6 of The Best Anti-Anxiety Foods
Nutrition has a crucial role in the development of chronic mental health complaints like anxiety and an equally important place in the recovery process. Certain foods in particular have nourishing and medicinal properties for nerves that help to ease anxiety symptoms. Adding these foods to daily meals, as well as considering other nutritional supplements and diet changes can be that vital first step towards changing how we feel and having the energy and motivation to take other steps to heal.
Here are six of the best nerve nourishing foods which have been shown to have a positive effect on mood and anxiety:
This fatty fish is a great source of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), which are essential for nervous system health. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and brain which is known to drive anxiety and depression symptoms. However in order to get the full benefits you need to make sure your salmon is wild-caught, not farmed. Farmed salmon is raised on a diet deficient in omega-3s. Not sure where to find wild salmon? Look for fresh or tinned "Wild Alaskan Salmon" and frozen "Sock-eye Salmon".
Nuts like macadamias, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, and walnuts, are rich in healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants. Walnuts in particular contain high levels of short chain omega-3, which like DHA and EPA, holds anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 from walnuts is also converted into DHA and EPA needed for a healthy brain and nervous system.
Avocado is a great source of healthy fats which help to keep our blood sugar levels balanced and provide vital nutrients for nerves. Fats form an important component of the nerve sheath called "myelin" which covers nerves and helps to send signals throughout the body. Keeping blood sugar levels stable is also critical because it reduces our stress levels. As a bonus avocado is also high in potassium which is alkaline and supports pH balance, reducing stress on the nervous system.
This spice is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to have a positive effect on nerve health. This is beneficial because inflammation produces immune messengers called "cytokines" which drive anxiety and low mood symptoms. Turmeric can be used in a multitude of different ways. It can be added to curries, used to make yellow rice or added to dairy and non-dairy milk to make "golden milk".
Basil is a herb which has sedative and calming benefits for anxiety. "Holy Basil" in particular has been found to have a calming effect on the mind and assist with sleep. Include basil in meals by adding it to tomato based sauces. You can make your own basil pesto at home and add it to meats, vegetables, potatoes, sandwiches and pasta dishes. You can also enjoy holy basil as a tea, usually sold under the name "Tulsi" tea.
These small, tasty fruits are packed with antioxidants, which can help protect the brain against oxidative stress. Research has shown that antioxidants can significantly reduce stress hormones and symptoms of anxiety. As an extra benefit, blueberries have also been shown to improve memory and cognitive function.
Looking for a more help with diet and supplements to support your nervous system and recovery from anxiety? Book a Free Discovery Call to find out more about a natural approach to anxiety relief that uses food and natural medicine.