Can Clean Eating Help Ease Anxiety?

If you’re meeting with a therapist on a regular basis and are even taking medication but still can’t seem to get your anxiety under complete control, it might be time to take a closer look at what you’re eating.

It might sound simple, but several experts suggest that by making a few small dietary changes, anxiety sufferers can ease their symptoms. Experts such as Jodi Godfrey, a nutrition educator, often talk about the clear connection between our brain and gut. When the body doesn’t receive the right nutrients, it can have a direct effect on brain chemistry.

The beauty of this solution is that it really doesn’t require any major changes. By adding specific foods to your diet and reducing your intake of processed foods, alcohol and caffeine, it can have a noticeable effect on your anxiety levels.

Foods that Ease Anxiety

Here are a few of the foods that you can add to your diet that can provide your body and mind with the nutrients they need to potentially reduce symptoms associated with anxiety.

  • Sweet potatoes. Because fibre and complex carbohydrates help keep blood sugar levels stable, this delicious vegetable can also help balance your mood. It’s the refined carbs such as bread and pasta that can have the opposite effect.
  • Brazil nuts. With a high level of selenium, Brazil nuts help reduce inflammation, a factor that can greatly ease the symptoms associated with anxiety. Mushrooms and soy beans are also excellent sources of selenium.
  • Chard. Because this vegetable is high in magnesium it helps lower cortisol levels, which reduces anxiety. Increasing your magnesium intake can also balance your gut, which is an added bonus.
  • Kidney beans. This vegetable is high in tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels in the brain. When there’s more serotonin in the brain, it produces a natural calming effect, which is great for anxiety sufferers.
  • Cashews. The high levels of zinc that are present in cashews are proven to alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Pumpkin seeds and adzuki beans have the same effect.
  • Brown rice. B vitamins help increase serotonin and dopamine levels, which regulate mood. Brown rice contains several varieties of B vitamins, which is why it helps to add more of it to your diet.
  • Chamomile tea. This herbal tea has been a favourite amongst anxiety sufferers for years and for good reasons. A number of studies have shown that people who drank chamomile tea on a daily basis for several weeks saw a significant decline in their anxiety levels.
  • Blueberries. Because blueberries are high in vitamin C, they help protect your cells from stress and are known to help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety.

These are just some of the foods that can help you feel calmer and happier throughout your week. This is not to say that diet is a cure – it’s still essential to see your therapist and take your medication. However, taking a more natural approach to your eating certainly can make a big difference too.

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