In one way or another, most of us experience moments of anxiety but for others, those moments can be drawn out into a sometimes debilitating anxiety disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), in the United States, about 40 million adults live with an anxiety disorder and women are twice as likely to experience anxiety in comparison to men. 

PHOTO: PennState Health

In 2017, the National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted a study that found 5.8% of Hispanics, 4.9% of Blacks and 2.4% of Asians are less likely to be clinically diagnosed for "generalized anxiety disorders" (GAD).

When studying the effects of anxiety on Black women, Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett depicted how anxiety is perceived and experienced daily by Black women. While there has been a steady increase in Black women seeking help for their anxiety, the number remains far less than their societal counterparts. 

Although seeking professional assistance is of major importance in the attempt to alleviate mental health disorders, there are several avenues that can be explored to help during your journey to a healthier you. One of those gateways is food. Yes, you read right! Food. 

Here are 9 foods you can add to your diet today to help reduce your anxiety: 


PHOTO: Medical News Today

“Chocolate has a high tryptophan content, which the body uses to turn into mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin in the brain. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium. Eating a diet with enough magnesium in it or taking supplements may reduce symptoms of depression. When choosing dark chocolate, aim for 70 percent or more. Dark chocolate still contains added sugars and fats, so a small serving of 1 to 3 grams (g) is appropriate.” – Medical News Today


PHOTO: HealthLine

“One quarter of an avocado is a good source of the B-vitamin folate. This vitamin helps your body produce the chemical dopamine, which helps you keep calm.” – Food Network


PHOTO: Serious Eats

“[…] consuming omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, can be uplifting and enhance your mood.” – Everyday Health


PHOTO: RecipeTin Eats

“We usually think of tryptophan as the nutrient in turkey that puts us to sleep after Thanksgiving—and in fact, tryptophan is an amino acid that the body needs to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps regulate sleep and moods. According to the University of Michigan, tryptophan may help reduce anxious feelings.” – Reader’s Digest


PHOTO: Eating Well 

“With its high supply of Vitamins B6 and B12, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and protein, Greek yogurt shrinks anxiety very quickly by lowering your blood pressure.” – Spoon University 


PHOTO: Rishi Tea

“Sip on this natural anti-anxiety medicine for its natural calming effect. This soothing, mild tea was shown to significantly decrease anxiety symptoms in just a few weeks!” – MindBodyGreen


PHOTO: Delish

“Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that’s needed for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that impacts the portions of the brain responsible for regulating mood and reducing stress. In one study, people with the highest anxiety levels also had the lowest blood levels of choline. Eggs also contain vitamin D, which helps ease both anxiety and depression.” – Clean Eating Mag


PHOTO: GoodHouseKeeping

"[Berries] provide so many benefits, so it’s no surprise that they are considered a ‘superfood.’ They are high in antioxidants, while help reduce levels of stress and anxiety. They are also packed with vitamin C, which helps lower cortisol. Besides being packed with nutrients, blueberries are 85% water. Water is essential for optimal brain function. When you become dehydrated, you’re at risk for poor mood and increased anxiety." – Women's Brain Health Initiative


PHOTO: Organic Facts

“It may be the complete opposite of what you’re craving, but spinach and other leafy greens are rich in magnesium—a mineral that’s essential in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is used to help prevent anxiety and also treat ADHD. All you need is one cup of spinach to start reaping the benefits of this mineral’s natural stress-fighting power.” – ECO watch

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