For the past couple of decades, we have become more aware of the connection between what we eat and our physical health. But what about our mental health? Many studies have shown that there is a strong link between nutrition and mental health. Certain foods can boost your mood, while others can cause inflammation that may contribute to depression and anxiety. The good news is that by making small adjustments to your diet, you can manage your symptoms and feel better.
Foods that Fight Anxiety
Eat comfortably, with awareness of how it makes you feel. Some foods calm you down; others may make you feel more anxious or irritable. Here are some snacks to help ease anxiety:
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients for your body and brain. These include B vitamins, magnesium and zinc — all of which can help improve your mood by balancing hormones and reducing inflammation in the body. Nuts also contain arginine, which is an amino acid that has been found to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. Snack on walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds for a delicious stress-busting treat!
Green tea has been found to reduce the levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the blood. It also helps to lower blood pressure. Green tea contains L-theanine which helps control anxiety. To get the most out of green tea, it is best to drink it at least twice a day. Go for organic green teas as they do not contain pesticides and other chemicals that may harm your health.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially for digestive health. Probiotics have been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol.