Knowing how to fight anxiety is tough. Anxiety is feeling of worry or unease that so many people around the people suffer from every day. In fact, in 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK, which was approximately 12.8% of the population. It is important to remember that everyone anxious at some point in their life, for example when you feel worried about an exam or job interview and this is 100% normal. However, anxiety can become debilitating if people find it hard to control their worries or if their feelings of anxiety are a lot more common.
This can lead to anxiety disorder which can causes people to feel anxious most days and find it hard to cope on a day to day basis. Often anxiety is treated with physiological therapy or medication, however these solutions do not work for everyone. There has been a load of research into other ways to help fight anxiety and it has been proven that regular exercise, no smoking, cutting out alcohol and caffeine and eating a healthy diet of anxiety fighting foods can help sufferers to reduce their anxiety levels. In this article I am going to tell you about the best foods to help fight anxiety and why they help reduce anxiety levels.
Feelings of anxiety or nervousness can be triggered by a lack of vitamin B in the body because we all need a healthy dosage of vitamin B for healthy nerve and brain cells. Avocados are packed with stress fighting B vitamins (particularly thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin which have a positive effect on the nervous system). I can almost hear all the brunch-loving food bloggers rejoicing. So, next time you need an excuse to go out for a smashed avo on toast, just remember that while it may not be healthy for your bank account, it is definitely beneficial to your wellbeing!
Asparagus is full of folate, which in the body is converted to folic acid. Having higher levels of folic acid is great for people who suffer with anxiety or depression because it has amazing mood enhancing properties.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants such as flavonoids, both of which are known to help fight anxiety. With only one cup of blueberries containing 24% of your recommended vitamin C intake, blueberries may look small, but they pack a great stress-beating bunch. Incorporate them into your diet easily by having a handful as a snack of after dinner to help keep your anxiety at bay.
Drinking a glass of milk a day will help to boost your vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium and antioxidant levels which work together to reduce blood pressure, muscle spasms and increase serotonin levels. Even better, opt for a glass of warm milk which will help relax your muscles and send you off to sleep much easier if you are prone to feeling anxious before bed.
Chamomile is a herb that contains a high levels of antioxidants which are proven to reduce inflammation. Chamomile is also mildly sedating and is a muscle relaxant, which means that it can help people to fall asleep more easily which is especially beneficial for insomniacs. All of these benefits are great for helping to ease anxiety and feelings of worry, making chamomile an excellent anxiety-fighting food. Animal studies also show that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs, further proving that chamomile is a great natural anxiety reliever.
Turmeric is an easily accessible spice that you can find on the shelves of most local supermarkets. It contains curcumin which is proven to reduce anxiety levels and promote brain health by reducing inflammatory markers such as cytokines, often linked with anxiety development, and increasing blood antioxidant levels which is generally low in those who suffer badly with anxiety. So, if you suffer from increased anxiety, try incorporating more turmeric into your diet (you can mix some in with your morning porridge or smoothie) and hopefully your anxiety will become more manageable.
7. Dark Chocolate.
Dark chocolate can also help reduce anxiety levels because it contains flavonols which are antioxidants that help promote healthy brain function by increasing blood flow to the brain and helping it adjust better to dealing with stressful situations. Eating dark chocolate can also encourage your body to release higher levels of serotonin, which can help fight anxiety. Is there a better excuse to eat more chocolate?!
8. Green Tea.
Green tea is a herbal drink which is amazing at helping to reduce anxiety and keep your worry at bay. This is because it contains L-theanine, an amino acid which is proven to have a positive effect on brain health and works wonders at reducing anxiety. L-thenanine has amazing anxiety reducing properties, such as preventing nerves from becoming overexcited and increasing the levels of GABA, dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters which all work together to help fight anxiety.