Are you a highly sensitive person who regularly struggles with anxiety? In this blog, you’ll find 10 foods that help you to reduce anxiety!
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Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
As a highly sensitive person, you may experience anxiety and stress on a regular basis. These feelings may overwhelm you and significantly impact your day.
If you struggle with anxiety and perhaps even depression, you may want to find ways to reduce these mental health struggles. While working on your personal growth and mindset is helpful, adapting your nutrition and reducing the intake of bad food may be worth a shot.
In fact, there are plenty of foods out there to help you calm your anxiety. In this article, we share 10 foods that help you as a highly sensitive person to calm your nervous system and thereby reduce your anxiety.
How Can Food Reduce Anxiety?
First of all, you may wonder whether food actually can help with anxiety. And more so, why does food reduce anxiety?
Throughout the years, researchers have found various correlations between food and mental health. After all, food is what powers our ‘engines’.
Our body needs a broad variety of vitamins and minerals. These fuel our bodies and help us to function normally in daily life. Moreover, each food contains different elements and impacts our bodies in different ways.
Have you ever had a cup of coffee in the evening and struggled with falling asleep? That’s your body reacting to the caffeine that is found in coffee.
Consequently, it is logical that you are what you eat. Therefore, focusing on what you consume on a daily basis has a significant effect on your overall wellbeing. Especially when it comes to reducing anxiety as a highly sensitive person, choosing the right foods can be beneficial for you.
Additionally, various studies show that specific food types reduce anxiety, while others actually trigger anxious feelings. By being aware of what you eat, you can impact your mental health in a positive way.
What Foods Are Good To Reduce Anxiety?
Now that you are aware of the benefits of focusing on good nutrition, you may wonder what food relieves stress and anxiety. There are many natural food alternatives that help you to reduce anxiety.
If you haven’t given them a try yet, we highly recommend you to experiment with these different food types:
#1 Nuts & Seeds
First of all, you may want to consider adding nuts and seeds to your daily diet. It is a healthy snack with wonderful health benefits to reduce anxiety as a highly sensitive person.
For instance, brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium. Selenium is an element that helps reduce inflammation. Inflammation is often found among people struggling with anxiety. Also, selenium alters levels of neurotransmitters in your brain and thereby may help you to reduce anxiety and even depression. Hence, implementing more food with selenium in your daily diet may help you to tackle your anxiety.
Other nuts and seeds you may want to consider are walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds. These foods contain healthy elements that are positively linked to improving your mood and reducing anxiety.
#2 Fatty Fish
Another great food type to reduce anxiety as a highly sensitive person is fatty fish. Think of fish types such as salmon, mackerel, or tuna.
These fish types contain high amounts of omega-3, which is responsible for decreasing inflammation and stress on your body. In addition, omega-3 helps to increase serotonin and dopamine – the feel-good hormones.
Consequently, if you’d like to reduce your anxiety by eating specific foods, you should try to implement eating fatty fish once or twice every week.
If you are vegan, there are alternatives out there to increase your omega-3 intake. For instance, you may try plant oils such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil. Also, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds contain omega-3s.
#3 Whole Grains
Different studies show that whole grains contain high amounts of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency may result in anxiety. Therefore, by increasing your magnesium intake by eating whole grains, you may positively influence your nervous system.
Additionally, whole grains contain tryptophan, which ultimately becomes serotonin. Ultimately, you’ll want to increase your serotonin levels in order to feel less anxious. Eating whole grains may help you with that.
Foods that contain whole grains are pasta and bread. Therefore, try to find recipes that include this ingredient on a regular basis. Eating these foods may help you to reduce anxiety significantly.
#4 Dark Chocolate
Do you love chocolate, but are you worried about the high amounts of sugar? Try to switch to eating dark chocolate instead. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of flavanols like epicatechin and catechin.
Studies show that flavanols benefit brain function and contain neuroprotective effects. What does that mean? It means that these flavanols increase the blood flow to your brain and thereby improve cell-signaling pathways.
Consequently, this helps you to be able to deal more efficiently with stressful situations that may trigger your anxiety. Therefore, try eating more dark chocolate to reduce anxiety.
Avocados are rich in vitamin B. This vitamin is crucial for the development of healthy nerves and brain cells. Moreover, a deficiency of vitamin B in your body may be causing your feelings of anxiety.
This vegetable is a must-have on your list of healthy foods for highly sensitive people. As it helps to reduce stress and lowers your blood pressure, avocado is an absolute superfood.
Hence, purchase some avocados and add them to your dishes. For instance, make a healthy avocado toast or avocado pasta – yummy!
One of our absolute favorite foods to reduce anxiety is the famous blueberry. In this tiny berry, there are plenty of health benefits!
For instance, blueberries are bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C. These are components that help to provide anxiety relief and therefore great if you want to feel less anxious.
In fact, one cup of blueberries contains 24% of our recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Therefore, if you are looking for healthy fruits that reduce anxiety, put blueberries on your grocery list.
You can include it in a smoothie, your morning cereal bowl, or eat it as a snack during your day.
Besides foods, there are also certain beverages that you may want to include in your daily food pattern. For instance, drinking green tea, herbal tea and black tea is incredibly good to reduce anxiety.
Green tea includes a high amount of L-theanine, which is an amino acid that reduces anxiety. Studies have shown that people who drink green tea experience less stress compared to those who don’t.
Drinking black tea is beneficial for reducing anxiety, because it increases dopamine turnover in your brain. Due to its theaflavins, it is a healthy beverage to involve in your tea assortiment.
Finally, herbal teas such as chamomile tea, mint tea and lavender tea have the effect to reduce anxiety significantly and soothe your mind.
Therefore, drink a cup of tea every day and notice how your anxiety decreases. For instance, get started with these tea products to reduce anxiety as a highly sensitive person:
As a highly sensitive person who wants to experience less anxiety, you should definitely add ginger to your weekly diet.
Studies show that ginger may reduce anxiety as effectively as benzodiazepines drugs! Due to its influence on serotonin levels, this is a wonderful way to naturally feel less anxious.
Moreover, it contains more than 14 bioactive compounds and antioxidants – all providing you with health benefits such as sharpening your cognitive functions and protecting your brain. Therefore, it is a great ingredient to add to your tea and recipes.
Another powerful ingredient to relieve anxiety as a highly sensitive person is turkey.
Studies have shown that turkey contains large amounts of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that produces niacin. Niacin produces the neurotransmitter serotonin and thereby helps you to increase your mood.
Additionally, eating turkey may help you to regulate your sleep pattern and overall mood. These are helpful adaptions for people struggling with anxiety.
So, next Thanksgiving make sure to ask for some extra turkey on your plate. After all, it is anxiety-reducing!
#10 Oranges & Grapefruit
Finally, oranges and grapefruits should be added to your list of anxiety-decreasing foods! These fruits have the natural power to reduce your anxiety because of their high amounts of vitamin C.
As you know, vitamin C is a powerful stress reducer that also helps you to regulate stress levels and lower your blood pressure.
Therefore, include oranges in your daily diet. For instance, make yourself fresh orange juice or eat it as a snack during the day.
Foods That Trigger Anxiety As A Highly Sensitive Person
Now that you have discovered foods that reduce anxiety, it is wise to also discover foods and beverages that trigger your anxiety. Below, you can find a list of foods to consume in moderation:
As you can see, being aware of what you eat can be incredibly beneficial for you as a highly sensitive person. By eating the right foods, you can effectively reduce your anxiety. Therefore, try to implement some of the above mentioned suggestions in your diet and see how it positively impacts your overall well-being.
Good luck with eating healthier!