01 Aug 10 foods that can help reduce stress and anxiety
In support of OCD and Anxiety Disorders Week (28th – 5th August) the following list of 10 foods can help reduce your stress and anxiety levels naturally!
- Leafy Greens. Surprise, surprise! Many of the foods that can assist with our stress and anxiety levels are not the delicious comfort foods we would like to be snacking on, but leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus which are rich in antioxidants and magnesium. These foods have been known to boost moods and offer a calming effect, while also helping to regulate cortisol levels in the body, the stress hormone that causes anxiety symptoms.
- Avocados. High in Omega 3 fatty acids, avocados are the perfect candidate to improve brain functioning and combat anxiety levels. As Vitamin B is needed to promote healthy brain cells it can often be a deficiency in Vitamin B that is contributing to our increased stress levels. But not to worry because avocados are also great sources of Vitamin B and potassium!
- Dark Chocolate. Good news for chocolate lovers, it’s on the list! Dark chocolate reduces cortisol levels, and is also linked to improving our mood.
- Salmon. Another food high in Omega 3 fatty acids, a source of fat that our brains simply can’t go without! Salmon is also great at regulating cortisol levels and preventing adrenaline from spiking unnecessarily.
- Nuts. Almonds, Walnuts and Cashews specifically contain nutrients that are excellent for maintaining a balanced mood, including zinc, iron and Vitamins B2 and E! There are variations in how you can consume these foods, if you’re not a fan of raw nuts, for example, the goodness of almonds can still be found in almond milk, almond spread or granola!
- Greek Yogurt. Yogurt is a natural probiotic, rich in magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Yogurt is great at restoring the balance of gut bacteria and can also reduce our blood pressure and lower our levels of anxiety.
- Eggs. Similar to the effects of eating leafy greens, eggs are very high in protein and magnesium. Magnesium contains a calming mineral that can induce relaxation, and is excellent in reducing anxiousness, it could even be considered a ‘natural chill pill’!
- WATER! Drinking water plainly or in the form of herbal teas such as chamomile or lavender can significantly contribute to lowering levels of anxiety. Water keeps the flow going, it is a natural medicine for calming our bodies. Is there anything water can’t do!? The herbal teas also offer additional relaxation remedies.
- Oats. Oatmeal is a food high in magnesium, fibre, and of course Vitamin B! Oatmeal is one of the most effective food sources for lowering anxiety levels because it promotes serotonin production, which is the antidepressant hormone in the body!
- Berries. Another bonus for the sweet tooths out there! Berries including blueberries, acai berries, and strawberries have plenty of antioxidants that can be extremely beneficial to relieving stress and anxiety levels. Berries also give a natural calming effect while still satisfying our taste buds!
There you have it! 10 foods to assist in reducing your stress and anxiety levels. Many of these food combinations go excellently together and can help you reach your daily intake of vitamins and nutrients.
Please note that food is not the one and only solution for OCD and anxiety disorders, it is a natural way to assist in prevention and management. There are plenty of other options to assist you however, including professional help and advice or exercising regularly.
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Donvito, T 2017, ‘9 Foods That Calm Anxiety (And 3 That Make It Worse)’ Reader’s Digest, retrieved 1st August 2017, http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/foods-for-anxiety/
Reed, K 2017, ‘15 Foods that Help Eliminate Anxiety’, retrieved 13th December 2017, https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/diet-nutrition/15-foods-help-eliminate-anxiety/
Williams, H 2017, ‘7 foods that lower anxiety and keep you calm’ allwomentalk#food, retrieved 1st August 2017, http://food.allwomenstalk.com/foods-that-lower-anxiety/7?lastslide
2017, ‘OCD & Anxiety Helpline’ ARCVIC, retrieved 1st August 2017, http://www.arcvic.org.au/