10 Foods That Help With Anxiety and Stress, According to a Nutritionist
About 30% Americans experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives, and women are almost twice as likely as men to have one, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. We’re overworked, stressed, exhausted, and burnt out — but changing what’s physically on our plates may help.
There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting pathways in your gut may affect mental health and anxiety symptoms. This makes sense given that your gut serves as a bodyguard to the rest of your immune and neurological systems. Taking care of your GI tract through diet can benefit you in the long run and it’s another way to help regulate mood, in addition to any therapies and medications prescribed by your doctor.
Placing an emphasis on veggies, fruit, 100% whole grains, nuts, seeds, and unsweetened dairy products benefits us in multiple ways at the biochemical level. But if you’re wondering about those CBD edibles and drinks you’re suddenly seeing everywhere, they may not help as much as you may think.
First, while hemp products are legal, CBD specifically is still not. Under current regulations, hemp-based foods and beverages cannot make claims about the purported health effects of CBD. Also, there aren’t any dosage guidelines or guarantees that a product even contains as much CBD as it says it does. Another factor to consider: Your body can use only a fraction (less than 20%) of the CBD it digests. CBD from pure hemp oil won’t cause you direct harm, it is pretty unpalatable. Products with CBD may also contain ingredients that’ll make anything taste better, like added sugar, sodium, and saturated fat-filled oils.
While there’s no magic food that can “cure” or “treat” anxiety and depression (talk to your doc if you’re concerned), there are a few shifts that we can make in our daily food choices that have been studied for mood-boosting properties. Assuming we all want to eat food that’s delicious, nutritious, and safe, try more of these picks instead: