Anxiety is something that everyone suffers from, but for some of us it can reach the point where you no longer feel able to do normal things like spend time with friends or go about your daily life. The typical response has been to take medication.
But as we’re seeing more and more these days, medications have side effects that oftentimes are so bad their positive effects outweigh the negative. So what are to do then? Just accept it and go through life constantly feeling like we’re missing out on all the good things?
Of course not! The good news is that there are many common foods, some of which you probably love, that have proven links to reducing anxiety and stress. Make these foods that help anxiety a regular part of your diet and this trouble could soon all be a thing of the past!
Stress and anxiety are often related to a lack of B vitamins in the body, and asparagus is packed with all of them. You’ll especially find plenty of B6 and B12, which are two proven major stress relievers.
There’s nothing complicated about cooking asparagus to include it as a side dish in any meal. Simply cut off the ends as they’ll be somewhat bitter, then lightly steam the spears and serve with just a touch of butter or hollandaise sauce.
Also containing lots of B vitamins, avocados are a great stress buster. These healthy fruits also contain potassium to lower blood pressure, as well as healthy fats that break up bad cholesterol in the system and improve your overall blood circulation.
This helps your heart, brain, and other muscles and organs to be better nourished so that you have more energy and feel less depressed and anxious. Have a few fresh, raw avocado slices on salads or sandwiches, or add homemade guacamole to the table as a great side dish with any meal.
The body needs lots of vitamin C to fight stress, and to keep the immune system strong when you’re feeling depressed and anxious. All citrus fruits, oranges in particular, have high levels of this essential vitamin.
But one of the best things about oranges is how great they work as on-the-go snack. Have one as your afternoon snack every day, or be sure you get your morning orange juice before you head out the door so you can boost your immune system and beat your anxiety.
The age-old advice about having a glass of warm milk before bedtime shouldn’t be ignored; milk contains a protein called lactium that helps to lower blood pressure and creates a calming effect in the body.
Potassium in milk can also alleviate muscle tension that is common when a person feels anxious and stressed. Note that you don’t actually need to heat milk to enjoy these anxiety-beating nutrients, but cold milk might make you feel a bit too refreshed to help you relax and get to sleep at night.
5. Salmon and other fatty fish
Fatty fish like salmon are rich in Omega-3 acids, which help to control your adrenaline levels. This can keep you calm even when you would otherwise be feeling tense and anxious.
Having salmon for dinner in place of beef can also mean less artery-clogging cholesterol, so that your blood circulates better and your heart is stronger, giving you the energy you need to beat anxiety and depression.
It’s not a coincidence that you get sleepy after a big turkey dinner. This famous fowl has a high level of tryptophan, an amino acid that tells the body to release serotonin, one of those “feel good” chemicals in the brain.
Serotonin makes you feel relaxed and restful, and even a bit sleepy. Turkey also has far less fat than many other meats, so switching to turkey for dinner or lunch can also mean less cholesterol. It’s also packed with protein which will keep you feeling satisfied and full for hours.
Oatmeal also triggers the brain to release serotonin so that you feel relaxed and comfortable. Choose whole oats rather than instant oats, as these take longer to digest so that release of serotonin also lasts longer.
Warm oats will also make you feel calm and relaxed on winter mornings when you would otherwise feel anxious about being out in the snow and cold. To get more oats, try adding some to the blender when making a protein shake, or mix some in when baking bread or muffins.
By making these foods that reduce anxiety a staple of your diet and getting regular exercise, these troubled times could soon all be just a memory for you. Just be patient and take things one day at a time, and before you know it you’ll be happier than you could have ever imagined!
BTW, make sure to pin this so you can check back on what foods help reduce stress when you sense those not-so-great feelings creeping up again! Best of luck! 🙂