Now is a time of great distress for many Americans. Countless people have been laid off while another large portion of our workforce is putting their health on the line to protect others. Still more are struggling to adapt to working from home. An estimated 18% of Americans already struggle with feelings of anxiety, but just about everyone is suffering from some form of anxiety at this time.
One of the easiest ways we can get a semblance of control is by choosing what we put into our bodies. Eating a healthy diet is important during stressful times since food is what allows our bodies to keep moving forward. Eating right is also associated with a healthier weight and better mental health since we’re getting the important vitamins and nutrients that our body craves.
If you have been particularly anxious lately, there are a few healthy foods that are designed to reduce feelings of anxiety. When you want to feel better throughout the day, rely on these foods to quell anxiety and promote feelings of ease while social distancing.
These little orbs of fruit contain high levels of vitamin C, a key factor in cell reparation and protection. When we’re feeling stressed out and anxious, our body craves this vitamin C to help protect us from would-be threats, even if it’s just in our mind. After all, this is why the old wive’s tale about drinking orange juice developed to help combat sicknesses.
Of course, eating a few blueberries won’t calm you down from a panic attack. Rather, consuming fruits with more vitamin C is a great way to help dampen the effects of anxiety in the first place. Studies have shown that eating blueberries and other fruits containing vitamin C can help reduce anxiety and prevent it from getting too out of hand. Just be sure to brush your teeth and clean your Invisalign trays after eating fruits with citrus; the acids can harm your teeth without the proper oral health care routine.
Studies dating all the way back to the 1960s have shown that people suffering from depression and anxiety typically have folate deficiencies. If you’re feeling particularly stressed right now, consuming folate-rich foods, like asparagus, is key to boosting your mental health. Try cooking up this green veggie with some garlic or dip them raw in your favorite hummus for a healthy snack. Just one cup of asparagus contains about two-thirds of your recommended daily folate intake.
Green teas are known for having a calming effect, which is why so many people drink them before bed. If you’re feeling anxious, sipping on a green tea is a great way to calm your nerves and help you feel more grounded. This is particularly beneficial for the body since green tea contains the amino acid, theanine. One 2017 study even found that just 200 mg of theanine each day reduced tension in the participants. Try drinking a daily cup of green tea to ease your nerves during this stressful time.
Beating anxiety is hard, but mood-boosting foods can help make your stress a little more manageable. Take care of your diet — and your mental health — by relying on these anxiety-reducing, healthy options.