The 'superfruit' that can help ease anxiety revealed – and 5 other foods to try | The Sun
WHEN WE'RE feeling anxious or stressed, many of us will drown our feelings in a bowl or ice-cream or a slice of pizza.
While they might provide some temporary relief, these kinds of processed foods can actually wreak havoc on our mood.
'Superfoods' is the word on many health experts lips at the moment.
Aside from providing our bodies with health boosting nutrients, many of them could actually help ease feelings of anxiety.
And the first of these is a little purple fruit you've definitely heard of.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. The super fruit has even been found to boost people's memory and could provide protection from dementia.
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It also contains flavonoids – these are compounds found in lots of fruit and veg which are though to benefit our health.
Megan Megan Hilbert, MS, RDN, of Top Nutrition Coaching told Delish that powerful flavonoids in blueberries called anthocyanins have been shown to impact brain health and reduce neuroinflammation, which is associated with anxiety spikes.
2. Dark chocolate
For those of us who reach for a bar of chocolate when we're stressed, this is excellent news.
But take note: it should be dark, about 70 per cent cocoa or more.
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Studies suggest that dark chocolate can improve mood or stress as it contains flavonoids – like blueberries.
It's also high in tryptophan – an amino acid for the production and maintenance of your body's proteins – which the body uses to turn into mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain.
And finally, it's rich in magnesium which has been shown to reduce anxiety, whether in food or supplement form.
Who knew our favourite breakfast food could help bust our anxiety?
Egg yolks are a good source of vitamin D, which can be especially essential in winter when there is little sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked with anxiety, research suggests, so it is vital you keep levels up in your diet.
Eggs also contain serotonin, which has been shown to improve your brain and relieve stress.
Turmeric is a zingy warm spice often used in Indian cuisine.
The yellow-coloured powder contains curcumin, which is thought to lower anxiety by reducing inflammation.
Just 1g of curcumin a day reduced anxiety in adults with obesity, according to a study.
And who doesn't like cooking up a big curry when they're feeling under the weather?
5. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts contain large amounts of selenium, which is another antioxidant.
Research shows it improves mood by reducing inflammation.
But too much can be dangerous, with adults advised not to have more than three or four brazil nuts a day.
Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamin E, which has been shown to lower anxiety in children.
A nice, soothing cuppa is always a game-changer when you're feeling down.
But research suggests you should ditch the builder's brew for herbal chamomile instead.
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Chamomile contains flavonoids, like blueberries and dark chocolate.
A study suggested having between one and three cups a day reduced anxiety symptoms.
When to see a doctor for anxiety
Feeling anxious or worried at times is normal, but if it’s affecting your life it’s probably a sign you should seek some help for it.
It's not always easy to recognise when anxiety is the reason you're feeling or acting differently.
It can cause physical symptoms such as:
- faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
- feeling lightheaded and dizzy
- chest pains
- loss of appetite
Mentally, you might feel:
- tense or nervous, being unable to relax
- worried about the past or future
- unable to sleep
- unable to concentrate
- fearful of the worst happening
And some changes in behaviour include:
- not being able to enjoy your leisure time
- difficulty looking after yourself
- struggling to form or maintain relationships
- avoiding places and situations that create anxiety
Try talking about how you're feeling to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor.
You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: [email protected] if you need someone to talk to.
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