Anxiety: 6 superfoods to reduce episodes

Mental health is a fundamental part of human well-being, it governs many aspects of our life. One of the most common disorder in society is anxietyAlthough it is a normal mechanism of the body in stressful situations, when it occurs chronically, it significantly deteriorates the quality of life. It is characterized by intense, excessive and continuous feelings of worry and fear in everyday situations. Among the most characteristic symptoms are tachycardia, rapid breathing, sweating and feeling tired. It is also very normal for it to present with fear, irritability, difficulty concentrating and muscle tension. Although follow-up with a professional and therapy are essential aspects of treatment, making changes in lifestyle and diet can be key. Specifically, experts recommend eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins. Based on this, we set about selecting 6 of the best superfoods to deal with anxiety episodes.

The truth is that in recent months the cases of anxiety in the United States and the world have been increasing. There is data in which it is endorsed that during the last year derived from the pandemic, cases have skyrocketed, however anxiety is not a new issue and for many years it has been present in society. It is estimated that about 18% of the population suffers from it and despite being a completely treatable condition, less than 37% of people with some type of anxiety disorder do not receive treatment.

Starting by making changes in your diet is a powerful tool to improve your mental health and reduce the intensity of anxiety episodes. Based on this, we set about selecting 6 of the best superfoods you can’t miss in the management of any anxiety disorder.

1. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts contain selenium, it is well known that it is one of the most important nutrients for improving mood. In addition, it is associated with great benefits in reducing inflammation, which is often found at elevated levels in people with a mood disorder, such as anxiety. Selenium is also an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. Best of all, it is found on a long list of nuts, animal products and vegetables, mushrooms and soy being on the list of foods highest in selenium. As a side note: the recommended upper limit for selenium for an adult is 400 micrograms (mcg) per day, so a handful of walnuts will suffice. In addition, this type of nuts, they are a magnificent source of vitamin E, one of the most powerful antioxidants to treat anxiety. In fact, there are some references, which have shown that low levels of vitamin E can cause depression in some people.

Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts. / Photo: Pixabay

2. Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring, are rich in omega-3s. It is one of the fatty acids with a strong relationship with cognitive function and mental health. According to a recent study, it has been shown that if a person eats too much omega-6, and not enough omega-3, the risk of developing mood disorders such as anxiety is increased. Omega-3 rich foods containing alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) provide two essential fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which have the power to regulate neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation and promote a function healthy brain. Current recommendations suggest eat at least two servings of fatty fish a week. A study done in men found that eating salmon three times a week reduced self-reported anxiety. Another of the great qualities of fatty fish is that they contain vitamin D, science increasingly relates its deficiency to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Omega 3
Salmon. / Photo: Shutterstock

3 eggs

Eggs are considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet, they are accessible, satisfying and highly nutritious. One of its great advantages is that the yolks are incredibly rich in vitamin D and that is why they are associated with great benefits to treat anxiety and depression. Eggs are also an excellent source of protein, they are a complete protein source; in other words, they contain all the essential amino acids that the body needs for its growth and development. They shine for their content in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps create serotinin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep, memory, and behavior. Serotonin is also believed to improve brain function and relieve anxiety, which is why eggs simply cannot be absent from the daily diet of people with anxiety disorders.

Fried eggs
Eggs. / Photo: Shutterstock

4. Pumpkin seeds

In recent months everyone has talked about the benefits of integrating seeds into the daily diet, they are associated with a long list of properties and one of the most relevant is their qualities to enhance mental health. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate the body’s electrolyte balance and also helps control blood pressure, which is often altered by emotional imbalances and stress. Therefore, eating foods rich in potassium, such as pumpkin seeds or bananas, can help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of the mineral zinc, according to a study of 100 high school students found that zinc deficiency it can negatively affect mood. Zinc is essential for brain and nerve development. The largest zinc storage sites in the body are in the regions of the brain involved with emotions.

Pumpkin seeds./Photo: Shutterstock

5. Dark chocolate

Not only is it delicious and comforting, plain chocolate is one of the most powerful natural mood-boosting stimulants. In particular, it has been found that Consuming dark chocolate can help reduce stress and anxiety. A 2014 study found that 40 g of dark chocolate helped reduce perceived stress in female students. Numerous other studies have found that dark chocolate or cocoa can improve mood. It is believed that dark chocolate reduces stress and anxiety by being a rich source of polyphenols, especially flavonoids. Complementary to this, a study suggested that flavonoids are key to reducing neuroinflammation and cell death in the brain, as well as improving blood flow. The chocolate, it is also high in tryptophan, which the body uses to convert it into mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin in the brain. Last but not least, pure chocolate is an extraordinary source of magnesium, one of the most important nutrients for reducing the symptoms of depression. to get its true benefits, put on a chocolate 70% pure cocoa or more.

Chocolate. / Photo: Shutterstock

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a commonly used spice in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. Its great medicinal and healing qualities are related to its content in an active ingredient called curcumin. Curcumin can help fight anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, which are often increased in people who experience mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. A 2015 study found that curcumin reduced anxiety in obese adults. Another study found that an increase in curcumin in the diet also increased DHA and reduced anxiety. Best of all, turmeric is easy to add to all kinds of foods, it goes great in juices, smoothies, soups, stews, herbal teas, and more.

Turmeric. / Photo: Pexels

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