The Best Foods for Calming Anxiety

· January 17, 2015

Overcoming anxiety without medications implies making changes in one’s lifestyle, including dietary changes.  Some foods help cure anxiety while others contribute to it, which means that choosing appropriate foods could drastically reduce the amount of anxiety one experiences.  It could even possibly improve your mood.  In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best foods for calming anxiety.

Foods that should be avoided

Some foods help calm anxiety, but making sure you’re not eating foods that contribute to anxiety is just as important.  A few examples of these types of foods are fried foods, carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, refined sugars and alcoholic beverages.

Other foods depend on the amount of anxiety you experience.  If you have panic attacks, you might want to avoid coffee, because coffee could increase heart rate and unleash an attack.  But if you have more general anxiety, coffee could be truly beneficial.  A lot of people find that caffeine (in small doses, of course), can truly reduce stress and improve moods. Therefore, for some, coffee can be an ally in calming anxiety, while for others, it is the opposite.

Seven foods that cure anxiety

Whole grains

Individuals that tolerate gluten can benefit from whole grain foods, like whole grain pasta and bread.  Studies have shown that true whole grains (“whole foods” still contain some processed ingredients) can provide several benefits for individuals with anxiety.

  • Whole grains are rich in magnesium.  Magnesium deficiency could cause anxiety.
  • Whole grains contain tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter.
  • Whole grains create healthy energy while also reducing hunger; both are important for reducing anxiety.

Whole foods can have a powerful effect on anxiety, and they contain nutrients that have been stripped from today’s diets.


SeaweedSeaweed contain a lot of the same benefits as whole grains.  They are rich in nutrients, and also seem to have a high magnesium content.  Seaweed and other algae appear to have high tryptophan content as well.  Seaweed is a good alternative for whole grains, for people who are sensitive to gluten.


Blueberries are more than a delicious fruit.  A lot of people consider them to be a super food.  They are rich in vitamins and phytonutrients (plant nutrients), with a variety of antioxidants that are considered very beneficial for relieving stress.  A lot of experts also believe that peaches fall under this category because they contain nutrients that seem to create a calming effect.

Acai berries

Acai berries are essentially the newest super food, and they have recieved a lot of recent press attention.  It might not be the weight loss fruit that a lot of people claimed it was, but acai berries are just as rich in phytonutrients as blueberries, and they contain out-of-the-park antioxidant levels.



Almonds are an under-appreciated food.  They contain zinc, a key nutrient for maintaining a balanced emotional state, and they have iron and healthy fats.  Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, and low iron levels have also been known to cause brain Fatigue.  This could lead to anxiety and lack of energy.


Dark chocolate, especially pure chocolate without any added sugars or milk, is also a great food for individuals that live with anxiety and stress.  Chocolate reduces cortisol, a stress hormone that causes anxiety symptoms.  It also contains mood improving compounds.

Maca root

Maca usesMaca root isn’t exactly a popular food in supermarkets, but you can add its powder to several foods and beverages, which is found in a wide variety of health food stores.  This root is believed to have more phytonutrients, such as magnesium and iron, than almost any other type of fruit or vegetable.  These two nutrients are important for controlling anxiety.  It is also frequently used for endurance and for healthy energy.

Other foods for anxiety and stress

A healthy diet is one of the best ways to control anxiety and stress.  In fact, one of the best things you could add to your diet is more Water.  A lot of studies have found that dehydration affects at least 25% of individuals with persistent stress.  Dehydration also causes more anxiety.

In regards to foods, any food with magnesium vitamin B12 (and other B group vitamins), zinc, and antioxidants, could be beneficial for helping fight stress.  There are also herbal supplements, like kava and passionflower, that could be useful for anxiety.

Controlling anxiety with your diet

All of the aforementioned foods are beneficial for treating anxiety.  They provide vitamins and nutrients that calm the mind and body, while increasing energy and putting you in a good Mood.  Combine these foods with a balanced diet, and avoid fried foods and harmful increments.  You should see a marked difference in your anxiety levels.

Even still, it is important to remember that understanding anxiety is in everyone’s hands.  That’s why it is important to reflect interally, or see a specialist for better results, especially if anxiety impedes your daily activities or life rhythm.