What people eat not only impacts their waistlines but how they think and feel. According to Harvard Health, 40 million adults, 18% of the population, struggle with anxiety.
Studies have shown for over a decade that a healthy diet: predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and lean protein, decreases the risk of depression across a spectrum of ages. But studies now also show that changing your diet can be a good first step in addressing stress and anxiety. Since many people are struggling with stress and anxiety amid the coronavirus pandemic and many of us are cooking at home more regularly, it’s helpful to understand how our diet can help alleviate some of our stress.
So what foods help our anxiety? What foods help us feel less angry, frustrated or stressed? According to Harvard Health, the following foods release neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, and fixing your diet is a good first step in address your mental health. Below are the foods that should constitute your anti-anxiety diet:
-Diets low in magnesium increased anxiety in mice, therefore it’s been determined diets rich in magnesium have the opposite effect. Foods rich in magnesium include leafy greens like spinach and swiss chard, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
-Foods rich in zinc are understood to lower anxiety, such as oysters, cashews, beef and egg yolks.
-Omega-3 vitamins are known for improving depression. Fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are famous for their high omega-3 vitamin content, but they can also be found in flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and plant oils according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
-Antioxidants: beans, fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables and turmeric and ginger.
The University of California Irvine School of Health says you should avoid foods high in sugar and fat: processed foods, fried foods, sugary desserts, alcohol and too much caffeine.