It is now evident that anxiety is no longer a one-person thing; it has spread worldwide, with millions of people experiencing it repeatedly. Signs of anxiety manifest differently to different individuals, with some experiencing them now and then. However, if an individual experiences these symptoms for more than six months, they may be having a generalized anxiety disorder(GAD).
A person with GAD may show physical symptoms that include:
- chest tightness
- low concentration
- high heart rate
- withdrawal from social and work relationships, among others.
GAD is commonly treated using a combination of therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. Although the treatment may not work for the long term, a good diet with nutritional benefits can help manage anxiety symptoms. Here we look at foods that can help manage anxiety.
List of Food That Can Help Manage Anxiety
Salmon is among the diet that can help reduce anxiety. It has nutrients that enhance brain wellness, including vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Nutrients present in salmon may calm and relax the brain since they regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
The presence of EPA and DHA in a given diet is associated with low rates of anxiety. These fatty acids are believed to minimize inflammation and prevent dysfunction of brain cells common in people with anxiety.
Salmon’s components are also believed to support one’s brain’s ability to cope with changes, enabling one to handle stressors that can lead to anxiety positively. For people with anxiety, it’s advisable to include salmon in their diet 2-3 times a week for better results.
Vitamin B6 is believed to help in the formation of various neurotransmitters such as serotonin which enhances mood. Components of vitamin B, which include thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, have a positive impact on the nervous system. Lack of vitamin B is associated with a high increase in anxiety in some cases.
Fortunately, avocado is easily accessible and rich in B- vitamins healthy fat that can help relieve anxiety attacks. Vitamin E enhances vision and healthy skin. It is also associated with cognition and widens blood vessels that help develop red blood cells. Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, it is only present in nuts and avocados that have high-fat content.
Quercetin is an antioxidant that enhances a feeling of calmness. Luckily, it is present in cherries. A higher intake of fruits and vegetables can reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress and promote happiness.
It is believed that eating five servings of fruits per day can boost your mood. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, only 10% of the American population adhere to that.
A warm cup of refreshing tea after a long day sounds right to the majority of us. If possible, let it be chamomile tea. According to a 2016 clinical test, whose results were published in the journal Phytomedicine, individuals who had this tea for quite a while had a significant reduction in GAD disorder symptoms.
Chamomile can ensure that you get to sleep on time, hence minimizing the chances of overthinking.
Dark chocolate has a bitter flavor which makes most people prefer other chocolates over it. However, based on a 2019 survey with results published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, individuals who take dark chocolate regularly are less likely to experience anxiety symptoms.
Although there is a need for more research to support this claim, a small intake of dark chocolate will not cause any harm.
Pumpkin seeds are high in potassium regulate electrolyte balance and control blood pressure. Regular intake of potassium-rich diets such as pumpkin seeds and bananas may reduce symptoms related to stress and anxiety.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in mineral zinc which is a good component in enhancing mood. Zinc is crucial in brain and nerve development. It is stored mainly in a brain region associated with emotions.
It is natural for our body to crave vitamin C when we are stressed out or anxious. Fortunately, although small, blueberries can work wonders in reducing anxiety symptoms since they are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
Oral vitamin C has been associated with the prevention and reduction of anxiety and stress. So whenever you feel anxious, avoid sugar since its intake, especially with an empty stomach, makes the brain work at a suboptimal level, leading to symptoms of depression associated with anxiety. You can enjoy the sweetness of the blueberries and benefit from the health benefits that come with them.
Are you the type who picks up fries on your way home? If yes, you are missing out on a great deal to reduce work-related stress and anxiety or any kind of anxiety for that matter. Prepare your meals in advance, and please, include turkey on your meal calendar.
Turkey is rich in tryptophan, a nutrient that enables you to sleep well after its intake. Tryptophan is an amino acid that allows the body to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin associated with sleep and mood. Instead of fried chicken, opt to have turkey, maybe with brown rice and some veggies, and enjoy a healthy meal.
Oats, wheat, barley, bran, beans, the list is endless. If you are not a fan of certain grains, you can switch with the desired grain of your choice since they come in various varieties.
A regular intake of whole grains ensures those serotonin receptors in your gastrointestinal function well and can reduce the risks of chronic diseases.
Foods That Can Help Manage Anxiety – Final Thoughts
For about 31% of Americans, anxiety can reveal itself as an impairing disorder at a certain point in their lives.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Women are more likely to experience anxiety symptoms than men. Almost every individual admits that they are overwhelmed, stressed, or exhausted. Luckily, with the right food on your plate, you can reduce these feelings and feel a bit better.