From holistic medicine, to pharmaceuticals, to exercise, a whole host of medical and scientific possibilities exist for easing anxiety. But even some of the foods we consume on a regular basis can play a considerable role in making us feel better, both mentally and physically, when we’re wound too tightly or down in the dumps.
These six tasty foods are just a few of an all-natural bounty that can help you level out those spiking stress levels!
This stalk veggie and fine-dining favorite – which I would argue tastes just as good steamed as baked – can ease anxiety and depression thanks to a healthy helping of folic acid. This nutrient (aka the vitamin B9) can only be consumed with food (supplements aren’t an option), and a deficiency of folic acid has been linked to increased anxiety and depression.
One of those much-lauded “superfoods”, blueberries are stock-piled with vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The latter, especially, are considered vital for stress relief, along with multipurpose Vitamin C. These two essentials can repair and protect our body’s cells, which take a beating when we’re over-anxious.
It’s the omega-3 fatty acids found in this sea-faring meat that earn it a spot on this list. Known for enhancing mood and creating an uplifting feeling, omega-3s keep our cortisol (the “stress hormone”) and adrenaline levels where they ought to be. If you’re not a fish fan, other fatty meats such as grass-fed beef offer similar omega-3 benefits.
Spinach and other dark, leafy greens are powerhouses of goodness. The magnesium in spinach helps to regulate the hypothalamic-pituary-adrenal axis, which can trigger stress-related diseases when out of whack. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can induce anxiety. Like omega-3s, magnesium plays a role in cortisol regulation, too.
If you’re anything like me, I’m probably telling you what already know, here: carbohydrates make you happy. More scientifically, though, whole grains increase serotonin production, up your stores of magnesium, and give you a boost of healthy, lasting energy that fills you up and doesn’t cause that quick crash for which white breads and sugar are known.
- Whole Grains
Speaking of serotonin, that’s a pretty impressive little neurotransmitter. In addition to the handy side effects above, it also aids in the regulation of digestion and body temperature. If any of these effects sound like just the fix for you, we recommend checking out Health Ambition’s recent blog post, which includes some great information and a lengthy list of delicious foods that hike up serotonin production!
Last on our list, turkey’s ability to calm us and make us feel cheery might not come as much of a surprise, given the media focus on tryptophan in recent years. An amino acid, tryptophan turns into serotonin once metabolized, and can reduce anxiety and leave you feeling happy and relaxed. Or, if you’ve just polished off your fourth helping of meat n’ potatoes, even lull you right into sleep!
The five foods listed above probably won’t cure your anxiety, and, unless your doctor specifically recommends it, shouldn’t be taken in lieu of other treatment. But by adding healthy amounts of them to your diet – and cutting back on things like alcohol, caffeine and candy, which promote the opposite results – you might find yourself better able to handle stressful situations, and more capable of quelling anxiety before it gets out of hand.
Want to try cannabis as an alternative to pharmaceutical anxiety medications? At Growers Choice, we offer plenty of high-quality medical strains; White Widow and Mazar are two specifically well-suited to easing stress and anxiety.