Six Foods with Anti-anxiety Benefits

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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With so much uncertainty in the world, most of us are extremely anxious at the moment.

Majority of us experience sleep disturbances, mood swings, and are unable to concentrate, once in a while, as we try to make sense of the world we live in. But, if these feelings of anxiety are a regular occurrence, then it is time to rethink your lifestyle, as it is one of the primary reasons for anxiety. No particular diet will help anxiety, but research shows that certain food items are associated with an improvement in the signs or symptoms of anxiety.

 
 

Here we have listed six food items to build your diet around. These foods will help ease your anxiety and calm you instantly.

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1) Fatty Fish

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Salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, herring, and other fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and vitamin D. Both the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are said to have calming and relaxing properties as they regulate dopamine and serotonin (natural chemicals in the brain). They also promote the brain’s ability to adapt to changes, which allows you to handle triggers that result in anxiety symptoms much efficiently. Vitamin D also improves the levels of mood-calming chemicals in the brain.

2) Brazil Nuts

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Anxious people have high levels of inflammation in the body. These nuts are rich in selenium, which is a powerful mineral that reduces inflammation and improves mood. Selenium also prevents cell damage, as it is an excellent antioxidant.

3) Eggs

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We all know eggs are a great source of protein, and the yolks are rich in vitamin D. Eggs contain all the amino acids required by our body. This includes tryptophan, an amino acid that enables the production of serotonin. Serotonin, a naturally occurring chemical in the brain, regulates our sleep, mood, behavior, and improves brain function, thus relieves anxiety.

 
 

4) Pumpkin Seeds

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These seeds are a good source of potassium. Potassium regulates the electrolyte balance and manages blood pressure. They are also rich in Zinc, which is a mineral essential for the development of the brain. Zinc deficiency is known to affect our mood negatively. Include pumpkin seeds, banana, and other potassium-rich foods to reduce symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

5) Chamomile

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This herb contains antioxidants that help reduce anxiety. Antioxidants also reduce the risk of anxiety by decreasing inflammation in the body. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients who consumed chamomile extract showed a significant reduction in their symptoms.

6) Turmeric

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Curcumin is the active ingredient in this commonly used spice in Indian and South-East Asian cooking. Curcumin has shown to reduce anxiety in obese patients by reducing inflammation. Curcumin also increases the levels of DHA. Make sure you add this spice to your food.

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