If you frequently have racing thoughts or feel anxious, you’re not alone. Research shows that nearly 80% of Americans feel the same way at times. Luckily, eating specific foods daily can act as a chill pill, literally calming your nerves like a cozy blanket and helping your body to better adapt to stress. Food manufacturers are stepping up to ensure they’re offering just the products to help. In fact, at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference EXPO (FNCE), where food brands go to exhibit their latest edible innovations, an overarching theme emerged: foods to quell anxiety. We’re sharing some of our top picks, including these foods and drinks that are hot from the EXPO floor.
The key is to consume these foods each day, rather than just here or there. The same way that you would train for a marathon, it’s not one day that will make the difference, rather the consistency and building that will help your body to adapt, be more resilient, and minimize anxiety so that when stressful situations hit, your body will be able to roll with the punches. Read on, and for more, don’t miss 6 Best Foods To Avoid Stress-Triggered Weight Gain, Say Dietitians.
Stay focused and prevent anxious thoughts from distracting you by starting your morning with Focus Tea. Harnessing the power of a caffeine-free stimulant, Focus Tea contains spearmint, an ingredient that has been shown to improve concentration thanks to its phenolic compounds that help you to stay attentive, and this brew has a clinically effective dose of it. This minty boost has also been shown to encourage neuroprotective and healthy inflammatory responses, which is a big deal because neuro-inflammation is linked to anxiety disorders. And if worry has affected your memory, this tea’s got your brain—supporting short-term memory, as well as “working memory,” the ability to use and manage that. Toss these single-serving stick packs into your bag to be conveniently mixed in hot water for an instant, spearmint-flavored herbal tea that boosts focus, attention, and concentration, and helps bring on the calm.
Whether you start your day with your eggs scrambled or you bite into them hard-boiled for a snack, you’ll get a boost of choline, which helps fight stress, as well as protein and the neurotransmitter, tryptophan, both of which help to relieve anxiety. Eggland’s Best eggs provide additional advantages to chill you out, as they have more than double the omega-3s compared to ordinary eggs plus six times the vitamin D. These nutrients keep you calm by regulating the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help you to relax. Thanks to their proprietary vegetarian hen feed, Eggland’s Best eggs also offer twice as much vitamin B12, an important nutrient for maintaining a healthy nervous system, and ten times the vitamin E, which the body uses up quickly during stress to fight off oxidative stress, which is associated with anxiety and depression. Replenish it daily to help restore your sense of serenity. High cholesterol? No problem, stick to 4 yolks a week.
If you’re feeling on edge, it’s likely you’ll be looking for a comforting crunchy snack to help distract your mind, so grab a couple of these flaxseed crackers mid-afternoon. Flackers fuel your brain with omega-3 fats from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which are associated with a lower risk of developing anxiety, depression, and other problems with cognitive function. Ideal for anyone who isn’t getting omega-3s from fish daily, your calm body will also unwind with the help of rosemary, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, improve memory and cognition and boost sleep. Top them with a little ethically sourced smoked salmon for a real omega-3 brain boost.
This velvety delicious dip has a calming reward that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated. Instead, this hummus will boost mood and decrease anxiety, thanks to tryptophan, an amino acid that’s abundant in chickpeas and that helps you to make serotonin, the body’s “feel-good” hormone. Research shows anxiety may be linked to tryptophan depletion, and with hummus you also get wholesome, slow-burning carbs that help tryptophan make its way to the brain. Simply toss Cal-Organic Hummus with Carrot Chips in your bag and bring them with you for a happy boost at snack time. You’ll avoid the vending machine and the sugary-refined snacks that spike and crash blood sugar and that trigger mood swings and anxiety.
Squash your nerves with a dose of a relaxation-promoting blend of spirulina, chlorella, flaxseeds, turmeric, bilberries, and celery, which are all rolled into this easy-to-consume, powerful daily whole foods dietary supplement. You’ll get anxiety-lowering magnesium from chlorella and spirulina’s high chlorophyll content while also making your body better able to adapt to stressful situations. The omega-3s in flaxseeds, polyphenols in bilberry, and curcumin in turmeric, add to the anxiety and depression-lowering benefits in Liana’s Organics Anxiety Free, while the addition of the adaptogen ashwagandha helps to lower cortisol levels.
Kefir is a tart and tangy fermented dairy drink that packs a probiotic punch. With billions of live and active probiotic cultures per serving, kefir is a superstar when it comes to boosting mood, fighting anxiety, and of course, supporting gut health. Research shows probiotics can help alleviate stress and anxiety, which is why Green Valley’s Kefir, a blend of 11 different live and active probiotics chosen for their unique and complementary roles and synergy, is like a massage in a bottle. A Gallup poll found that 8 out of 10 Americans admit to frequently or sometimes encountering stress on a daily basis and since stress disrupts a healthy microbiome—and an imbalanced microbiome further contributes to anxiety—let’s cheers with a daily glass of kefir.
The Nutrition Twins are sponsored by Eggland’s Best, Life Extension Focus Tea, and Broc Shots. All thoughts and opinions are their own.