7 foods that help reduce anxiety

by Chloe Johnson


 In fact, just the smell of air-popped popcorn has been shown to make you happier.


Cashews are the best of the foods that will boost your mood in regards to depression. They have actually been proven to boost your mood better than Prozac, and they don’t have the nasty side effects you get from taking that anti-depressant drug. That is because cashews are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which allows you to make serotonin and boosts your mood. Make sure you buy raw, unsalted cashews so that you don’t get any added junk in them. Add them to smoothies, stir-fries, trail mix, or eat them straight up. The recommended daily amount to feel the benefits is ½ cup daily.


Have you ever smelt an orange, only to find yourself in a great mood? It may sound a little silly, but I know I have! The scent of oranges has actually been proven to relieve anxiety, and drinking the juice from a fresh orange has been shown to stop a panic attack. I don’t know about the second one from experience, but I know my anxiety drops significantly when I eat an orange. The science behind eating an orange and it boosting your mood is that it is high in vitamin C and vitamin B6, both of which are good for reducing stress hormones and lessening depression. You can enjoy oranges plain, combine their juice with other juices, or add them to smoothies and salads.


Just like cashews, popcorn is rich in the amino acid tryptophan. This means your body will be able to produce serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that increases your mood. The higher levels of serotonin you have, the better off you are going to be. You will have a better mood, you will be more relaxed, and you will have less anxiety. In fact, just the smell of air-popped popcorn has been shown to make you happier. Speaking of air-popped popcorn, make sure you consume air-popped so you don’t get any chemicals from microwave bags or copious amounts of butter. You can still add some sea salt and a little melted coconut oil to it if you’d like to.


I’m sure many of you will have your mood lifted just knowing you can eat dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains many compounds that have been shown to boost your mood. It also has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol in your body, thus reducing overall stress levels. Consuming dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao content has also been shown to reduce anxiety. The recommended amount is about 1 ½ ounces daily. Who can complain about that?


Pumpkin seeds are slightly underrated, and I have no idea why. They contain an abundant amount of tryptophan that is used to make serotonin and increase your mood. This will help you relieve stress and feel less depressed. Just half a cup of pumpkin seeds has almost your entire RDA of magnesium, which is good for helping you relax. Eating ½ cup daily is going to be your most powerful relaxation and mood-boosting dose. You can add pumpkin seeds to salads, trail mix, or toast them in the oven and eat them plain.


Surprisingly enough, raw honey has been proven to boost your mood! The sugar in honey has properties that give you an instant mood boost, reduce anxiety, and can even stop depression. It also has hormone-balancing properties that can stop depression in teenagers (or adults even). Raw honey reduces inflammation, and inflammation can actually cause depression in some cases as well. For an even more calming effect, add some raw honey to a soothing mug of tea and really let the relaxation sink in. You should consume about a tablespoon or so daily for the maximum benefits.


Coconut is a great mood-boosting food. That’s because it contains medium-chain triglycerides that your body processes and uses as instant brain fuel. Coconut will not get stored as fat because of this reason. Even the scent of coconut has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and lower blood pressure. Add fresh young coconut water or meat to your smoothies, add coconut oil to popcorn for a great anti-anxiety snack, or add coconut shreds to your oatmeal.

Fueling your body correctly is so important in conquering anxiety, stress, and depression. Eating whole foods that will help your body produce serotonin, and that your body will use for instant energy is key. It really is easy to boost your mood using nature’s selection of foods that are minimally processed.


Read this article in All Women Stalk


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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