6 food choices to reduce anxiety

Deepshikha Agarwal, nutritionist
Filed on September 13, 2020 | Last updated on September 13, 2020 at 01.46 pm

Nutritional therapies can be effective to keep anxiety at bay. One can overcome stress by simple additions to their regular diet. Yes, eating right can actually calm you down. Some of the basic diet modifications you can make are:

. Cut down on caffeine: Cutting the intake to half every 4-7 days is helpful. Switching to green tea or chamomile tea can be a great idea as it has less caffeine and also has theanine, which has a calming effect on the body. The warm soothing drink actually calms hyperactivity of the brain.

. Reduce sucrose: Too many sweet treats can increase anxiety. Remember that very sugary food will give you a mood crash if you don't follow it up with some fibre. So ideally, you eat something that is both sweet and high in fibre. For instance, fresh fruits, energy bars, fruit custard and oat biscuits can be good mood boosters.

. Increase magnesium intake: Nuts and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds, leafy vegetables like spinach, lime beans, dark chocolate and tofu are excellent source of magnesium. Throwing in some nuts and seeds in your cereal bowl or smoothies or having spinach soup can make a difference. In fact, there's nothing wrong in grabbing a piece of dark chocolate once in a day as this small dark treat is a good source of magnesium. Make sure your chocolate has 80 per cent cocoa.

. Check your Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D deficiency can make you feel low. To prevent it, make sure to expose your body to sunlight every day for at least 20 minutes. Try and consume vitamin D fortified orange juices and cereals. Having salmon and mackerel fish twice a week can be beneficial.

. Pump up protein: Some of the researches have proven that people having low protein diet may often feel low. Make sure to include adequate amounts of protein in your meals ie 5-6 serving. You can have milk and milk products, fish, egg whites, and various beans like soybeans. (Easy tip: Switch to almond flour or soya flour for breads. Add protein to your salads by dressing it up with some pieces of chicken, tofu, cheese or cottage cheese. Having a cup of greek yoghurt with berries can be a very satisfying and colourful snack to uplift your mood. Choose quinoa over rice and pasta.

. Spice up your food: Spices can not only reduce your anxiety but also are good anti-inflammatory agents. Using turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger in your diet can be beneficial. Having half cup turmeric milk before going to bed, sipping in lemon or ginger basil tea twice a day or adding cinnamon to your everyday tea can actually increase the release of antibodies. Their strong aroma and flavour decreases your stress levels and changes the mood.

Some of the complementary therapies can also be opted to combat anxiety like surrounding yourself with lavender flowers. The smell of lavender is calming, so keeping a vase of lavender flowers or even a spray of lavender oil can do wonders. Similarly, magnolia is believed to relieve anxiety; so having magnolia tea or a smell around the house can really be helpful.


 
 
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