The A-Z Of Anti-Anxiety Foods

Anxiety is now the most common mental health condition in Australia. More than feeling stress and anxiousness, its two million sufferers experience panic, tension, difficulty breathing and even a racing heart.

While medical treatment and support are available, looking after your diet is vital. Think of it this way, if you had diabetes, you’d take the medication, but all of that would be for nothing without changes to what you eat. And research points to a clear connection between our gut and mental health. The lack or abundance of essential nutrients can increase or reduce anxiety-related behaviour. So, we’ve come up with a list of anti-anxiety foods. From A-Z, let’s look at everyday foods that fight anxiety:

Asparagus Often, folate-deficiency links to anxiety. Asparagus is chock-full of folate. In fact, one cup equals more than 60 per cent of the recommended daily intake. Why not swap your side dish of hot chips for asparagus instead?

Avocado Rich in B vitamins and omega-3, avocados aid in the production of serotonin which in turn can improve your mood. Try blending it with a very ripe banana, vanilla extract, nut milk of your choice and some honey. Freeze then enjoy guilt-free avocado ice cream!

Blueberries A low rate of antioxidants is also related to anxiety. Fortunately blueberries—nature’s lollies—have a high antioxidant level and take no effort at all to add to your diet as they’re super yummy.

Chocolate The compounds in chocolate, particularly dark chocolate with no added sweeteners, reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol. This treat never fails to make us feel better!

Protein Good proteins, like green veggies, beans and legumes, fish and lean meat, are great for topping up on essential nutrients such as zinc, iron and amino acids. However, stay away from processed meat and stick to small portions of the lean cuts.

Spices Who says healthy eating is boring? Give dishes an antioxidant, anti-anxiety boost with spices like turmeric, saffron and ginger.

Whole grains Low levels of magnesium also link to anxiety. Swap your highly-processed regular pasta and bread for the whole grain variety and enjoy a magnesium lift.

Yogurt The plain and Greek varieties of yoghurt contain lots of probiotics which help reduce anxiety.

Zinc-rich foods Beyond protecting our skins from the sun, zinc also balances our mood. So, don’t shy away from almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and seafood like oysters, crabs, octopus and lobsters.

Anxiety sufferers need not worry about a bland, strange or boring diet. Our anxiety-busting foods are not only readily available—they’re tasty too. So, stock up and fight with the help of food.