown that it increases the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which may help in reducing the stress that leads to anxiety. For example, in a study of highly stressed individuals, participants reported significantly lower levels of stress after consuming 45 grams of dark chocolate every day over a two-week period.
If you are suffering from anxiety, yogurt is the best food that you can include in your diet. Probiotics or healthy bacteria are found in some types of yogurt can improve several aspects of well-being, including mental health. Studies have shown that probiotic foods like yogurt may promote brain function and mental health by inhibiting free radicals and neurotoxins, which can damage nerve tissue in the brain and lead to anxiety. In a study, it was seen that anxious individuals who consumed probiotic yogurt daily were better able to cope with stress than those who consumed yogurt without probiotics. Another study found that women who consumed 4.5 ounces of yogurt twice daily for four weeks had better functioning of the brain regions that control emotion and sensation, which may be associated with lower anxiety levels. These studies are promising, but more and more human research is important to confirm the beneficial effects that yogurt may have on anxiety reduction. It’s also necessary to note that not all yogurt contains probiotics. Choose a yogurt that has live active cultures listed as an ingredient.