4 Foods To Fight Anxiety
Get Calm By Consuming These Nutrients
Anxiety is a normal part of life and keeps you alert to dangerous situations. But today’s modern world doesn’t have you running from lions, it’s more about keeping calm while stressful texts roll in. When that ping sound brings a late night email from your micromanaging boss, your body doesn’t know the difference between that and real danger. Your heart rate quickens, your muscles tighten, and adrenaline and cortisol flood the system. Basically your body is in stress mode and the anxiety monster is taking over. Diet has a huge role in mood and can keep you calm in stressful situations. Here are a few foods to pump the brakes when anxiety starts to rise.
Sauerkraut Fermented foods contain the neurotransmitter GABA, your brain’s relaxing neurotransmitter. GABA is inhibitory and slows everything down, helping you chill out. Sauerkraut also has the benefit of being made from cabbage, a prebiotic food which feeds good bacteria in your gut. Working on gut health helps lower cortisol levels, reducing the stress response and bringing back those chill vibes.
Chickpeas This plant-based protein is packed full of fibre. Fibre keeps things moving along in your intestines and helps remove waste products that build up. Fibre also helps stabilize your blood sugar with a slow release of glucose. Blood sugar instability, usually caused by consuming processed or refined grains, can be a sneaky source of anxiety. Chickpeas are also a good source of Vitamin B6, another nutrient needed for the production of GABA.
Walnuts You’ve likely heard the buzz that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body. And your mind probably goes to fatty fish like salmon. That’s a great source, but it’s good to add some variety and walnuts are a great non-fish source. Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, which scavenge for free radicals in the body. Free radical formation is a normal part of living (exercise even creates them!), but if not neutralized by antioxidants they can cause damage to the body and the brain.
Dark chocolate Pretty sure everyone is excited about this one. Not just any chocolate though, at least 70% cocoa, and the darker the better to keep the sugar down. Chocolate is high in magnesium, one of the body’s calming minerals. Magnesium is part of over 300 reactions in the body and has a role in making GABA. Magnesium also reduces inflammation and can help with heavy metal toxicity. Chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, namely polyphenols and flavanols for protection against free radicals.
Put your dukes up against the anxiety monster by combining all these ingredients into a super salad with leafy greens, chickpeas, sauerkraut, and walnuts. And don’t forget a few squares of dark chocolate for dessert!