The Top 7 Anxiety Reducing Foods

anxiety reducing foods

Over the course of a lifetime, it’s quite often that an individual finds themself in a nerve wracking situation. Whether it be an audition, a job interview, or a presentation in front of upper management, we are often expected to confront that stress head on. There’s no running away from your job and your life.

Most of the time, this means we don’t perform at our best.

Too often, you’ll see someone’s nerves show at the worst timing possible. Whether they blank in the middle of a speech or fumble a question they knew the answer to, individuals often leave feeling like they completely blew it. They’ll curse their nerves for their shoddy performance. 

“If it was any other situation, if I wasn’t so nervous, I would have nailed it.”

That person may even be you.

So how do we calm down those nerves to avoid these slip ups? Most people say practice, and while that’s true, it’s only one part of the equation. Practicing will help you remember the content, while meditation and deep breathing naturally help your body cam down. But what if you don’t want to have to focus in order to naturally ease anxiety?

Here are 7 anxiety reducing foods so you can perform your best when that big moment comes.

1. Yogurt

Probiotics found in yogurt are great for calming nerves and reducing anxiety. Studies have shown that these helpful bacteria can promote a healthier mental state. They also create less stress by reducing free radicals and neurotoxins which damage the brain.

2. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is great for combating stress as it contains anandamide, a compound that boosts your mood. Unlike milk chocolate, which is full of refined sugar, a compound which boosts your mood momentarily and leads you to crash, dark chocolate will have longer lasting effects. It allows you to combat stress and anxiety better for a longer period of time.

3. Green Tea

Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been studied for effects related to brain function and anxiety reduction. In one study, individuals were asked to ingest L-theanine. The study ultimately found a decrease in the physiological effects related to anxiety such as heart rate. L-theanine was also found to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to anxiety. This increases levels of dopamine and seratonin which have anti-anxiety effects.

4. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of potassium which helps regulate electrolyte balance and also maintain blood pressure, effectively reducing stress and anxiety. The seeds also contain zinc, which studies have shown helps increase mood.

5. Spinach

Spinach is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is known as being a calming mineral that is great for inducing relaxation. Inadequate levels of magnesium are found to reduce serotonin, a hormone responsible for many anti-anxiety effects.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is not only delicious, but instead of being a simple sugar that will spike your blood sugar and cause you to crash afterwards, it’s a complex sugar. This complex sugar will cause your body to release serotonin, making you feel more relaxed and in a better mood than if you had consumed simple sugars. Oatmeal is one of the greatest breakfast foods for reducing anxiety.

7. Bananas

Bananas are considered natural beta blockers. This means that they prevent adrenaline from binding to your beta receptors so all the effects of adrenaline won’t occur. This means no increased blood pressure and no increased heart rate. Bananas also help release serotonin, contain Vitamin B to help keep the nervous system calm, and contain potassium which sends oxygen to the brain and regulates blood pressure.

No matter what stressor you’re facing, consider trying out these 7 anxiety reducing foods to help deal with the obstacle in front of you. Not only are they good for the immediate anxiety inducing event, but they are also crucial in helping you deal with anxiety long-term.

This way you will always be able to perform at your best without having to worry about your nerves getting in the way.

For more articles about “Anxiety” on The Sanity Snack:

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