Foods to Help Combat Anxiety

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 15:12

Lately, we’ve been seeing many biochemists, registered dietitians, and even gastroenterologists referring to our gut as our “second brain”. This is because research shows an irrefutable link between how what we eat effects our brain chemistry. For example, did you know that the majority of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness) is produced in your gut?

So, recently I began talking to one of the registered dietitians who helps create the meal plans in my app and asked her what she thought about foods that could help with anxiety. And she had a ton of great advice – but before we go over it – a quick caveat: if you struggle with chronic depression and anxiety please see a psychiatrist. That said, it certainly can only help to incorporate these foods as well!

Here is our list of go-to nutrients:

The first thing we want are foods rich in magnesium. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer and can help you feel more relaxed. Look to incorporate avocado, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains, leafy greens, and bananas into your diet on a regular basis.

Fermented foods and fiber rich foods to help support microbiome (all those tiny little microbes that live in our gut). A healthy strong microbiome is directly connected to overall health from immunity to metabolism and brain chemistry is just another one on the top of the list. So choose fermented foods like yogurt, tempeh, miso, kimchi, kefir, cottage cheese to keep the good bugs flowing. And be sure to feed those little critters with plenty of fiber – so lots of fruits and vegetables!

Zinc also seems to be a big one. Studies show that people with diets low in zinc are prone to depression – plus zinc is great for boosting your immune system. Foods rich in zinc are beef, lamb, oysters, shrimp, scallops, mushrooms.

Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. So, ideally we would get some fish into the mix here… Wild salmon, pecans, flax seeds, walnuts, sardines are all good sources!

You may notice these are all simply really healthy foods. Bottom line, a good diet has tremendous benefits across the board from immunity to digestion to anti-aging and apparently even anti-anxiety!