While there is a ton of new studies that are starting to show that what you eat can have an effect on your anxiety, the real connection is between the food you eat and your brain. This means that when you eat certain foods, it has a calming effect on you that helps you to reduce your anxiety (the good foods). But at the same time, there are also foods that have a negative effect on your anxiety and actually make it worse (the bad foods).
While anybody can go online and find some foods that are supposedly going to help them reduce their anxiety, what foods can you go down to your local Whole Foods store and purchase today?
Here is a list of foods that you can buy from your local Whole Foods store to reduce your anxiety, and what to avoid buying, as it will only aggravate your anxiety.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the foods that you must have in your diet if you want to be healthy and happy. In fact, some will even say that Omega-3’s are brain food that will make your brain happy.
While most doctors prefer to prescribe you some type of medication to help treat your anxiety, the real answer is right in front of you; the food you eat. And when it comes to Omega-3 fatty acids, nothing can be better for your brain. So how does this relate to your anxiety?
When you lack certain nutrients (such as Omega-3 fatty acids), it will have a negative effect on your brain. In fact, it will disrupt your brain function and can even alter the chemistry and neurotransmitters in there as well. This is bad as it’s those neurotransmitters that control your mood, how you feel, and even your appetite.
But when you add Omega-3’s to your diet, you will be giving your brain the nutrition it needs while also reducing the symptoms of anxiety.
Some of the foods that you can add to your daily diet that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and readily available at your local Whole Foods store include:
- Chia Seeds
- Wild Salmon
Not commonly known by most, probiotics are another food that will help to calm you. While probiotics are for your gut, your gut is extremely important in the production of several neurotransmitters that include dopamine, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), and serotonin.
In fact, recent research has shown that using probiotics can actually work to help you treat, and even prevent your symptoms of anxiousness.
The best ways to get more probiotics in your diet are to either take a probiotic supplement or eat/drink foods that are fermented. The process of fermentation encourages the good bacteria in your gut to grow and can help calm and prevent the symptoms of anxiety.
Foods that will help increase the number of probiotics in your gut that are readily available at Whole Foods include:
There is a reason that foods rich in antioxidants are considered to be superfoods; they help to prevent your feelings of anxiousness. Antioxidants have been proven to protect your brain against stress, which eventually leads to inflammation. This can and will eventually affect your neurotransmitter production. What this means is that when you are in a state of lower antioxidants, you will feel more anxious more easily.
In fact, studies have shown that when you follow a diet that is rich in antioxidant foods, it will help to treat your mood issues and make you feel better more often.
Some of the antioxidant-rich foods that you should include in the daily diet that you can easily get from Whole Foods include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Fruits Rich In Vitamin C
- Red Peppers
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sunflower Seeds
These are the foods that are readily available at Whole Foods stores, and that is essential if you want to support your optimal brain function.
Refined Sugars And Processed Foods Are Bad
When it comes to processed foods and sweets, it is no big secret that they are bad for you. But did you also know that they are bad for your mental health too? You see, it’s the sugars and refined carbohydrates that are going to cause your blood sugar to spike extremely high, followed by a huge sudden drop.
While this may not sound like it’s that bad, this drop in blood sugar levels has been linked to a higher risk for depression and mood swings.
As if that weren’t bad enough, fried foods and processed meats have also been linked to a drop in your mood, as well as inflammation and heart disease. All these symptoms are linked to mental health problems, as well as anxiety.
While these types of foods are readily available at Whole Foods stores, your best plan of action is to steer clear of any fried foods, processed meats or refined sugars.
Instead, try to shop for the more complex carbohydrates such as the ones that are found in whole grains. These are directly linked to a lower rate of mental health conditions, as well as a lower rate of anxiety.
Alcohol Is A Major Downer
While alcohol is a natural depressant, it is even worse if you suffer from anxiety. While alcohol makes you feel ‘better’ initially, it goes hand in hand with anxiety. In fact, studies have shown that if you suffer from social anxiety, you are 4.5 times more likely to be more dependent on alcohol.
Drinking alcohol may seem to calm you down, but what it does to your body is cause massive spikes and then dips in your blood sugar levels. On top of that, it also dehydrates you, impairs your brain’s ability to function, and causes even more anxious feelings than if you didn’t drink anything at all. It is a vicious cycle when it comes to alcohol.
When it comes to what you should buy from Whole Foods to reduce your anxiety, there are many good things that you can use to help your situation. But at the same time, there are also some foods that you should stay away from as they are only going to aggravate your anxiety symptoms.
Just be sure that you maintain a healthy diet and buy the good foods that are going to help lessen your anxiety symptoms when you are shopping at Whole Foods, and you will be fine.
This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published at SundayScaries.