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12 Foods That Help Relieve Anxiety

By HERWriter
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12 Foods That May Help Relieve Anxiety JenkoAtaman/Fotolia

Many people who suffer from anxiety would like options other than medication to treat their disorder. Fortunately, the kitchen may be a good place to look for healthy alternatives.

Here are 12 nutritious and delicious foods that may help to relieve anxiety:

1) Asparagus

Depression has been linked to low levels of the mood-enhancer folic acid. Asparagus is high in folate.

2) Avocados

Anxiety may stem from a B-vitamin deficiency. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Plus they contain beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin E and more folate than any other fruit.

3) Berries

Vitamin C is known to help fight stress. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are rich in vitamin C.

4) Milk

In addition to vitamins B2 and B12, milk also contains antioxidants that help destroy free radicals associated with stress.

5) Fish

Most types of fish contain the stress-relievers B6 and B12. Vitamin B12 is one of the key vitamins involved in the production of the "happy" brain chemical called serotonin. A B12 deficiency may lead to depression.

Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids helps keep adrenaline and cortisol from increasing during times of stress.

6) Almonds and Cashews

Almonds have high levels of vitamins B2 and E, magnesium and zinc. B vitamins and magnesium aid in serotonin production, which helps to regulate mood and to relieve stress.

Cashews are a wonderful source of zinc. Low levels of zinc have been linked to anxiety and depression.

7) Oranges

Oranges have high levels of Vitamin C which can help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

8) Broccoli

Not only does broccoli have B vitamins which help to relieve stress, it also contains folic acid. As mentioned before, folic acid helps relieve anxiety, panic, stress and even depression.

9) Oatmeal

Oatmeal is another food that causes your brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin has antioxidant properties and that helps overcome stress.

10) Chamomile and Green Tea

A University of Pennsylvania study tested chamomile supplements on 57 participants with generalized anxiety disorder for eight weeks. They saw a substantial decrease in anxiety symptoms.

Green tea is rich in L-theanine (an amino acid) which is believed to have overall calming effects.

11) Grass-fed Beef

A study found that volunteers who ate grass-fed meat increased their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and decreased their levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. These changes have been linked with a lower risk of depression.

12) Bananas

Bananas contain vitamin B6, one of the B vitamins that helps the brain to produce serotonin.

Reviewed March 21, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, Keri. "13 Foods That Fight Stress." Prevention. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.

Klein, Sarah. "The Best Foods To Ease Anxiety." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.

Rogers, Sabrina. "Stress-relieving Foods." AskMen. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.

Zuckerbrot, Tanya. "Eat to Beat Stress: 10 Foods That Reduce Anxiety." Men's Fitness. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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