Health Review 

Lower Stress & Anxiety through Food!

Sammy Pappas is a co-founder of Dietitians of Palm Valley, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. Pappas enjoys blogging about nutrition, fitness, and wellness.

There are foods that help anxiety, but it is just as important to make sure that you’re not eating foods that contribute to anxiety. Examples of these types of foods include fried foods, high glycemic carbs, unrefined sugars, and alcoholic beverages. Below are some foods that help lower stress and fight anxiety.

Blueberries

Blueberries are more than a delicious fruit; many consider it to be a superfood. It’s rich in vitamins and phytonutrients (plant nutrients), with a variety of antioxidants that are considered extremely beneficial for relieving stress. Many experts also believe that peaches fall into this category as well, because they have nutrients that appear to have a sedation (calming) effect.

Acai Berries

Acai berry is one of the newest super food on the market! It may not be the weight loss fruit that many people claimed it was, but acai berries are still rich in phytonutrients like the blueberry, and the antioxidant levels are off the charts.

Almonds

Almonds are an underrated food. They contain zinc, a key nutrient for maintaining a balanced mood – and have both iron and healthy fats. Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, and low iron levels have been known to cause brain fatigue, which can contribute to both anxiety and a lack of energy.

Chocolate

Chocolate – especially pure dark chocolate (80% or more) without the added sugars or milks – is also a great food for those living with anxiety and stress. Chocolate reduces cortisol – the stress hormone that causes anxiety symptoms. There are also compounds inside dark chocolate that improve mood.

Maca Root

Maca root is not exactly a popular food item in grocery stores, but the powder can be added to several foods and beverages and is found in a variety of health food stores. It’s believed that this root has more phytonutrients than nearly every type of fruit and vegetable, including magnesium and iron – two important nutrients for controlling anxiety. It also is often used for healthy stamina and energy.

Healthy eating is one of the best ways to control anxiety and stress. In fact, one of the best things you can add to your diet is more water. Many studies have found that dehydration affects as many as 25% of those with persistent stress or more, and dehydration is known to cause more anxiety. So drink up!

For more nutrition tips related to lowering stress and anxiety, contact Dietitians of Palm Valley at 904-250-0075 or info@dietitiansofpalmvalley.com!