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Can Food Help With Anxiety? Here Are 9 That Could Be Useful

Anxiety sucks. Whether you have a full-blown anxiety disorder or experience episodes of anxiety from time to time, feeling that uncomfortable in your own skin is never pleasant. It's no wonder that you would try just about anything to feel better. For instance, can food help with anxiety? Because eating your way to feeling better sounds like a win-win.

Now, obviously, if you have an anxiety disorder, it's important to consider psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two for help. That said, some minor lifestyle changes probably won't hurt either, and it looks like there are certain foods that may help you reduce stress and feel less anxious. You can even experiment with your own diet to see whether these eats may help your own moods.

This is a different way to approach the idea of stress eating. Although you may want to curl up with a vat of macaroni or ice cream when you're feeling anxious (it's called comfort food for a reason), most of these foods are actually pretty healthy. Plenty of tasty fish, leafy greens, and fresh fruits just might help you feel more calm and relaxed. And if nothing else, you can at least enjoy some delicious foods when you're attempting to destress.

1. Mussels

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According to Everyday Health, foods that are rich in B vitamins may help calm anxiety. (Or, more precisely, a deficiency in B vitamins may cause anxious or depressive moods.) According to Healthaliciousness, shellfish such as mussels are packed with B vitamins, as are fortified tofu or cereals.

2. Blueberries

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Blueberries are powerhouses of nutrition. As noted in Men's Fitness, blueberries contain both vitamin C and antioxidants, which may help your body repair itself when you're stressed. Plus, they're tasty and naturally snack-sized.

3. Salmon

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Time to hit the bar — the sushi bar, that is. According to Health, foods rich in omega-3s, such as salmon, may help you experience less anxiety. This may be all the reason you need to stock up on your favorite sake roll.

4. Almonds

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Munching on a handful of almonds may help you maintain your chill. According to Calm Clinic, almonds contain zinc, iron, and healthy fats, all of which may help balance your mood.

5. Avocados

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Do you need more reasons to feast on these delectable fruits? As noted in Prevention, the creamy avocado contains B-vitamins and plenty of other nutrients that may help you handle stress. Guacamole, anyone?

6. Broccoli

Vitamin C may help you control you cortisol levels and blood pressure, as noted in Shape, and a single cup of cooked broccoli has double the vitamin C of an orange. (If citrus fruits are more your speed, then that's cool too.)

7. Spinach

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Hey, what food list would be complete without the mention of green leafy veggies? As noted in Mercola, foods such as spinach contain folate, which may help regulate your serotonin and dopamine levels. It may be the perfect reason to give some green smoothies a try.

8. Legumes

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Noshing on beans, peas, and lentils may also help keep your mood stable. As explained by Harvard Health Publications, having a diet low in magnesium may lead to anxiety, so it makes sense to stock up on foods that contain plenty of magnesium, such as legumes or whole grains.  

9. Pickles

As noted in a 2015 piece in the Psychiatry Research Journal, consuming fermented foods may help reduce social anxiety. Pickles are certainly an option, and you can always branch out to kefir, kombucha, or tempeh.