Ease Your Anxiety With Healthy Comfort Foods
Stress is common. In a world that constantly asks for a lot, it’s common to find yourself lost and unable to cope. However, the cause for concern arises when your stress becomes chronic before turning into anxiety.
As someone who suffers from anxiety, it’s important to note that if chronic, anxiety can lead to health problems. Although there are no quick, instant fixes when it comes to anxiety, your diet can help. Aside from medication and various forms of meditation, the foods we consume can have a calming effect on us due to the impact that they have on the brain. It’s no secret that there is quite an important connection between the gut and the brain and this serves to prove it. Aside from the typical, processed foods that are go-to’s for comfort foods, the following foods are not only likely to boost your mood, but they’re also rich in other nutrients that will help to boost overall health.
Combat your anxiety with these foods
According to one study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, depression can be linked to low levels of folic acid. One vegetable that is rich in this B vitamin is asparagus. Aside from preventing birth defects with its folic acid content, asparagus also contains vitamin K, fibre and glutathione, which all allows it to boost digestion, protect heart health and strengthen the immune system.
These little blue power bombs definitely pack a powerful nutritional punch.
Aside from being extremely rich in antioxidants, blueberries also contain vitamin C, which can help to alleviate both stress and anxiety. Stress can heighten the risk of cell damage thus the presence of vitamin C helps to protect – and repair – said cells.
B vitamins can be found in foods such as beef, avocado, almonds, eggs, leafy greens, and legumes. Despite the various forms of said vitamins, studies have linked them to helping to ease mood and lower any feelings of anxiety and stress.
Chamomile tea is a great substitute for coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
Although studies have only been done on chamomile extract, they have revealed how said extract led to a significant reduction in symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
There’s a reason why this one is the sought-after comfort food. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonols, which are antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain, allowing for it to better adapt when under duress. According to one study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences, consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate every day over a period of two weeks can result in significantly lower levels of stress.
Magnesium is a mineral that is commonly associated with having a calming effect on the body. It also plays key roles in supporting the immune system, nerves, muscles, heart and bone health. An animal study done in mice revealed a strong correlation between diets low in magnesium and increased anxiety behaviors. Foods rich in magnesium include legumes, nuts, seeds, avocado, almonds and spinach.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are needed for the healthy functioning of the gut. They can be found in yogurts and fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and pickles.
There continues to be rising amounts of research on the effect between brain and gut health. Gut bacteria play a role in the production of neurotransmitters, all of which influence mood. Thus, it’s important to maintain a good balance of good and bad bacteria within the gut and this can be achieved through use of probiotics. A study published in the journal Annals of General Psychiatry found a strong correlation between probiotics and improved symptoms of major depressive disorder. Click here to find out more about sauerkraut and how it can be used for better gut health.
Last but not least is tryptophan; an amino acid essential for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin that’s needed to regulate both sleep and moods. One study found a small correlation between tryptophan and less reported symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder. Tryptophan can be found in turkey, bananas, oats, nuts and sesame seeds.
Foods to Avoid
There are foods that can help ease anxiety but there are also foods that may contribute to it. Consuming high levels of sugar and caffeine can lead to a surge of energy, or in some cases, you may experience symptoms of worrying like nervousness. Moreover, caffeine can also increase the risk of insomnia which can leave you both stressed and anxious.
Although these foods can help to keep you calm, it’s important to consult a medical professional if you feel that your anxiety has become both chronic and severe. The first step in dealing with anxiety is admitting that there’s a problem.