Anxiety is a common problem for many people. It is a disorder characterized by constant worry and nervousness, and is sometimes related to problems in brain health. Medications are often required to treat it. Apart from medication, there are several strategies you can use to reduce symptoms caused by anxiety, from exercise to deep breathing. In addition, there are some foods that by consuming them frequently can help you reduce the severity of your symptoms, mainly due to their properties that improve brain health. Here are 6 foods and drinks that according to scientific studies can help you alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.
Salmon can be effective in reducing anxiety. It contains nutrients that promote brain health, including vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA can help regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can have calming and relaxing properties. In addition, studies show that these fatty acids can reduce inflammation and prevent damage to brain cells that leads to the development of mental disorders such as anxiety. Consuming adequate amounts of EPA and DHA can also increase the brain’s ability to adapt to changes, allowing it to better manage the stressors that trigger anxiety symptoms. Vitamin D has also been studied for the positive effects it can have on improving calming neurotransmitter levels.
“Even a couple of servings of salmon a week may be enough to relieve the symptoms of anxiety”.
In one study, men who ate Atlantic salmon three times a week for five months reported less anxiety than those who ate chicken, pork or meat. In addition, symptoms related to anxiety, such as heart rate and heart rate variability, had improved.
Summary: Salmon is rich in omega-3 and vitamin D fatty acids, which can help relieve anxiety by improving brain health.
Chamomile is an herb that can help reduce anxiety. It contains high amounts of antioxidants, and antioxidants have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation, which can help prevent damage to brain cells that commonly lead to anxiety. Several studies have examined the relationship between chamomile and anxiety relief. Researchers have found that people who were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experienced a significantly greater decrease in symptoms after consuming chamomile extract, compared to those who did not. Another study found similar results, since those who consumed chamomile extract for eight weeks had a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although these results are promising, most studies have been done on chamomile extract. More research is needed to evaluate the anti-anxiety effects of chamomile tea, which is what is consumed most frequently.
Summary: Chamomile has been shown to help improve anxiety symptoms due to its antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in improving brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Animal and test tube studies suggest that curcumin can increase the DHA of omega-3 fatty acids in the brain by helping your body synthesize it more efficiently. In one study, the intake of 20 mg / kg of curcumin produced significant anti-anxiety effects in mice with stress compared to those who received a lower dose. Curcumin also has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to help prevent damage to brain cells. These effects are due in part to the ability of curcumin to reduce inflammatory markers, such as cytokines, which are often linked to the development of anxiety. In addition, curcumin consumption has been shown to increase levels of antioxidants in the blood, which tend to be low in individuals with anxiety. More research in humans is needed to confirm all these effects, but if you suffer from anxiety, it is certainly worth incorporating turmeric into your diet.
Summary: Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve anxiety symptoms.
4. Dark Chocolate:
Incorporating some servings of dark chocolate in your diet can also be useful for relieving anxiety. Dark chocolate contains flavonols, which are antioxidants that can benefit brain function. It is because it improves blood flow to the brain and increases its ability to adapt to environmental changes. These effects may allow you to better adapt to stressful situations that can lead to anxiety and other mood disorders. Some researchers also suggest that the role of dark chocolate in brain health may simply be due to its taste, which can be comforting to those with mood disorders. In one study, individuals who consumed 74% dark chocolate twice a day for two weeks had an improvement in the levels of stress hormones that are commonly associated with anxiety, such as catecholamines and cortisol. It has also been shown that eating dark chocolate increases the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can help reduce the stress that leads to anxiety. For example, in a study of highly stressed individuals, participants reported significantly lower levels of stress after consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate every day for a period of two weeks. However, I recommend consuming dark chocolate in moderation, as it is high in calories and sugar and is easy to overeat. The size of a reasonable serving of 1 to 1.5 ounces.
Summary: Dark chocolate can be useful for improving anxiety due to its antioxidant content that helps with stress reduction and its ability to increase serotonin levels.
If you suffer from anxiety, it is an excellent idea to include yogurt in your diet. Probiotics, or healthy bacteria, found in some types of yogurt can improve several aspects of your well-being, including mental health. Studies have shown that probiotic foods such as yogurt can promote mental health and brain function by inhibiting free radicals and neurotoxins, which can damage nerve tissue in the brain and lead to anxiety. In one study, anxious people 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 4.4 ounces (125 grams) of yogurt twice a day for four weeks had better functioning brain regions that control emotions and sensitivity, which may be associated with lower levels of anxiety. These findings are promising, but more research in humans is required to confirm the beneficial effects that yogurt can have on reducing anxiety. It is also important to keep in mind that not all yogurt presentations contain probiotics. To get the benefits of probiotics, you must choose a yogurt that indicates on the label that it contains live cultures.
Summary: Yogurt contains probiotics, which can have a positive effect on brain health and anxiety levels.
6. Green Tea:
Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been studied for the positive effects it can have on brain health and reduced anxiety. In a small study, people who consumed L-theanine experienced a reduction in psychological stress responses that are commonly associated with anxiety, such as heart rate. Another study found that those people who drank a drink containing L-theanine had a decrease in cortisol levels, a hormone related to stress and anxiety. These effects may be due to the potential of L-theanine to prevent the nerves from becoming overexcited. In addition, L-theanine can increase GABA (Œ≥-aminobutyric acid), dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that have been shown to have anti-anxiety effects. In addition, green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that has been suggested to improve brain health. It can play an important role in reducing certain symptoms by also increasing GABA in the brain. A study in mice found that EGCG produced anti-anxiety effects similar to those of common anxiety medications. The beneficial properties of L-theanine and EGCG can be one of the main reasons why drinking several cups of green tea daily is associated with less psychological distress. While all these results are promising, it is worth mentioning that most of the research on green tea and anxiety has been carried out in animals and in test tubes. More research in humans is needed to confirm its anti-anxiety effects.
Summary: Green tea contains L-theanine and EGCG, which can improve brain health and reduce anxiety.
Other Foods That Can Help with Anxiety:
Although the foods listed below have not been specifically studied for their anti-anxiety effects, they are rich in nutrients that are believed to improve anxiety-related symptoms.
- Avocados: Avocados contain a significant amount of magnesium, which can help keep anxiety under control.
- Turkey, banana and oatmeal:They are good sources of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin in the body and can promote relaxation and anxiety relief.
- Eggs, meats and dairy products: All provide high quality proteins including essential amino acids produced by the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which have the potential to improve mental health.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are another good source of omega-3 fatty acids that improve brain health, and have been shown to help with anxiety.
- Citrus fruits and peppers:These fruits are rich in vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation and prevent damage to cells that often leads to anxiety.
- Almonds:Almonds provide a significant amount of vitamin E, which has been studied for its role in preventing anxiety.
- Cranberries: Cranberries are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which have been studied for their ability to improve brain health and thus help with anxiety relief.
Summary: Some foods contain specific nutrients that can promote brain health and help prevent anxiety or reduce the severity of your symptoms.
In general, research is scarce on the issue of specific foods and anxiety prevention. Most studies have been conducted in animals or in laboratories, and more quality studies are needed in high-quality humans. However, there are several foods and drinks that can help you deal with anxiety symptoms, as they can reduce inflammation and improve brain health.