by Hovy

Is there a natural way to improve mood and reduce anxiety with diet?


Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

There is no "magic" diet to help improve mood and reduce anxiety, but there are some things that you can to do help deal with anxiety and give you a mood boost. First, you want to eat a breakfast that includes some protein and complex carbohydrates. And speaking of complex carbohydrates, they are thought to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, which has a calming effect. So make sure to include foods such as whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes in your diet.

Other foods to be sure to include are fatty fishes (salmon & tuna) containing omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent surges in stress hormones and may help protect against heart disease and depression; pistachios, walnuts and almonds are good sources of the B-vitamins which help your body manage stress; Swiss chard and other leafy veggies like spinach are full of magnesium which can help control and limit your body’s release of the stress-spiking hormone cortisol; calcium rich foods work with the brain to relieve depressive symptoms or anxiety, and vitamin D may influence emotional changes.

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