Many educated, aware, knowledgable people also subscribe to fighting anxiety, stress with options other than medication and some would like to try alternative options along with subscribed medications.
When it is possible to explore the non-invasive, easier, cheaper option to shed, minimize stress, anxiety and it is bounty from nature, why not give it a try before turning to medical help as needed?
It would be wise to not avoid medication where quality of life is enhanced, and not to quit medication course mid way unless advised by the medical expert.
What are foods that are suggested to cope better, which have been tested, tried and results have shown they are worth a try?
1) Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain probiotics, the friendly bacteria that live in your GI tract and help defend against harmful pathogens and microbes. Eating more probiotics can help take care of your gut microbiome, potentially benefiting that gut-brain connection.
Cherries contain antioxidants like quercetin, which can help promote feelings of calmness. Eating more fruits and veggies in general has also been linked to decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression and increased happiness levels. Some studies have shown that eating five or more servings per day helps boost your mood, yet according to the Centers for Disease Control, only 10% of Americans hit that recommendation.
3) Dark Chocolate
Its bitter flavor profile is polarizing for some, but promising research could tip the scales in favor of a frequent treat. A 2019 survey-based study published in the journal Depression & Anxiety suggests that people who eat dark chocolate regularly are less likely to report depressive symptoms. While more research is needed to confirm any causation due to the study’s limited size, adding a small amount in your routine certainly can’t hurt
4) Chamomile Tea
Who doesn’t love a cup of warm, soothing cup of tea after a long day? If you can, spring for chamomile: A 2016 clinical trial, with results published in the journal Phytomedicine, suggests that those who drank this tea over a long-term period “significantly” reduced severe generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Chamomile’s role in anxiety reduction may have something to do with it’s ability to enhance your efforts to get to sleep on time
Some initial studies also indicate that the combo of vitamins C and E plus folate may help to reduce oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic inflammation. Plus, they may help to promote serotonin production, the neurotransmitter associated with well-being and happiness.
Seafood is another under-consumed food in the U.S. and there’s early evidence to support adequate intake (8-12 ounces per week) with a cognitive boost and mood enhancement due to the essential omega-3 fatty acids. Try adding more salmon, mackerel, sardines, and shellfish to your plate, or algal oil if you’re vegan or vegetarian.
This nutrient-packed fruit is filled with vitamin B6 and magnesium, a combo that may help with serotonin production in your brain. Adding avocado slices to omelets, salads, and even smoothies will also help you get more fiber and healthy fats in your diet.
RELATED: 20+ Amazing Avocado Recipes
8) Beans and Legumes
Chickpeas, lentils, beans, and legumes also provide antioxidants, vitamin B6, and magnesium. They’re protein-rich powerhouses, so try them as a swap for red meat in sautés and in stir-fry dishes
9) Plain Greek Yogurt
Yogurt provides key minerals that may help with symptoms of stress and stabilize mood, but it also provides probiotics. Look for plain, unsweetened versions with at least five strains of live and active cultures on the ingredients’ list to use in breakfasts, snacks, and dips.
10) Whole Grains
Prebiotics, meanwhile, fuel your body’s probiotics so they can survive and thrive. Find them in 100% whole grains like oats, barley, and bran, as well as various fruits, vegetables, and beans. Eating more of these foods helps serotonin receptors in your GI tract function properly and they’ve been linked to reducing risk of chronic disease.
It may sound like an old wives’ tale, but there’s some science behind the time-honored glass of milk before bed. A cup of milk provides minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Magnesium in particular has been studied for its role in anxiety — yet 68% of Americans aren’t getting enough of this mineral.
12) Pumpkin Seeds
An ounce of pumpkin seeds provides nearly 20% of your daily value of magnesium, plus potassium. Sprinkle these seeds (and nuts, like walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, and cashews) on your meals or snack on ’em plain for a nutrient boost.
For approximately 31% of Americans, anxiety can manifest itself as a debilitating disorder at some point in their life — women are almost twice as likely as men to develop one, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Nearly anyone would admit they’re overworked, stressed, exhausted, and burnt out — but changing what’s physically on our plates may help us feel so much better.
There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting pathways in your gut may affect mental health and anxiety symptoms, adding weight to the role that the gut plays as a bodyguard to the rest of your immune and neurological systems. In addition to adequate therapy and treatments prescribed by your care provider, a wholesome diet can help boost the natural prowess of your GI tract and could serve as yet another way to help regular your mood. A large meta-analysis of randomized control trials published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 2019 found that adopting a healthier diet significantly reduced depressive symptoms associated with anxiety disorders — and the research also suggested that women especially reaped significant benefits in dietary interventions. Placing an emphasis on veggies, fruit, 100% whole grains, nuts, seeds, and unsweetened dairy products may benefit us in multiple ways at the biochemical level.
But if you’re wondering about those CBD edibles and drinks you’re suddenly seeing everywhere, they may not help as much as you may think. There’s insufficient reliable evidence regarding CBD dosing, safety, and the effectiveness for health conditions — and, technically, CBD is still considered illegal when used in food and beverages, until the Food and Drug Administration adds CBD to the “generally recognized as safe” list. According to FDA experts, CBD could potentially harm you by causing livery injury, affecting other prescribed drugs you may be taking, and could also be contributing to male reproductive toxicity.
Another factor to consider: Your body can use only a fraction (less than 20%) of the CBD it digests, not to mention the fact that a 2017 study found that 26 percent of CBD products tested in a randomized trial contained less CBD than advertised. Products made with CBD, just like other processed offerings, may contain ingredients that’ll make anything taste better, including added sugar, sodium, and saturated fat-filled oils.
While there’s no magic food that can “cure” or “treat” anxiety and depression (talk to your doc if you’re concerned), there are a few shifts that we can make in our daily food choices that have been studied for mood-boosting properties. Assuming we all want to eat food that’s delicious, nutritious, and safe, try more of the following picks instead.
*With additional reporting by Jaclyn London MS, RD, CDN