The diet to reduce and control stress and anxiety should include foods rich in magnesium, omega 3, fiber, probiotics and tryptophan, such as bananas, avena and dark chocolate, for example.
These nutrients help to regulate the intestinal flora, as some studies indicate that it is directly related to mental health; increase serotonin production, better known as the happiness hormone; act at the brain level.
In addition to this, it is also necessary to reduce the consumption of foods rich in sugars and wheat flour, as they produce changes in glycemia and in the production of serotonin.
Anxiety is a psychological condition in which the person finds himself in a state of unpleasant apprehension, which results in a greater concern than required by the situation.
This condition can cause physical and psychological symptoms such as headache, pain in the neck, lack of concentration and even anxiety to eat, which can arise in an uncontrollable way without the person having to sleep. See more about anxiety.
Foods and nutrients you should consume
To help control stress and anxiety, you should increase your consumption of the foods mentioned below:
1. Omega 3
Omega 3 is a good fat rich in EPA and DHA, these fatty acids improve brain function and reduce anxiety. Scientific studies have related a low intake of omega 3 with illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
For this reason, it is important to consume foods rich in omega 3 such as tuna, salmon, sardines, trucha, linaza, chia and linaza oil, for example. If necessary, there are also omega 3 supplements that can be recommended by a doctor or nutritionist.
Some studies suggest that magnesium could treat anxiety and stress, as it improves brain function, however, other investigations are needed to confirm it.
This mineral is present in foods such as avena, banana and spinach; in the seeds of calabaza, ajonjolí, linaza and chia y; in dry fruits such as la nuez de Brasil, almonds y cacahuates.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that participates in the production of serotonin, a hormone that is essential to avoid anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia.
This amino acid can be found in foods such as: meats, chicken, fish, eggs, bananas, queso, cacao, tofu, piña, salmon, dark chocolate and nuts in general, such as cacahuates, nueces, almonds and nuez de Brasil.
4. B vitamins
The B vitamins, especially B6, B12 and folic acid, are important regulators of the nervous system, participating in the production of serotonin. These vitamins can be found in wholegrain foods, such as brown rice, wholegrain bread and oatmeal, and in other foods such as bananas, spinach and other green vegetables.
5. Vitamin C and flavonoids
Vitamin C and flavonoids are antioxidants that reduce stress and anxiety, helping to control hormone production. Its main foods are citrus fruits such as orange, pineapple and mandarin, chocolate and fresh vegetables.
Some scientific studies have shown that dysbiosis, which is the imbalance of bacterial flora, and inflammation of the intestine have been related to various mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. For this reason, the use and intake of probiotics could help restore the normal microbial balance and, therefore, play a potential role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression.
Probiotics can be ingested through fermented foods such as natural yogurt, kefir, tempeh, kimchi and kombucha, for example, but it can also be taken as a supplement, which can be purchased at pharmacies.
Watch the video for more on probiotic foods:
See other benefits of ingesting probiotics for health.
The consumption of foods rich in fiber promotes intestinal health as well as probiotics, because some types of fiber act as prebiotics. In addition, it also helps to regulate the sugar in the blood and increase the feeling of satiety, being an excellent option for those people who suffer from anxiety to eat.
Foods rich in fiber are fruits, vegetables, whole foods, legumes, among others.
Foods to Avoid
Foods that should be avoided to help control anxiety and stress:
- Sugar and sweets in general;
- sugary drinkssuch as industrialized yokes, refreshments and energy drinks;
- white harinapasteles, galletas, salads and panes blancos;
- refined cerealssuch as white rice and white pasta;
- Caffeine, present in coffee, té mate, té verde, té negro and energy drinks;
- alcoholic beverages;
- saturated fatssuch as those found in salchichas, chorizos, jamon serrano, bologna, pechuga de pavo, grilled galletas, fast foods and frozen foods such as pizzas, lasañas or nuggets, for example.
Anxiety can prevent the person from making correct decisions and even paralyze him in the face of a situation, but a balanced diet and frequent practice of physical activity help to control stress and anxiety.
Example menu against anxiety and stress
The table continues with an example menu of 3 days to combat anxiety and stress:
|food||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|breakfast||1 vase of orange juice without sugar+ 2 slices of wholemeal bread with queso blanco||1 vase of sugar-free piña yoke+ 2 huevos revueltos with tomato and oregano and 2 wholemeal tostadas||2 banana and oatmeal pancakes with cacahuate butter and pieces of fresa + lemon juice|
|Morning meal||10 units of marañón or anacardo + 1 vase of kombucha||1 plane tree + 1 spoonful of almond butter + 1 spoonful of chia seeds||3 chocolate cubes > 70% cacao|
|Almuerzo/Scene||1 fillet of salmon al horn with papas al horn and ensalada de espinacas with 1 cup of olive oil + 1 banana||Beef Stroganoff + 4 tablespoons of brown rice + 1 bowl of vegetables sautéed in olive oil + 1 manzana||Roasted peppers with tuna and white queso au gratin + arugula, tomato and onion salad + 1 mandarin orange|
|afternoon snack||1 natural yogurt with fresas + 1 tablespoon of oatmeal soup in hojuelas||1 jar of papaya smoothie prepared with 1 natural yoghurt + 1 tablespoon of oatmeal||1 natural yoghurt + 2 spoonfuls of oatmeal + 1 spoonful of abeja miel|
The items included in the menu vary according to the age, sex, physical activity and if you have any associated illness, so it is ideal to consult a nutritionist to carry out a complete evaluation and prepare a nutritional plan suited to your needs.
Watch the video for a continuation of some natural plants and other tips to reduce anxiety:
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