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6 'Anxiety Fighting' Foods I Snack On Throughout the Day

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Anxiety is the most common mental illness in America. If you experience panic attacks or sleepless nights because of anxiety, you’re not alone.

Getting through the day without cowering beneath all the things you have to do or shutting down under all the pressure is hard enough — let alone doing it while struggling with an anxiety problem. These are foods I eat throughout the day that may help fight stress and anxiety.

1. Whole-wheat carbs

The reason so many comfort foods are carbs — like pasta, bread and fried rice — is because the breaking down of carbohydrates in our bloodstream increases our levels of serotonin. An increase of serotonin means an instant mood boost, which makes people feel happier and calmer.

The problem is, when eating processed carbs like white bread, sugar, candy and so on, your levels spike and then crash. By choosing whole grains instead, like wheat bread or brown rice and noodles, you can still get your comfort food fix and enjoy a longer-lasting good mood. Whole grains break down slower in the body, creating a more steady production of serotonin.

2. Fish

Research suggests that consuming omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fatty fish, can boost your mood. Salmon, lake trout, tuna, herring and sardines may be good meal ideas to increase your omega-3s, which may also reduce the risk of heart disease.

Studies have also seen a correlation between taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements alongside antidepressant medication. The omega-3s may actually enhance the ability of the medication, and keep you feeling good throughout the day.

3. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt, in addition to containing essential probiotics and long-term health benefits, is also rich in protein. Having energy from protein is key in making your feel calmer and more organized. We all know that having a scatterbrain doesn’t do anyone any good, so stocking up on high-protein foods is a good idea.

4. Almonds

An immediate source of protein and a very portable snack, I believe almonds are the number one go-to anti-anxiety fighter food for on the go. The protein in the nuts will decrease the time it takes for neurotransmitters to fire in your brain, improving your mental and motor function.

This boost in energy will also improve your mood and help you fight those tired, panicky emotions throughout the day.

5. Blueberries

Considered a superfood by many, blueberries are full of essential vitamins and phytonutrients that contain a variety of antioxidants that help you relieve stress. They can almost having a calming effect on the brain — containing nutrients that produce a sort of sedation effect on the body.

6. Avocado

Vitamin B is essential for healthy nerve and brain function. Some anxiety conditions can stem from a deficiency of vitamin B, and instead of replenishing those vitamins, we chase our tails up all the wrong trees.

Quit running in circles and peel that avocado. In addition to containing the vitamin B your body needs to relieve stress and anxiety, avocados also contain healthy fats that can act as immediate mood boosters in a pinch.

Check out these creative ways to eat avocados for inspiration next time you break for lunch.

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Thinkstock photo via Kuvona.

Originally published: September 5, 2017
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