Food Choices That Will Help to Reduce Your Anxiety
What are the foods to eat for anxiety? Especially during holiday seasons, it can be easy to slide into some nasty eating habits like junk food and alcohol and let the healthy stuff slide. I’m no stranger to this myself. This post has info to help you get motivated to eat and drink things that will help you instead of hurt you when it comes to your mental state.
So this article doesn’t offer a full menu of healthy recipes, you’ll still need to work out your nutritional requirements. Nope, this is about making sure that you’re drinking and eating things that help you mentally.
Foods to Eat for Anxiety
There are certain brain chemicals that make us feel better, and certain foods that make it easier for us to produce those brain chemicals. You’ve probably heard of them: serotonin, dopamine, and GABA are the main ones we want to have more of if we live with anxiety. So, the suggestions in this post are based on research showing that certain foods and drinks will help our brains to produce these chemicals.
How do you know if you’re not fueling your brain? Just as an example, if you’re deficient in GABA, you may feel anxious, irritable, tired, tense, and have trouble relaxing. In extreme cases you may even have panic attacks or seizures. So, no matter how hard you are working on your anxiety, if your brain is deficient in the right chemicals, you will be fighting a losing battle. Let’s work on that.
Let’s keep this extremely simple. I’m going to give you a list of foods and drinks that you should have in your diet to help with your anxiety. What I want you to do is to make sure you have at least one of these foods or drinks every day. Ideally, you will have more, but I want you to develop a habit and not make it too hard. If you’re living on fast food right now, I can’t expect you to totally revamp your diet. That’s not what this is about anyway. Small changes to improve your mood and level of anxiety is what we are after.
In this post, you will notice I have not included any meat options. I’m a vegetarian, so I’m only recommending things that I eat myself. Again, as I said this is not a diet or meal plan, just a start at eating for brain health.
Foods to eat for anxiety that are going to help your mental state are included in the list below. There are of course many others, but these are some easy ones that you could start incorporating right now.
GABA: The only source of GABA is fermented foods, including Kimchi (a Korean dish), kefir, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, and yogurt. Flavanoid-rich foods may also enhance GABA function and include berries, citrus fruits, apples, pears, tea, cocoa, and wine.
Serotonin: Foods that are thought to help with serotonin include eggs, cheese, milk, pineapples, soy products such as tofu, nuts, and seeds. While serotonin isn’t found in foods, tryptophan is an amino acid that when combined with complex carbs such as rice, oatmeal, or whole-grain bread, may help to raise serotonin.
Dopamine: Foods thought to boost dopamine include dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), eggs, fruits and vegetables (especially bananas), nuts, and dark chocolate.
- drink green tea every day
- eat a handful of almonds or walnuts every day
- have whole grain toast every day
- have a serving of brown rice with one meal every day
- have some form of potatoes every day
- have broccoli in some form every day
- sneak spinach into one meal each day
- eat a banana or an orange each morning
- have a serving of beans with one meal each day
- have a half cup of pineapple each morning
That’s it! It really is that simple when thinking about the foods to eat for anxiety. Let me know in the comments what foods you plan to start eating more of.