Anxiety can be a real obstacle in everyday life, especially when it becomes permanent. Anxiety limits daily activities and can complicate social relationships, both personal and professional. In particularly severe cases, anxiety disorder must be treated with medication.
We will leave clinical cases of anxiety to the specialists, but in our article we will give recommendations on nutrition to reduce anxiety and stress. Our diet does play a role in our mental well-being.
Rich in iron and fiber, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are an excellent source of energy due to their high magnesium content. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, they are good for our brain, and their phytosterol content helps fight bad cholesterol and keep our cardiovascular system healthy.
Brazil nuts have a special place among oilseeds because of their high content of selenium, an antioxidant trace element that improves mood, reduces inflammation and prevents cell damage. A handful of nuts a day (Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.) can help reduce stress.
Salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring are rich in the fatty acid Omega-3, which plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of our cognitive function.
In addition, foods rich in Omega-3 contain alpha-linolenic acid, which provides the body with two essential fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. They regulate neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation, promote healthy brain function and reduce anxiety levels.
Current recommendations recommend consuming two servings of oily fish per week.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. And egg yolks are rich in vitamin D, which is thought to have a significant effect on mood.
Eggs also contain tryptophan, an amino acid involved in the production of serotonin. Serotonin, which is produced 95% in the gut, is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep, memory and behavior. It improves brain function and relieves anxiety.
Pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients that are good for our bodies. They contain potassium, which promotes concentration, zinc, which is necessary for the development of our brain. Zinc deficiency has been shown to have a negative effect on mood.
Bananas are a great source of energy, they are rich in vitamins (especially B vitamins) and minerals such as potassium (it promotes concentration). Bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that is converted to serotonin in our bodies.
Consumption of dark chocolate helps significantly reduce stress and anxiety. This has been proven by a number of studies. It is also rich in flavonoids, reduces neuroinflammation and brain cell death. It is also an excellent source of tryptophan and magnesium. Both can reduce symptoms of depression.
Give preference to dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 80% or more, and pay attention to the content of added sugars and fats. But most importantly, do not abuse chocolate, limit its consumption to 1-3 grams per day (up to one square).
Curcuma contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is great for reducing anxiety, inflammation and oxidative stress, which are increased in people with anxiety and depression, as well as obesity.
Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, as well as beneficial bacteria: Lactobaccilus and Bifidobacteria.
Different studies have shown that eating yogurt, kefir and other fermented foods (sauerkraut, fermented soy products, etc) increases the sense of well-being.
Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which has positive effects on brain health and reduced anxiety, including increased production of serotonin and dopamine. Daily consumption of 200 mg of L-theanine reduces stress and tension and promotes relaxation.
Green tea can easily replace soft drinks, coffee and alcoholic beverages.
Chamomile is a plant with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and it also helps reduce anxiety due to its high flavonoid content. People who regularly consumed chamomile extract for eight weeks showed a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety.