- Almonds contain magnesium, which helps to relax muscles, and tryptophan, which increases the brain’s level of serotonin.
- Bananas contain serotonin, magnesium and melatonin.
- Milk. You’ve heard that you should have a glass of warm milk to help you fall asleep. Milk is rich in tryptophan and the calcium helps your body assimilate that tryptophan.
- Whole grains like whole wheat bread, quinoa and brown rice are better for you than foods made from processed grains. The term whole grain means that the entire grain is being eaten, including the fiber and essential oils that allow the body to digest the food slower, releasing glucose into the blood stream a little bit at a time. Whole grains give your body measured, even energy and keep you from receiving a rush and suffering a letdown that can be terrible for your nerves.
- Peaches have a natural sedative that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Leafy Greens and other Vitamin B rich foods like beef, chicken, beans and legumes, oranges, rice, nuts and eggs are full of B-Vitamins. Some studies show that people who maintain a diet rich in B Vitamins are better supported to ward off anxiety and depression.
- Salmon: Omega-3 fats found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna can help you maintain a happier, more relaxed mood.
- Proteins like Greek yogurt, meat, cheese, eggs, nuts, tofu and legumes, help stimulate the production of brain chemicals that are known to improve mood and energy.
- Caffeine has been shown to lower levels of serotonin in the brain which can cause you to feel irritable and anxious. It can also cause mild dehydration which can cause depression.
- Alcohol may seem like a substance that calms you, but as your body processes it, it can make you feel anxious and depressed. Each alcoholic drink you consume is recognized by your body as a simple sugar, which is terrible for maintaining a steady, calm mood. Alcohol also dehydrates you and can disrupt sleep, and you need a good night of sleep to feel happy and stable.
- Processed foods are full of simple carbohydrates, sodium and preservatives and chemicals which can cause an anxious reaction in the body. Eating fresh, whole foods provides your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to function properly. Pay attention to the way you feel after eating certain processed foods. Many people have nervous reactions to certain food additives and preservatives.
- Pesticides in commercially grown produce can cause symptoms of anxiety in some people. Many cases of headaches, dizziness, weakness and difficulty breathing have been reported as a result of consuming pesticides, which could all contribute to a state of anxiety and depression. Some of the foods with the worst pesticide contamination in the U.S. include apples, celery, peaches, imported grapes, leafy greens, strawberries, blueberries and potatoes. Choose local and organic versions of these foods when you can.