5 Foods That Help With Anxiety

Updated on January 6th, 2020
food for anxiety

Anxiety is a mental condition, which affects millions of people around the world. Symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person as some only experience them for some time, whereas some for six months or more may suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

You might feel anxious even though you are meeting your therapist regularly, or despite taking medications for the same as he has prescribed. The fact is its treatment does not stop when you leave the therapist’s office; there is one more significant factor i.e., a diet that you need to consider.

Quick Facts

Anxiety disorder is a common mental illness in the U.S., which affects 40 million adults (18 or above) in the United States, or 18.1% of the total population every year. However, anxiety disorder is treatable, but only 36.9% get treatment.

How to Treat Mental Stress and Panic Attacks With Food for Anxiety?

The alteration you can do in your diet is merely swapping out foods and lessening the severity of anxiety symptoms. Try to avoid consuming large amounts of food in a short span because that only makes you feel guilty as well as more anxious. Instead, you can enjoy nutritious super foods that consist of mood-boosting properties, and you will also feel better after consuming it. Few simple food swaps can help with stress and anxiety:

  • Asparagus Spears rather than Fries
  • Non-Dairy Frozen Avocado Treat rather than Ice Cream
  • Blueberries rather than Sugary Sweets
  • Lean Turkey rather than Fried Chicken
  • Almonds rather than Cookies
  • Yogurt and Cereal rather than Milk and Cereal
  • Kale rather than Iceberg Lettuce

[Also Read: How to Treat Anxiety Using Natural Remedies]

1. Green Tea for Anxiety

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is beneficial for various health conditions. It can help in improving everything, whether it is weight loss or blood pressure. Green tea incorporates antioxidants as well as tea polyphenols(1), which help in boosting health. It helps in calming nerves and works as an anti-anxiety remedy.

All this is possible because green tea consists of an amino acid called L-theanine. Researchers found that L-theanine directly affects the brain. It helps in increasing alpha wave activity in your mind, and it indicates an ability to increase relaxation without feeling any drowsiness.

Begin your morning with a cup of green tea. For preparing green tea, you need green tea powder, water, honey, or sugar (optional). You can choose the type of green tea leaves as you wish. First, boil the water in a pan. When water starts boiling, turn off the stove and add green tea leaves in it.

Allow leaves to steep for 3-4 minutes. If you brew green tea leaves with boiling water, it turns bitter. So it is better to brew it between 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Once its color changes, strain the tea leaves and add honey or sugar as per taste.

[Also Read: Home Remedies For Anxiety]

2. Salmon for Anxiety

benefits of salmon

Salmon has omega-3 fatty and vitamin D, which helps in giving relief from anxiety and promote brain health. If you add it in the breakfast routine, it helps in brightening up the gloomy morning. There are some sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be easily added to breakfast dishes such as walnuts and flaxseed. You can add some smoked salmon on to a bagel in the morning, or if you cannot add salmon into breakfast, you can go for one-pan salmon dinners.

Firstly, buy a salmon fillet(Skinned/Without Skin). You can peel the skin quickly once cooked. You can take out remaining tiny bones, then clean the surface. Spread the salmon on a foil and lightly grease it with oil. Season it with salt, minced garlic, and pepper. You can also place some slices of lemon around the fillet. When it roasts, it will become super juicy. You can squeeze it on top while serving because it makes a great sauce.

[Also Read: ]

3. Dark Chocolate for Anxiety

dark chocolate

According to researchers, dark chocolate helps in reducing stress. Dark chocolates consist of a large number of polyphenols, especially flavonoids. As per the study, flavonoid can decrease neuron inflammation and death of cells in the brain. It also helps in improving blood flow.

Dark chocolate has a high content of tryptophan(2), which our body turns into mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, for example, serotonin. When you choose dark chocolate, go for 70% or more. However, it also contains fats and added sugars, so consuming 1 to 3 grams is appropriate.

Opt for a dark chocolate smoothie. Dark chocolate, bananas, low-fat milk, peanut butter, and little amount of vanilla extract can make a perfect smoothie.

For preparing a dark chocolate smoothie, take a large cup, and add all the ingredients mentioned above in it. Blend everything till it becomes a smooth paste. You can add more milk if you feel that paste has not turned into a smoothie. However, you can add more dark chocolate if you love chocolate. The yummy creamy chocolate banana smoothie is a perfect way to get the sweet cravings fixed. It is also an excellent way for a quick pre-workout boost.

[Also Read: Probiotics for Anxiety Relief]

4. Yogurt for Anxiety


Yogurt consists of healthy bacteria, Bifidobacteria, and Lactobacillus. Studies have proved that these bacteria, as well as fermented products, show positive results on brain health. Moreover, as per a recent study review, yogurt, as well as other dairy products, can develop an anti-inflammatory effect in our body.

It is also figuring out that chronic inflammation is partially responsible for stress, depression, and anxiety. In 2015, a study found that fermented food such as cheese, sauerkraut, and soy products can reduce social anxiety in youngsters, whereas other studies state that consuming healthy bacteria can increase happiness in some people.

For preparing yogurt at home, boil the milk at 180° Fahrenheit, then cool it at 112-115° Fahrenheit. Add the yogurt and stir it with the remaining milk. Pour the milk into a container and set it at room temperature for 7-9 hours. Put the bottle in the refrigerator to cool and set.

5. Chamomile Tea for Anxiety

Chamomile tea Benefits

Sometimes anxiety and stress can cause sleeplessness. Chamomile tea not only helps in reducing anxiety and stress but also helps in treating insomnia. It helps to relax the muscles and reduce irritability.

Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of dry chamomile in 8 ounces of boiling water. Stir for 5 minutes. In the case of fresh chamomile, add chamomile flowers to a hot water pot and infuse it for 3 minutes. Strain the residue before drinking.

[Also Read: Chamomile For Treating Anxiety]

Some food items help in reducing anxiety and provide a feeling of calmness in the body, whereas other foods can cause anxiety after consuming it. You must consume foods like complex carbs, which boost the chemical serotonin that can calm the brain. Also, drinking a lot of water and keep your body hydrated because dehydration could also cause mood fluctuations.

For boosting the mood, just add the food items such as chocolate, folate and other vitamin-B, low-glycemic foods, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and tryptophan to your diet.


1. Is There Any Instant Cure for Anxiety?

There are various techniques that you can utilize for managing anxiety effectively such as take a deep breath, understand that brain is tricking you, acknowledge that you are anxious, question yourself, use a calming visualization, etc.

2. Can Yoga Help to Cure Anxiety?

Yoga postures help in easing the physical discomfort that is due to anxiety. While doing yoga, you need to stretch, lengthen, and helps in balancing the muscles. These postures can help to release built-up muscle stiffness and tension of the entire body.

[Also Read: 10 Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety Control]

3. How to Overcome Social Anxiety?

There are few tips that you can try to overcome social anxiety such as challenge your negative thoughts; concentrate on others instead of yourself; try to control the breathing, overcome your fears; try to be more social, embrace an anti-anxiety social lifestyle.

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