If you suffer from stress and anxiety, it can feel like a never-ending battle. Thankfully, there are things you can do naturally to help ease the tension and make you feel better. Read on to learn which foods are best and which to avoid when it comes to anxiety.
How can I kill anxiety naturally?
While anxiety is often caused or triggered by certain events like a bad day at work, uncertainty in life, or financial worries, it can be caused or made worse by your diet and lifestyle. If you feel anxious often but can't seem to pinpoint the reason, it's possible it could be caused or compounded by what you are eating and drinking. Thankfully, there are ways you can kill anxiety naturally and live a happier, less stressful life.
One of the best ways to cure anxiety naturally is by improving your diet. Biologically, anxiety can be caused by imbalances in the brain and central nervous system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood, appetite, and sleep. If this chemical is imbalanced, it could lead to anxiety and higher levels of stress, which in turn will lead to mood swings, insomnia, and possibly weight gain due to increased appetite or stress eating. In order to re-balance serotonin and reduce your anxiety naturally, your first step should be looking at what you eat and drink.
Does food affect anxiety?
Food can definitely affect anxiety, both positively and negatively. A bad diet full of sugar, caffeine, and junk food could lead to higher levels of anxiety. While a good, healthy, balanced diet rich in whole foods and vegetables could really improve your mental health and help to reduce your anxiety naturally. Of course, if there is a particular reason you are feeling anxious, this needs to be addressed first, but a healthy diet can help if you are not sure what is causing your anxiety.
Best foods for anxiety
There are plenty of natural foods available that can help to ease your anxiety. Here are just a few.
Fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are known as 'fatty fish' because they are high in omega-3, a fatty acid that can influence cognitive function and mental health. This is why some fish are referred to as 'brain food'. However, recent research has found that too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 can have negative effects on the brain, so it's important to get the balance right.
General recommendations suggest eating two servings of oily or fatty fish a week. Salmon and sardines are also among the few foods that contain vitamin D. Therefore, eating fish could possibly reduce feelings of general anxiety as it could improve concentration and mood.
Nuts are high in selenium and Vitamin E, both antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. Selenium is also anti-carcinogenic, which means it could help to prevent cancer from developing. Selenium may also improve mood by reducing inflammation, which is often high in those suffering from anxiety and stress.
Be careful when adding nuts into your diet, though, as they are high in calories and fat, which could cause weight gain if not properly monitored. Only eat a small handful at a time, or better yet weigh out your portion in advance so that you know you are not having too much.
Blueberries, like nuts, are high in antioxidants and have been proven to reduce cell damage caused by free radicals in the body.