The diet to reduce and control anxiety should include foods rich in magnesium, omega-3, fiber, probiotics and tryptophan, being interesting to consume bananas and dark chocolate, for example.
These nutrients help regulate the intestinal flora and increase the production of serotonin, also known as the happiness hormone, promoting relaxation and helping to fight anxiety.
In addition, it is also important to reduce the consumption of foods rich in sugars and wheat flour, since they are associated with changes in blood glucose and in the production of serotonin.
Anxiety is a psychological condition in which the person is in a state of unpleasant apprehension, resulting in a greater concern than required by the situation.
This situation can cause physical and psychological symptoms, such as headache, chest pain, lack of concentration and increased desire to eat, even if there is no hunger. Here’s how to recognize anxiety symptoms.
Foods and nutrients that should be consumed
To help control anxiety, consumption of the following foods should be increased:
Omega-3 is a good fat rich in EPA and DHA, fatty acids that improve brain function and reduce anxiety. Some studies have found that consuming a small amount of omega-3 could be related to some illnesses, including depression and anxiety.
Therefore, it is important to consume foods rich in omega-3s such as tuna, salmon, sardines, flaxseed, chia, chestnuts, and avocado. In some cases, it may also be necessary to consume omega-3 supplements, which must be indicated by the doctor or nutritionist.
Some studies suggest that magnesium could help treat stress and anxiety, as they improve brain function, however further studies are needed to confirm this relationship.
This mineral is present in foods such as oats, bananas, spinach, pumpkin seeds, sesame, flaxseed and chia, and in dried fruits such as Brazil nuts, almonds and peanuts.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin, which is an essential hormone to prevent anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia.
This amino acid can be found in foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, bananas, cheese, cocoa, tofu, pineapples, salmon, dark chocolate and dried fruits in general, such as nuts, nuts and almonds. Check out a complete list of tryptophan-rich foods .
4. B vitamins
The B vitamins, especially B6, B12 and folic acid, are important regulators of the nervous system, and participate in the production of serotonin. These vitamins can be found in whole grains, like brown rice, brown bread and oats, and in other foods like bananas, spinach and other green vegetables.
5. Vitamin C and flavonoides
Vitamin C and flavonoids are antioxidants that reduce stress and anxiety, helping to control hormone production. Its main foods are citrus fruits, such as orange, pineapple and tangerine, chocolate and fresh vegetables.
The consumption of high fiber foods promotes intestinal health, in addition to helping to regulate blood sugar levels and increase the feeling of satiety, being an excellent option for people who have anxiety.
Some of the high fiber foods are fruits, vegetables, whole foods, legumes, among others.
Some scientific studies have shown that dysbiosis, which is the imbalance of the intestinal microbiota, and inflammation of the intestine may be related to emotional changes, such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, the use of probiotics could help to restore normal microbial balance and thus could have a potential effect on the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression.
Probiotics can be ingested through fermented foods, such as natural yogurt, kefir, tempeh and kombucha, however it can also be consumed in the form of supplements that can be purchased at pharmacies.
Foods to Avoid
Foods that should be avoided to help control anxiety are:
- Sugar and sweets in general ;
- Sugary drinks , such as industrialized juices, soft drinks and energy drinks;
- White flour , cakes, biscuits, snacks and white breads;
- Caffeine, present in coffee, mate tea, green tea and black tea;
- Alcoholic beverages ;
- Refined cereals , such as white rice and white pasta;
- Bad fats , such as those found in sausages, sausages, ham, bologna, turkey breast, stuffed cookies, fast foods and frozen frozen food.
Anxiety can prevent an individual from making correct decisions and even paralyze him in the face of a situation, but a balanced diet and frequent physical activity help to control stress and anxiety.
The following table shows an example of a 3-day menu to combat anxiety:
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 glass of unsweetened orange juice + 2 slices of wholemeal bread with cheese||1 glass of unsweetened pineapple juice + 2 scrambled eggs with tomato and oregano and 2 whole toast||2 banana and oat pancakes with peanut butter and strawberry + lemon juice|
|Morning snack||10 cashew nuts + 1 glass of kombucha||1 banana + 1 tablespoon of almond paste + 1 tablespoon of chia seeds||3 squares of chocolate 70% cocoa|
|Lunch dinner||1 salmon fillet with baked potatoes and spinach salad with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 banana for dessert||Beef stroganoff + 4 tablespoons of brown rice + 1 cup of sautéed vegetables in olive oil + 1 apple||Pepper stuffed with tuna and white cheese au gratin in the oven + arugula, tomato and onion salad + 1 tangerine for dessert|
|Afternoon snack||1 plain yogurt with strawberry + 1 tablespoon of rolled oats||1 cup of papaya smoothie prepared with plain yogurt + 1 scoop of rolled oats sole||1 papaya yogurt + 2 tablespoons of oats + 1 dessert spoon of honey|
The quantities indicated on the menu vary according to age, sex, physical activity and the presence of diseases, so the ideal is that the nutritionist should be consulted so that a complete evaluation can be carried out and, thus, a nutritional plan appropriate to the needs can be elaborated. .