The foods you eat play an important role in how effectively your nervous system operates and consequently how relaxed or stress you feel throughout the day.
High sugar and refined grain foods negatively affect your blood sugar levels and can generally be considered stress promoting. Conversely, natural foods like vegetables, nuts and healthy protein sources are much slower digesting and usually provide a calmer and significantly more stable energy.
Even eating a healthier diet though, there a certain anti-anxiety foods that are particularly good at reducing stress levels and relaxing your body and mind. Ahead are ten of the best and what makes them so good for relieving anxiety and tension.
Top 10 Anti-Anxiety Foods for Reducing Stress Naturally
Sip on this natural anti-anxiety medicine for its natural calming effect. This soothing, mild tea was shown to significantly decrease anxiety symptoms in just a few weeks!
Rooibos, or African red bush tea, is a delicious way to bring a natural calm to your day. Researchers are looking into its effect on cortisol. It seems to work by having a balancing effect on the body’s main stress hormone. (i)
Seaweed has many of the same benefits as whole grains. Not only is it rich in nutrients – it also appears to have a high magnesium content, and kelp and other seaweed appear to be very high in tryptophan content. Seaweed is a good alternative to whole grains for those that are gluten sensitive.
Blueberries are more than a delicious fruit. Many consider it to be a superfood. It’s rich in vitamins and phytonutrients (plant nutrients), with a variety of antioxidants that are considered extremely beneficial for relieving stress. Many experts also believe that peaches fall into this category as well, because they have nutrients that appear to have a sedation (calming) effect.(ii)
Acai berry is essentially the newest super food, and one that has received a great deal of press recently. It may not be the weight loss fruit that many people claimed it was, but acai berries are still rich in phytonutrients like the blueberry, and the antioxidant levels are off the charts.
Highly alkalizing and detoxifying, fresh lemon juice in water is especially good for you first thing in the morning. The high levels of vitamin C in citrus fruit like oranges and lemons are known to help lower blood pressure and stabilize elevated cortisol for minimizing anxiety and stress.
Be wary though of drinking commercially produced orange juice for your vitamin C. It’s so high in sugar it will almost certainly have the opposite effect.(iii)
In spite of the name, this herb won’t help you in love. It’s a sedative; the German government has approved it for nervous restlessness. Some studies find that it can reduce symptoms of anxiety as effectively as prescription drugs. It’s often used for insomnia.
The intoxicating (but safe) aroma of lavender (Lavandula hybrida) may be an “emotional” anti-inflammatory. In one study, Greek dental patients were less anxious if the waiting room was scented with lavender oil. In a Florida study, students who inhaled lavender oil scent before an exam has less anxiety—although some students said it made their minds “fuzzy” during the test.(iv)
Curcuminoids, the antioxidants in turmeric, have a neuroprotective quality and help enhance your mood. It was shown in a randomized controlled trial to be an effective option for major depressive disorder, which is closely linked to anxiety disorders.
This superfruit is great for brain health and anxiety. They contain potassium which helps naturally lower blood pressure. Avocados also contain beneficial B vitamins and monounsaturated fats that are needed for neurotransmitter and brain health.(v)