It is probably safe to say that most of us have been feeling more anxious than normal these days. A pandemic will do that to you. For those of us who already deal with anxiety on a regular basis, this certainly makes it worse. 

Boredom and fears definitely take up much of the day. If you find that you are googling how to reduce anxiety during this time you are not alone. We are all feeling it. We have gotten outside. We have taken walks, done yoga, tried meditation and calming baths. Did you know that some foods can reduce your stress and anxiety levels? It is true! Here’s a list of food and drinks to nosh and sip as we continue to navigate this new world.

Feed Your Face to Calm Your Body & Brain

You cannot pop a pill and poof! Your anxiety is a thing of the past just like you can’t go to one therapy session and be cured of your issues. Tweaking your diet is not a one meal deal either. To effectively manage stress and anxiety you need to combine techniques and foods. Your gut health contributes to how your brain works and produces neurotransmitters and brain chemistry. Eating foods that aid in this health is a winning combination. Swap out sugary sweets and fried foods that feel comforting in the moment for mood-boosting nutritious superfoods. This is the key to long-lasting and effective health in mind and body. 

Fast Food Swaps

Substitute this for that? Yes, please!

1. Asparagus spears or even baked sweet potato fries instead of traditional fries. Asparagus dipped in salsa or hummus fills you with folate which helps stave off depression.

2. Avocado ice cream instead of the sugar-filled dairy version helps increase your Vitamin B6 levels which create feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin.  Find an easy recipe for this soft served treat in a quick online search. 

3. Yogurt with cereal instead of milk and cereal in the morning. The probiotics work wonders on your gut health which creates a healthy brain. 

Say Yes to These 5 Foods

  1. Berries are chocked full of antioxidants. They make a good substitute when you want something sweet too. Toss them into yogurt, bake them into muffins, eat a handful with some stress-busting almonds, or simply eat them plain in a bowl as a snack. Cherries are an excellent choice too.
  2. Chamomile tea at the end of a long day might be your way to a calmer night’s sleep. Sip a cup before bed and feel more rested.  Valerian root tea is another good alternative. 
  3. Fuzzy, sweet kiwi tossed on salad or eaten alone helps fill you up with folate, Vitamin C and E which produce serotonin and reduce inflammation. Taking pain away from your body is a sure way to create calmer you.
  4. Tart cherry juice served over ice or mixed with seltzer and served with a slice of lime is a zesty way to boost your mood and serotonin levels. 
  5. Magnesium deficiency is a real problem for about half the U.S. population. Tossing pumpkin seeds into a salad, eating a handful as a snack, or mixing them into some trail mix (with dried berries, cherries, and almonds) guarantees an uptick in your magnesium supply while reducing mood disorders and brain excitability.

What do you eat to help your anxiety?