Can a Healthy Diet Reduce Anxiety Disorder?

Does a balanced diet alleviate signs of anxiety? Experts believe that eating habits can have a direct impact on the mental health of a person such as stress, anxiety and mood. Certain foods can trigger anxiety and stress, while different substances can affect your body and the brain in a variety of ways.

For instance, research has discovered that those who consume diets that contain processed high-fat, high-sugar, and high-fat foods are more likely suffer from anxiety than those who consume diets with more complex carbs, lean proteins fruit, and other vegetables. 

A healthy diet can make the different between a hectic day with anxiety and stress, or an evening of peace and tranquility. Here are some suggestions for eating healthy to assist those suffering from anxiety improve their overall health and lessen the effects of anxiety.

Eat Small, Regular Meals

If you do not eat your meals and eat a lot, blood sugar levels decrease and you can feel anxious as well as jittery. In addition, you may experience an increase in anxiety. It is recommended to eat five to six small meals and meals throughout the day in order to keep the blood sugar level from dropping.

Eat Whole Grains and Complex Carbohydrates

Replace processed foods (such such as pasta and white bread) and other simple carbohydrates (such as juices of fruit) by consuming complex carbs, such as entire grains, fruit and even vegetables.

Complex carbohydrates in foods such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice beans, broccoli and cabbage require more time to digest than sugar-based simple carbohydrates and can cause lower fluctuations within serotonin levels in the brain. They could help you feel more relaxed.

Avoid Refined Sugar

Sugar that is refined, such as those found in sweets or soda pops, as well as other foods, may affect the metabolism of your body and deplete certain minerals and vitamins. Avoid sugary sources that are obvious and also hidden sugar in packaged or canned food items.

Limit Caffeine

Caffeine causes effects that are like the one that is involved in anxiety, which is why it’s recommended to avoid it. Caffeine is present in tea, coffee as well as chocolate, soda pop as well as some medicines.

You can try alternatives such as herbal tea in place of coffee. Although it can be challenging to quit caffeine initially but in the end you’ll feel healthier.

Limit Acohol

Studies have found that alcohol-related disorders are more prevalent in those with mental health issues, such as various forms of anxiety disorder.  This could be because people who suffer from anxiety use alcohol to alleviate or deal with anxiety-related feelings.

Alcohol can cause depression depressive symptoms (which frequently occur in conjunction with anxious feelings) and is recommended to avoid or restricted.

Take a Multi-Vitamin

Make sure that you are getting enough daily doses of vitamins and minerals by taking multi-vitamins. Magnesium is an extremely important mineral 3 and is present in various foods, including nuts (e.g. almonds, almonds, and cashews) as well as soybeans and spinach.

Limit Artificial Sweeteners

Although more research is required however, some studies have shown that aspartame in a variety of artificial sweeteners may be a factor in preventing the production and release of neurotransmitters. This can cause anxiety and mood disorders. 

While it may be tempting to choose artificial sweeteners to replace refined sugars, ensure that the consumption of these sweeteners does not cause anxiety. If you experience anxiety after eating the artificial sweetener you are using, then it may be advisable to stay away from that product.

Drink Water

Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of all day long with water. Dehydration can result in lower energy levels that could increase anxiety. A study in 2018 revealed that drinking water with a mineral content was linked to a lower chance of depression and anxiety among adults. 

Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in seafood, including fish are essential in the health of both your body and mind. They reduce inflammation and boost heart health. Some evidence suggests they play a key part in regulating mood.

A study conducted by researchers discovered that the consumption of omega-3 supplements during 12 weeks linked with a 20percent reduction in anxiety-related signs. 6

You can boost your intake in omega-3 fats through eating seeds, nuts and cold-water fish.

Incorporate Foods That Might Combat Anxiety

Certain foods can aid in improving brain function, which can positively affect mood, anxiety and levels of stress. This includes:


The spice is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial to the brain’s health. Studies have also investigated the possibility that curcumin, a chemical that is found in turmeric, could aid in preventing anxiety disorders. 


The probiotics found in yogurt could provide numerous health benefits that include improving the health of your gut. Researchers continue to study the relationship to gut health with the health of the brain. There is evidence that suggests that eating yogurt with probiotics regularly may aid people in coping when they are stressed. 

Dark Chocolate

Researchers have investigated the possibility that antioxidants found in dark chocolate may cause brain-protective effects through increasing the flow of blood into the brain. One study revealed that those who ate dark chocolate 2 times every throughout the day for two weeks showed less anxiety. 

Alongside the above suggestions, make sure to make any diet changes gradually or else, you may discover that you are quickly returning to the same routines. Also, make sure you stay away from any foods or allergens that may cause anxiety.

A Word From Verywell

Making the necessary changes like those mentioned above can assist you in not only gaining control over your social anxiety, but also improve overall health. Talk to your doctor and/or an dietitian to get recommendations that are specific for you and your specific circumstance.

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