Overcoming anxiety and managing stress can be accomplished by simple lifestyle changes.
One of the most important, and often most overlooked, ways to reduce anxiety and stress is by maintaining a healthy diet.
The food that you put inside of your body can not only worsen your anxiety and stress levels, but it can also dramatically improve your mood and overall health when choosing the right foods.
If you are looking for a natural way to reduce your stress and anxiety levels then I highly recommend adding some of the following foods to your diet immediately.
Oatmeal - A delicious warm bowl of oatmeal is a great way to start your day off right. Oats increase the production of the calm inducing serotonin in the brain. Oatmeal is also comforting, filling, and will not spike your blood sugar the way refined carbohydrates and sugars do. Make sure to choose organic steel-cut or rolled oats when possible.
Blueberries - Blueberries have an extremely high level of antioxidants and also contain vitamin C which both work well to protect and repair cells when we are stressed or anxious.
Turmeric - Curcumin, the antioxidant present in turmeric, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, making it beneficial for cardiovascular system and it has been shown to reduce depression. You can add turmeric to your diet simply by adding it to your smoothies, oatmeal or having some delicious turmeric milk at night.
Avocados - Avocados contain B vitamins which provide healthy nerves and brain cells. Avocados can be eaten alone or added to just about anything such as smoothies, salads, or toast.
Dark Chocolate - Some studies have shown that dark chocolate can help you feel more calm by stimulating serotonin in your brain.
Oranges - The vitamin C in oranges and other citrus fruits help lowers blood pressure and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Have some fresh squeeze orange juice or oranges slices for a snack throughout the day.
Asparagus - Asparagus is high in the B vitamin, folic acid and also contains potassium, vitamin A, and Vitamin K. Low levels of folic acid have been shown to cause neurotransmitter impairment.
Leafy Greens - Spinach, kale, swiss chard and many more leafy greens should become staples in your diet if you struggle with stress and anxiety. The high levels of magnesium contained in leafy greens will help to regulate cortisol levels.
Almonds - Almonds contain Vitamin B2 and E which can assist the immune system in times of great stress. They are also comforting and the perfect stress relieving snack to crunch on at times of need.
Chia and Flax seeds - Chia and flax seeds contain Omega-3 Fats which has been linked to protecting and promoting overall brain health. Add these to your salads and smoothies every day.
A few other health tips to ease anxiety and stress:
Cut out processed foods - We all know that processed foods are not good for you, but it can be very hard to stay away from them. The amount of additives, preservatives, and artificial flavorings is simply not beneficial for your overall mental or physical health.
Avoid or reduce caffeine & sugar - Caffeine and sugar are both extremely addicting. While they can provide a boost of energy, they usually are followed by a crash that only causes you to crave more caffeine and sugar and it usually will cause your emotions to run wild.
Choose hormone free foods - Dairy, eggs, and animal protein are filled with hormones and antibiotics which only cause hormone imbalances in our bodies and can directly affect our mental health.
Limit Alcohol - Alcohol is a depressant, so if you already struggle with anxiety it is best to stay
away or limit your alcohol intake.
Get plenty of vitamin D - Low serum levels of vitamin D have been linked to anxiety and depression. It’s important to get outside and try to at least get 10 - 20 minutes of sunlight each day. Sometimes it may be necessary to supplement with vitamin D.
Now pay close attention to the food you eat and how it directly relates to your stress and anxiety levels. I hope that by incorporating these foods into your diet your anxiety and stress will lessen and you will begin to reap the amazing benefits.