Best Diet for Anxiety Disorder

Article by Madeline Taylor (edited)

diet for anxiety disorder

Anxiety and Diet

To overcome anxiety without taking any medication is a challenging thing to do. It may also involve making many lifestyle changes, some of which include making considerable changes in your diet.

Your diet plays a vital role when it comes to anxiety relief as there are foods that you eat that will help to cure your anxiety, as well as help contribute to your anxiety. However, when you choose the right foods, they can drastically help cut down the amount of your anxiety, as well as help to improve your mood.

  • Here are some of the foods that will help to improve your happiness, reduce your stress and anxiety, as well as help you to start making better eating-habit decisions. You’ll discover some foods that you should avoid as they help to promote your anxiety.

Foods that Cause Anxiety

While there are foods that you can add to your diet to help with anxiety relief, there are also foods that can contribute to your anxiety and make things even worse.

When you can eliminate these ‘negative’ foods from your diet, you will be taking the first step to helping relieve your anxiety through your diet. Examples of the foods that contribute to your anxiety include:

While these foods are the main culprits, there are also other foods that can worsen your anxiety, but those depend on how well you understand your symptoms.

For example, if you have anxiety attacks, you should probably avoid drinking coffee, as coffee will increase your heart rate, which can trigger an anxiety attack.

However, if you have more generalized anxiety, coffee can potentially be very beneficial to you. Some people who suffer from anxiety find that caffeine consumed in lower quantities is actually able to help reduce their stress levels and improve their mood.

Foods That Cure Anxiety

Whole Grains

whole grains for anxiety

If you are not gluten intolerant, your anxiety may be able to benefit from whole-grain foods. These foods can include such things as whole grain bread and pasta. It has been proven that when you eat foods that are ‘true’ whole grain foods (whole grain foods that don’t contain any processed ingredients), there are several different benefits for anxiety relief. These benefits include:

  • Whole grain foods are rich in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been shown to lead to anxiety.
  • When you eat whole grains, you are getting a healthy dose of tryptophan. Tryptophan becomes serotonin in your body and is a calming neurotransmitter.
  • Whole grains not just reduce your hunger, they also help to create healthy energy, both of which are very important for preventing anxiety.

Whole-grain foods are not just crucial for helping with anxiety relief; they also contain many nutrients that are not present in many of our modern-day diets. By implementing whole grains into your daily diet, you will be helping prevent your anxiety from occurring as often.

Blueberries

blueberries for anxiety

When you look at blueberries, you see a healthy, delicious fruit. While that is true, many people also consider it to be a superfood. Blueberries are rich in phytonutrients (plant nutrients) and vitamins and contain many antioxidants that are very useful in relieving stress and anxiety. Many consider them to be similar to peaches in that eating them also appears to deliver a calming effect.

Seaweed

seaweed for anxiety

With similar benefits to whole grains, seaweed is very rich in nutrients, as well as containing a high amount of magnesium. Plus, kelp and certain other types of seaweed contain higher amounts of tryptophan. Also, if you happen to be gluten sensitive, seaweed is the perfect alternative for you.

Acai Berries

acai berries for anxiety

While acai berries are one of the most recently-discovered superfoods, they have received a lot of media attention because of the many health benefits they provide. While the weight loss aspect of the berry may not be what has been claimed, it is still very rich in phytonutrients similar to blueberries. Furthermore, acai berries’ antioxidant levels are tough to match, being pretty much off the charts.

Chocolate

dark chocolate for anxiety

If you are living with stress and anxiety, chocolate might be exactly what you need. Not regular chocolate but dark chocolate, without any added milk or sugar. Dark chocolate helps to reduce cortisol, one of the stress hormones that cause symptoms of anxiety. Plus, dark chocolate has special compounds that can help to improve your mood.

Almonds

almonds for anxiety

Almonds are probably one of the most underrated foods. They not only contain zinc, which is one of the key nutrients involved in maintaining a good mood, they also contain healthy fats and iron. This is especially important, as low iron levels are associated with brain fatigue, which can contribute to a lack of energy and anxiety. And healthy fats are an important part of any healthy diet.

Maca Root

maca root for anxiety
Maca root powder

While maca root is a lesser-known food that you might not always find at your local grocery store, it can be easily added to different foods and drinks and contains a ton of phytonutrients.

In fact, maca root contains more phytonutrients than any other fruit or vegetable. And this makes it excellent for controlling anxiety, as well as increasing your energy and stamina.

Foods that Calm Nerves

When it comes to the best diet for anxiety relief, you want to be sure to include vitamin- and mineral-rich foods that calm nerves and the body in general, as well as increase your energy and help to stabilize your mood.

When you add these foods to your diet and avoid consuming fried foods and other harmful foodstuffs, you should see a huge difference in the levels of your anxiety. Remember that just changing your diet won’t be a cure for anxiety but will help to reduce the symptoms that you experience.

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Original article: Best Diet for Anxiety Relief
Featured image by Trang Doan from Pexels
Acai berry image by Guapi-TecnologiesOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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