Anxiety is defined as a fear that doesn’t correspond to reality from a future event or circumstances that our body interprets as danger, and is expressed, among others, by increased heart rate, shortness of breath, and tense muscles. Although the explanation for this phenomenon lies in humankind’s distant past, when man was forced to deal with life-threatening situations that don’t happen in today’s day and age, anxiety is still present in modern reality because of our body's tendency to interpret stressful events as being in danger.
As our tendency to get stressed out by different events increases, anxiety becomes more prolonged and with it, real damage such as insomnia, decreased concentration, irritability, and illness occur. Fortunately, anxiety symptoms can be alleviated and our mood can be improved by adding the following 10 foods to our diets.
Whether served as a healthy snack or as part of a meal, asparagus is considered a healthy, nutritious and tasty vegetable. Moreover, it also contains a number of important substances that help relieve anxiety symptoms because it is an excellent source of folic acid and vitamin B which positively affect brain function, reduces stress and improves mood, as well as potassium – a mineral known for its ability to lower blood pressure.
2. Chicken and turkey meat
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in a variety of foods rich in protein, including turkey meat, which is considered to be a great and readily available source. Tryptophan is also involved in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter rightly called the "happy hormone" because of its ability to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Chronic stress, poor nutrition, and certain medical conditions can deplete the body's vital nutrients, including B vitamins. Because this group of vitamins is essential for normal brain function, lack of them can cause irritability, fatigue, emotional instability, and anxiety. One of the richest foods in this group, which is also known as an anxiety reducer, is avocado and is therefore highly recommended to eat.
Blueberries are sweet, nutritious, juicy and low in calories, and it is no wonder that blueberries have become a favorite ingredient in a variety of desserts around the world. The combination of these benefits also helps them to improve mood and relieve anxiety symptoms. This is because blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, the pigments that give them their blue color, which act as antioxidants that help the brain produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for our mood. Blueberries also contain vitamin C, known for its ability to relieve stress.
In addition to the fact that it can be used in a variety of tasty dishes, another excellent reason to add beef to our diet is its ability to help reduce anxiety symptoms due of its richness in vitamin B, iron, and zinc which are known to have a positive effect on the brain. Experts caution that excessive consumption of red meat may increase the risk of heart disease and other diseases, and therefore, should be eaten in moderation.
If you suffer from stress and anxiety, adding a few cashews to your daily diet will provide you with many substances that have been proven in various studies as beneficial to improving mental health. Magnesium, which is found in cashews, helps in the production of serotonin - the hormone that balances and improves our mood - as well as omega-3 fatty acids, a compound essential for promoting heart health, which has recently become increasingly associated with mental health due to its positive effect on symptoms of depression and anxiety.
7. Wholewheat bread
Complex carbohydrates are a great way to help the brain increase production of serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood and improves emotional balance. In the case you have already chosen to consume carbohydrates, it is better to incorporate foods that contain complex carbohydrates such as wholewheat bread. This is because the body takes longer to process them, allowing for a longer effect of carbohydrate products, such as serotonin.
Beyond being an excellent tropical fruit, easy to eat with its rich and addictive sweet taste, bananas are also a great food when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Bananas are a source of tyrosine, an amino acid that is responsible, among other things, for the proper transfer of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which helps to improve mood and alleviate anxiety. Also, the presence of another amino acid called tryptophan (also found in turkey) helps increase the production of serotonin in the brain, and in turn brings a sense of relaxation and calm.
Turmeric is commonly known as the main spice in Indian curry, however, not many people know that it is rich in antioxidants called curcuminoids, which affect the functioning of the brain and allow it to have the same effects as anti-anxiety medication. In addition, turmeric helps the brain increase its serotonin output in the body - a hormone known for its calming effect - as well as the level of dopamine production, a neurotransmitter that affects emotional stability.
10. Chamomile tea
For thousands of years, chamomile flowers have been used in traditional folk medicine as a natural treatment that gives the user relaxation and peace of mind and can be found in ancient Egyptian and Greek medicine. A study published by the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 gave this hypothesis scientific legitimacy after confirming the calming effect of chamomile capsules on anxiety symptoms.