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5 Foods That Can Help Reduce Anxiety

Berries and spinach salad is an excellent example of foods that help with anxiety

Anxiety is a condition that causes people to experience symptoms of nervousness. Unfortunately, this is a condition that  affects millions of Americans.

The main methods to treat anxiety are therapy and medications. However, did you know that your food choices can also reduce anxiety symptoms? It is true: we really are what we eat.

To help you improve your mental health, let’s take a look at foods that help lower anxiety levels.

What You Should Stay Away From

Before we talk about the best foods to help with anxiety, here are the foods that exacerbate anxiety symptoms:

Alert-Inducing Foods

Foods with caffeine, like energy drinks and coffee, increase anxiety symptoms. This is because caffeine increases the levels of  the stress hormone cortisol  in your body.

Inflammatory foods

Inflammatory foods contribute to the release of inflammatory cytokines. As a result, cytokines contribute to brain inflammation and mental health issues like anxiety.

Highly-Processed Carbohydrates

Our bodies quickly break down and absorb highly-processed carbs’ components because they lack fiber. The glycemic index of these carbs is very high and can cause high blood glucose levels. According to studies, there may be a strong link between high glycemic diets and anxiety symptoms.

Foods That Can Help Reduce Anxiety Symptoms

To prevent or reduce anxiety, we recommend consuming foods with properties like the following:

  • Antioxidants: Our bodies experience anxiety as a result of stress. A diet rich in antioxidants is ideal for combating stress.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Even if you are not eating inflammatory foods, your body can experience inflammation for other reasons. To combat inflammation   and anxiety ,  anti-inflammatory foods are a must!
  • Nutrient-dense: Nutrient-dense foods help stabilize blood sugar levels. As a result, they also help with anxiety symptoms.

Our Top 5 Foods for Combating Anxiety

Here are five foods that help with anxiety symptoms and can help improve your overall health:

1. Berries

Berries are rich in bioactive compounds (BAC) that contain antioxidant properties. These fruits also contain vitamin C and vitamin A ,  which also serve as antioxidants. The BACs in berries help to prevent inflammation.

Besides the nourishing benefits of antioxidants, berries are also a good source of dietary fiber.

2. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and tryptophan. Zinc serves as an antioxidant and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

The tryptophan in pumpkin seeds contributes to the production of serotonin, the primary mood-stabilizing hormone. According to research, there is evidence that tryptophan consumption decreases anxiety.

3. Spinach

This green leafy vegetable is rich in antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, which helps reduce stress. Spinach is also rich in magnesium, which can also reduce inflammation.

Spinach also contains calcium, potassium, iron, folate, and Vitamin A.

4. Turmeric

This colorful spice provides plenty of health benefits because of a chemical compound called curcumin. Turmeric can help with inflammation and also works as an antioxidant.

Other nutrients found in turmeric are potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.

5. Avocado

Avocado is a tropical superfood rich in vitamins A, B, and E , all of which act as antioxidants. This nutrient-dense fruit is also rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron.

According to studies, phytochemicals found in avocados prevent stress and neurodegenerative diseases.

Other nutritional properties of avocados that help with anxiety are tryptophan and omega-3 fatty acids.

Z.E.N. Foods Can Help, too!

If you are looking to start a diet to improve your mental and physical health, please reach out to us at Z.E.N. Foods. We offer meal delivery plans that are tasty and healthy. We are here to help!

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