It seems the number of people who suffer from anxiety are at an all-time high. And if you or someone you love suffer from anxiety you know how debilitating it can be. Simple things like heading out to a party, a new job, or even just a day in the office can feel like too much to handle.
All medication has side effects. That’s the plain and simple truth about synthetic drugs. That’s why all drugs come with a long list of side effects. This is probably one of the main reasons that we are constantly asked “are there any foods that help with anxiety?”
Well… There is some good news for those looking for natural ways to deal with anxiety.
If you’re among the millions of people who struggle with consider looking at some of the foods that can help you deal with it – without medication. (Please note: It’s important to discuss all options with your own healthcare practitioner.)
According to Calm Clinic, there are 7 powerhouse foods that can help nourish you diet and keep stress and anxiety at bay.
7 Foods to Deal with Anxiety Naturally
Everyone’s heard about the health benefits of green tea (it’s nothing new). However many people don’t realize that it also can reduce anxiety. It does this via a compound called L-theanine found inside of it. L-theanine is a sort of polar opposite to caffeine. HOWEVER, theanine promotes a “wakeful relaxation” NOT a sedated feeling. This makes it excellent with caffeine, as they create an awesome combo for the brain. Nature of course already figured this out and put it in tea. The best of all versions for this is called matcha.
Most tea is all grown the same, and then steeped in hot water for a few minutes before removing. Matcha is different, it is actually a special type of tea grown in the shade, and then ground up into super tiny bits. When making matcha tea you consume the ENTIRE ground up tea leaf, whisking it into the water instead of just seeping in a tea bag. With the way it’s grown and the preparation method it has the highest levels of L-theanine of any other tea. Warning though, matcha has a very “bold” taste. If you’re not a huge fan of bitter tastes I suggest taking matcha in pill-form for ease of consumption without the bitter taste.
If you’re a big coffee drinker (like I was) then switching to matcha is one of the best things you can do. Coffee is great for occasional use, but constant use stresses the adrenals and can leave you feeling burnt out. Matcha still has enough caffeine to get the job done, but not so much that it causes stressors.
Almonds contain zinc which is a key nutrient for maintaining a balanced mood. They also supply healthy fats which keep the brain happy.
Rejoice! Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, helps reduce cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that can trigger anxiety symptoms. Other compounds found in chocolate are said to help balance moods. (Might explain why we want to grab some chocolate during “that time” of the month.)
Maca root is believed to have more phytonutrients than nearly every type of fruit and vegetable, including magnesium and iron – two important nutrients for controlling anxiety. It also is often used for healthy stamina and energy.
Did you know that almost HALF of the population is deficient in magnesium. It’s a scary high number for a mineral that is as vitally important as this one. Magnesium is involved in a whole big host of processes in the body (over 300 biochemical reactions!) including:
- Muscle contractions (and important for us, muscle relaxation)
- Energy creation
- Repairing RNA & DNA
- May help fight depression
- Supports healthy insulin function
- Is anti-inflammatory
- Can support healthy blood pressure
- And last of all, you guessed it, help decrease anxiety.
All of this, and yet half of us don’t get enough. Some foods high in magnesium include:
- Spinach (and all leafy green veggies)
- Nuts (like Almonds above)
I personally take a magnesium supplement to make sure I have enough. Most magnesium supplements are pure junk though (using inferior forms of magnesium like magnesium oxide, and magnesium citrate). I recommend a blend of the top 4 types of magnesium called Quad-Magnesium.
Healthy Bacteria Products (Yogurt, Kombucha, Kimchi, etc
It seems that hardly a day goes by that science doesn’t learn something new about the importance of our microbiome (the healthy bacteria in our body). Welp… turns out that it influences our mood too. So if you’re bacteria is out of whack, or if you’ve been on antibiotics it’s probably a good idea to get some healthy bacteria inside of you.
Adaptogens is a group of herbs known to fight stress and fatigue. My favorite of them is called ashwagandha, which is an ancient herb that’s been used for millennia to treat anxiety in Asia. Ashwagandha is kind of a super-herb of sorts, as it not only treats anxiety possibly better than some meds, but also has natural hormone optimizing and endurance promoting properties. There are about a dozen or so other adaptogens besides ashwagandha though. “Adaptogen” is simply an herb that “helps the body deal with stress”. They all act in their own unique way, but all optimize the bodies hormones to promote healthy levels of cortisol. If you’re going to try out adaptogens I recommend just taking AdaptoTrax, as it is a pre-made formula with 8 of the best adaptogens in the best ratios in a ready-to-go formula. Makes it easy.
There’s our list of our top foods. If you have any other favorites to keep anxiety at bay, we would LOVE for you to share with us! Just hit the contact form to say hi.