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6 superfoods to calm anxiety and stress

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In today’s busy and stressful world, anxiety has become a common occurrence for many people. While various treatments are available, adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet can contribute significantly to anxiety management. Read on to discover superfoods that reduce anxiety!

In a world where stress and anxiety seem to lurk around every corner, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could find some relief in the foods we eat? Imagine having a secret stash of superfoods that not only please your taste buds but also work their magic on your mind. Incorporating certain foods into your daily routine can provide essential nutrients and compounds that promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. Let’s explore these superfoods for reducing anxiety.

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How can superfoods help reduce anxiety?

When Health Shots reached out to fitness and nutrition expert Rohit Shelatkar, he explained that stress and anxiety are caused by the body’s increased production of cortisol in people. During these times, people often eat excessive amounts of processed, sweet and salty meals. While these high-fat foods may temporarily improve our mood and stimulate our brain’s pleasure centers, they ultimately do more harm than good and increase our susceptibility to depression and anxiety. Caffeine, processed meats and foods high in sugar can all raise cortisol levels and make anxiety symptoms worse, says Shelatkar. Apart from proteins, vitamins, there are some superfoods that help reduce anxiety and many body problems such as stress, depression and fatigue.
There are a variety of foods that can help you fight anxiety and find peace! Image courtesy of: Adobe Stock

Superfoods to reduce anxiety

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are not only delicious, but also rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, which have been shown to have stress-reducing effects. These antioxidants help fight oxidative stress and inflammation, both associated with anxiety disorders. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science showed that blueberry supplementation improves mood and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety in young adults. Adding a handful of blueberries to your diet each day can provide a natural boost to your mental health.

2. Salmon

Oily fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Omega-3 fats are linked to improving oxidative stress and controlling anxiety by improving brain function, says Shelatkar. Regular consumption of salmon can provide a natural source of these omega-3 fatty acids and contribute to a calmer state of mind. Walnuts and flaxseeds are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be added to your diet to reduce anxiety.
Load up on omega-3 foods to keep your mood in check!. Image courtesy of: Adobe Stock

3. Bananas

Bananas are a good source of magnesium. A 2004 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that magnesium supplementation may improve mood. One large banana contains 37 mg of magnesium which helps lower blood pressure. Banana helps maintain a lower heart rate and also helps control anxiety, restlessness and mood swings, says Shelatkar.

4. Complex carbohydrates

The nutrition expert explains that whole-grain complex carbohydrates keep you from feeling down by providing a slow release of energy into your bloodstream. Carbohydrates in the brain are known to increase levels of serotonin, sometimes referred to as the “happiness hormone.” To maintain your energy and happiness, make sure each meaningful meal is spaced out and contains oats, whole wheat, quinoa, barley or other whole grains.

5. Citrus

The highest concentrations of vitamin C are found in citrus fruits, which also aid in stress management. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce emotional and physical stress, possibly by lowering cortisol levels, says Shelatkar. The hormone cortisol, also known as the “fight or flight” hormone, is released when you are under stress and has been linked to a number of medical ailments.

Citrus fruits are not only healthy, they also help curb anxiety! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Beans and legumes

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A systematic review published in Nutrients in 2017 assessed the impact of legume consumption on markers of mental health. The review indicated that the consumption of legumes can have a positive effect on reducing anxiety and improving mood due to their nutrient composition. Chickpeas, lentils, beans and other legumes contain antioxidants, vitamin B6 and magnesium. They can be used as an alternative to red meat in sautes and stir-fry recipes because they are powerful sources of protein.

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While foods alone can’t cure anxiety disorders, incorporating them into your diet can be a valuable addition to your overall anxiety management strategy. Remember to consult a healthcare professional for a comprehensive approach to managing anxiety, but don’t underestimate the power of nourishing your body with these anxiety-reducing superfoods. By taking care of your diet and embracing a holistic lifestyle, you can take significant steps towards achieving a calmer and more balanced state of mind!

#superfoods #calm #anxiety #stress

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