30 Foods Rich in Flavonoids to Fight Anxiety

Dark chocolate's not the only food that is considered rich in flavonoids. There are many other options to choose from.
30 Foods Rich in Flavonoids to Fight Anxiety
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

There are foods that are rich in flavonoids that can help people with anxiety feel better. Of course, as long as you consume them within the context of a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Flavonoids are phenolic compounds that exist in various foods, such as vegetables, seeds, and fruits. They’re substances with antioxidant properties that mediate not only our physical health, but also take care of our mental health.

According to some hypotheses, consuming foods rich in flavonoids could help improve the health of the nervous system and, to some extent, reduce anxiety.

A team from Emory University (United States) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) indicate, for example, that a compound called 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, present in flavonoids, can be effective in treating symptoms associated with anxiety.

On the other hand, studies such as the one carried out by Dr. David Vaouzour, from the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom, detail the neuroprotective effect of this type of compounds present, for example, in strawberries, grapes or even tea.

According to a study published in the medical journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, they reveal that quercetin (a type of flavonoid present for example in onions) can contribute to the relief of nervousness and anxiety.

However, it’s clear that this type of states of great psychological wear and tear can’t be solved only by changing eating habits.
You need to have a broader strategy, where good professionals help to better manage and resolve these conditions dominated by anxiety.

However, knowing which foods are richer in flavonoids can help us to enjoy a healthier and more balanced diet, as well as contribute to our well-being.

30 Foods Rich in Flavonoids to Fight Anxiety

A bowl of cocoa beans.
There are many varieties of chocolate on the market. However, if it’s a question of nutritional quality, it’s better to choose those that consist of 70% cocoa.

Cocoa beans

Cocoa beans contain polyphenols and flavonoids, two substances that contribute to the health of the whole body, especially cardiovascular health.

Experts claim that consuming chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (more than 60%) can be beneficial, as long as you consume in moderation.

Elderberries

As with blueberries, elderberries and other shrubs are said to be rich in substances with an antioxidant effect, such as flavonoids and vitamin C.

You might like: Anxiety Attacks: Key Points in Calming Down

Blueberries

Fresh blueberries and blueberry juice.

It’s said that blueberries are foods that contain a certain amount of flavonoids, proteins, fiber, sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C. For this reason, their consumption can be very beneficial for the body.

Carob flour

This flour’s a healthy, natural, and highly recommended alternative to the classic refined white flours, which are so harmful to our health.

Carob flour comes from the fruit of the carob tree. It’s an energetic food, thanks to its protein, calcium, iron, and phosphorus content, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D.

White tea

Green tea is a very popular drink, rich in antioxidants. However, there are other beverages that can be just as beneficial, such as white tea for example.

White tea has been shown to contain catechins, a type of polyphenolic antioxidant.

Arugula

Arugula’s a food that also contains flavonoids, as well as a certain amount of folic acid, iron, vitamins B, C, and K.

More Foods Rich in Flavonoids

A woman peeling apples.
Because of their fiber and antioxidant content, apples are considered one of the best fruits to include in breakfast. In addition, they’re easy to integrate into various recipes.
  • Fruits: Apples, strawberries, red grapes, cherries, lemons, and oranges.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, onions, yellow peppers, Brussels sprouts, garlic, and spinach.
  • Herbs: Fennel, dill, thyme, coriander, mint, and chamomile.
  • Others: Soybeans, anise seeds, walnuts, raisins, and capers.

Active flavonoids have also been found in a very popular herb in the treatment of anxiety, valerian.

You may be interested in: All About Anxiolytics or Anxiety Medications

There’s no diet to “cure” anxiety. However, health experts believe that maintaining a balanced diet and, in general, good eating habits, can contribute to well-being on a daily basis.

In order to treat anxiety adequately, it’s best to seek the support of a psychologist and cognitive behavioral therapy.



  • Fernández, SP, Nguyen, M., Yow, TT, Chu, C., Johnston, GAR, Hanrahan, JR, y Chebib, M. (2009). Los glucósidos flavonoides, mirricitrina, gosipina y naringina ejercen acción ansiolítica en ratones. Neurochemical Research , 34 (10), 1867-1875. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11064-009-9969-9
  • Toumi, M. L., Merzoug, S., Baudin, B., & Tahraoui, A. (2013). Quercetin alleviates predator stress-induced anxiety-like and brain oxidative signs in pregnant rats and immune count disturbance in their offspring. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior107, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2013.03.009