Struggling with jitters? Chill out, bro. Help could be just a bunch of brunches away.
Despite what Instagram might have you believe, life isn’t always #goodvibesonly. If you feel anxious, you’re definitely not alone. Seriously—over 30% of adults in the U.S. experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
Maybe the tingly feeling of being on edge makes it hard for you to sleep, socialize, work, or even enjoy a perfect day at the park with your doggo. Whatever it is, one way to help chill out might already be in your pantry (or at least a quick Postmates order away). Yep, we’re talking food.
Spoiler alert: It turns out that what we put into our bodies is a pretty big deal.
As a kid, you might have been able to blissfully run around on a diet of Lunchables and Dunkaroos (sigh, remember Dunkaroos?). But now that you’re #adulting, your brain and your body may require something a bit different to achieve harmony.
Check out this list of super delicious food for anxiety relief and think about adding a some things to your diet. We’re also going to get into some stuff that can make anxiety worse, because we’re helpful like that.
Foods (well, two drinks!) to avoid
Okay, so let’s start with the bad news. One major potential trigger of anxiety is booze. We hate to break it to you, but rose all day doesn’t always lead to rose-colored glasses, if you know what we’re saying.
Ever had hangxiety—aka those day-after-drinking jitters? That’s your body detoxing and releasing some seriously bad vibes. And hold up before you reach for several cups of coffee to cure your hangover. Too much of it is next on our list of anxiety-inducing items—”Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder is real.”
So can processed foods, including lunch meats, fast food, and anything covered with neon orange cheese dust.
Now, let’s cover the good food for anxiety relief:
Salmon is first on our list of foods that have been linked to lowering anxiety. So, it’s time to get your sashimi on. Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart and good for your mood. Salmon is also packed with Vitamin D. Think of the duo of Vitamin D and Omega-3 as you and your BFF: unstoppable.
Not that you need an excuse to live your best life on a yacht with oysters and caviar and champagne, but we’re officially giving you one. This ultra-lux culinary treat has zinc—a deficit of which may cause anxiety. Zinc is a mineral that also boosts immunity (you might have taken a zinc supplement during your last cold). We’ll see you at the oyster bar.
Foodies love kimchi—and kimchi loves you! Studies have shown that fermented foods have a positive effect on a specific type of anxiety: the social kind. If you struggle with nerves before going to a party, a work function, or any other event where you have to mingle, this delicious Korean food might help you put your best foot forward. Not a fan of kimchi? Pop a jar of pickles.
In 2018, millennials spent $453 MILLION on avocados (yes, you read that right). While some people like to make fun of the millennial obsession with avocados, the generation actually might be onto something.
Avocados contain vitamin B6, which may reduce stress. As an added bonus, the brunch staple could also result in glowing skin. So, the next time your parents shake their heads at your avocado toast obsession, tell them that you’re doing it for your mental well-being (and your flawless complexion).
5. Kale is a super food for anxiety relief
Oh, kale. Love it or hate it, the leafy greens are seriously good for you. They’re filled with antioxidants and magnesium, the latter of which is essential to serotonin production, the mood-boosting chemical.
Scarf enough kale, and it might make you feel like you’ve just taken a yoga class… on top of a mountain overlooking a field of unicorns. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration—especially given the bitter flavor—but we urge you to consider some kale.
If you can’t stand the taste, put it in your morning smoothie, or make this insanely good pasta recipe that calls for it. Still can’t take it? Almost every dark leafy green is excellent for you. Grab some spinach instead.
Not exactly a food—but a chill solution, nonetheless!
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