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Foods That Help With Anxiety

Proven To Reduce It

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Anxiety is a common and everyday occurrence for millions of people worldwide. Whether diagnosed or not, there are daily stressors that can trigger anxiety and cause a great deal of pain and distress. Anxiety is often characterised by extreme stress, constant worry, restlessness, panic attacks, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder.

When anxiety occurs, stress hormones such as cortisol, known as “the belly fat hormone” for its ability to pull lipids from the bloodstream and store them in our fat cells. A recent Sleep Science review found that when stress prevents people from sleeping well, they are more likely to make bad food choices, snack late at night, and choose high-carb snacks.

Anxiety can come in many forms such as a diagnosed disorder to which people diagnosed with one will have specialised medication prescribed to them by a health professional. For those who experience general anxiety there are some dietary changes that can be made to alleviate symptoms.

These following foods contain vitamins and minerals that help you relax, calm down, and re-focus so that you can continue with your day stress-free.

WALNUTS

In addition to healthy fats, the magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts have both been shown to positively impact serotonin and dopamine levels (mood hormones).

OATMEAL

Oatmeal naturally changes your brain chemistry by creating your body’s feel-good chemical, serotonin. It can also help combat pain, decrease appetite, and produce calm or sleep.

BANANAS

Bananas contain the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine. Tyrosine leads to balanced levels of dopamine in the brain while phenylalanine is used to form tyrosine. Bananas also contain vitamin B6, which helps convert tryptophan into serotonin.

SALMON

Salmon contains a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are an important nutrient for the brain’s composition and functioning. Salmon is rich in tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin.

AVOCADOS

Avocados are full of healthy fats that are not only good for your heart, but they help to absorb other nutrients in other foods you eat. Research has also shown that diets that are high in healthy fats are less likely to suffer with stress, anxiety, and depression.

TURKEY

Foods like turkey are natural sources of the amino acid tryptophan, which can increase feelings of relaxation and sleep.

POTATOES

Potatoes help create mood-boosting and anxiety-fighting serotonin. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps with serotonin production as well.

KALE

This nutrient dense, low-calorie leafy green contains copper, a mineral involved in essential cellular function and overall well-being. Copper stabilises mood and can decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s when consumed adequately

SPINACH

Spinach is a fantastic, nutrient-dense mood booster. It is also rich in magnesium, which helps to relieve tension and relax the muscles

KIWI

Kiwis are rich in vitamin C, which research has shown may help lower blood pressure and other physiological reactions to stressful situations.

TEA

Try one of the many types of herbal tea. The results of a Japanese study suggested that those who regularly consumed tea had less stress than those who opted for other beverages.

DARK CHOCOLATE

Studies show that the flavanols in pure cacao (or at least 70%+) contain antioxidants that can improve blood flow to the brain, which enhances its ability to adapt to stress.

COCONUT

Coconut is packed full of medium-chain triglycerides; fats that fuel better moods. A joint study from researchers at Yale and SUNY Albany even found that it has a neuroprotective effect.

CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids which aids brain function. It also contains Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that helps boost your mood and promote restful sleep.

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