Walnuts are a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids. These have
been shown to be able to support the functioning of the brain and can also
help to reduce depression. The fact that many modern diets don’t include
these compounds could be contributing to increasing cases of depression.
Brazil Nuts contain 14 percent protein, 12 percent carbohydrate, and
66 percent fat. They have a high content of polyunsaturated fat with a
majority of omega-6 fatty acids. They are also high in selenium that can
help reduce anxiety as it improves mood by decreasing inflammation. This
is important as an individual with a mood disorder such as anxiety has
heightened levels of inflammation.
Selenium also has other benefits such as preventing cell damage as it is an
antioxidant and cancer prevention. Other great sources of selenium include
animal products, other nuts, mushrooms, soybeans, and vegetables. It is
important not to consume excessive amounts of selenium as it can result in
side effects. The current recommendation for adults is 400 micro-grams per
day. Besides selenium, Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamin E,
which can also benefit individuals with depression.
Pumpkin Seeds or "pepita", are an edible seed obtained from cultivars
of squash or pumpkin. These seeds are usually asymmetrically oval and
flat. They are rich in nutrients and calories as they have a high fat content
(linolenic and oleic acid), dietary fiber, protein, and other micro-nutrients.
They have also been used as an anti-helminthic in folk medicine by the
Due to their high content of potassium, they also help regulate blood
pressure and electrolyte balance. Foods that are rich in potassium can help
reduce anxiety. Besides potassium, pumpkin seeds are also a good source
of zinc, which have been found to be essential for brain and nerve
development. A study involving 100 participants reported that zinc
deficiency can negatively affect mood.
Eggs are a great source of protein as they are considered to be a
complete protein. This means that eggs have all the essential amino acids
needed by the human body for maintenance, development, and growth.
Eggs also contain tryptophan, which is crucial in the production of
serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps in the regulation of
behavior, mood, memory, and sleep. Besides improving brain function,
serotonin can also help reduce anxiety. Egg yolks are also a good source
of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to mood disorders such
as anxiety and depression.
Dark Chocolate is chocolate that contains cocoa butter, cocoa solids,
and sugar. However, the standards of what is considered to be dark
chocolate may vary by country and market. Dark chocolate has a
reputation of being healthier compared to other chocolates such as milk
chocolate or white chocolate.
Experts have long believed that dark chocolate is beneficial for those with
anxiety and stress. In 2014, a study reported that 40 grams of dark
chocolate helped decrease perceived stress among their study participants.
Other studies found that it helps improve mood. While there is no hard
evidence due to most studies being observational, its anxiety and
stress-relieving properties have been attributed to it being a rich source of
polyphenols, particularly flavonoids, that may help reduce cell death,
improve blood flow, and decrease inflammation in the brain. Dark chocolate
also contains tryptophan, a crucial component in the production of
Chamomile is a name used to describe daisy-like plants that can be
used for traditional medicine or herbal infusions. It is currently being
researched for its anti-anxiety properties. Globally, it is often used as an
herbal remedy due to its relaxing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and
There are some that believe its anti-anxiety or relaxing properties are due
to the presence of flavonoids. There is also a recent study that has
reported that while chamomile does not prevent new anxiety episodes, it
helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Those who would like to try it can
purchase chamomile from stores.
Yogurt is a food made through the fermentation of milk by bacteria.
These bacteria are also known as yogurt cultures. When the lactose in the
milk is fermented, it produces lactic acid, which in turn results in the
characteristic texture and tart taste. Since cow’s milk is available globally, it
is also the most commonly used milk to make yogurt. Other types of milk
that can be used include milk from goats, mares, water buffalo, yaks, and
The bacteria in yogurt are healthy as they are beneficial for gut health.
There is increasing evidence showing that Lactobacillus and
Bifidobacterium can have positive effects on the brain. A clinical review
also reported that they may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
This can help with anxiety as some experts believe that chronic
inflammation may contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression. Besides
yogurt, other fermented foods such as kimchi, cheese, and sauerkraut may
also have similar effects.
Turmeric is a plant from the ginger family. The rhizomes are gathered,
boiled, and dried. This produces the deep orangish yellow color that is
often used as a spice in many Asian dishes. It is studied in numerous
researches for its anti-inflammatory properties.
One of the main active ingredients in turmeric is called curcumin that may
help reduce anxiety by decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation that is
often seen among those with mood disorders. In 2015, a study reported
that curcumin helped reduce anxiety among their obese participants.
Another found that it increases DHA and decreases anxiety.
Green Tea is a type of tea that has not gone through the withering or
oxidation process used in other teas. It contains phytochemicals such as
caffeine and polyphenols. Despite many efforts in research to find evidence
to support the health claims of green tea, there has not been any
conclusive evidence. However, it is believed to help those with anxiety as it
contains an amino acid known as theanine.
Theanine has calming and anti-anxiety effects. It may also help increase
the production of dopamine and serotonin. In 2017, a review found that 200
mg of theanine can help reduce tension and increase calmness and
Asparagus is cultivated as a vegetable. It is low in calories and
sodium while being a good source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6,
zinc, protein, dietary fiber, vitamin C, E, K, beta carotene, iron, phosphorus,
copper, potassium, manganese, folic acid, selenium, and many more.