10 Anti-Anxiety Foods
De-stressing has never been more delicious
The holidays are around the corner, which are — at least for me — the best days of the year. However, high expectations, the desire to please everybody and a hectic schedule, can also trigger stress and anxieties.
Here are my top 10 foods that will help you to stay calm and relaxed:
The amino acid L-theanine found in Black or Green Tea can help you to relax and to relieve anxieties. L-theanine is an essential amino acid that the body cannot produce and thus has to consumed through food. It supports the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are brain chemicals that reduce stress levels and improve mood.
Research has shown that L-theanine promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness.
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Turkey contains the amino acid L-tryptophan. Like L-theanine, L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the brain uses to produce serotonin.
You don’t like meat? Cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, or spirulina also contain L-tryptophan.
Almonds are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps to relax your muscles and mind. Magnesium also supports digestion and can help to prevent muscle cramps and headaches. Apart from that, almonds also contain L-tryptophan.
Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. A study conducted by the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Ohio State University College of Medicine suggests the fish oil supplementation can help to reduce anxieties.
Eggs contain Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that can help to improve seasonal depression and anxieties. Your body produces Vitamin D after sun exposure. Due to reduced hours of sunshine during the winter months, the production of Vitamin D is reduced, which increases the need to consume it through food.
Avocados are a good source of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of the serotonin and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is another neurotransmitter that helps to reduce anxiety and to promote relaxation.
Citrus fruits such as clementines or oranges are rich in Vitamin C. A recent study suggests that Vitamin C plays an essential role in alleviating and preventing anxieties. Vitamin C also supports the proper function of the adrenal glands and thus plays an essential role in stress management.
#8 Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are high in selenium. Supplementation with this mineral has been associated with improved mood and decreased anxiety. Apart from that, Selenium also supports healthy thyroid function.
More and more research shows a connection between gut health and mental health. A study published in Psychiatry Research suggests that the consumption of probiotics found in fermented foods such as yogurt can help to improve social anxieties.
#10 Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains zinc. Research suggests that zinc can help to alleviate depression and anxieties. Zinc also promotes wound healing and a healthy immune system. Apart from that, dark chocolate is also a source of magnesium.
A word of warning: if you are suffering from any (chronic) health condition, please consult your health care provider before making changes to your diet.
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In good health,