The 2020s has so far been the decade of anxiety, given that there have been so many worries, concerns and stresses that have permeated many people’s lives.
Because of this, people are looking for ways to relieve their anxiety, and a potential solution could come in the form of the superfoods they eat, alongside anxiety-relieving exercises and medication if your doctor has prescribed any.
An anxiety superfood is not a food that cures anxiety, but what it can do is provide minerals, vitamins and nutrients that help promote brain health, which can help to regulate neurotransmitters and reduce the effects of anxiety as well as generally boost mood.
The relationship between food and mental health is one that is still being actively explored, so whilst there are many foods that are linked to potentially reducing anxiety, it is also important to note that much more research is needed to prove these initial findings.
A good example of this is the effect of chamomile and green tea. The latter has been credited in a double-blind study with lower subjective stress levels as well as a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol.
Similarly, turmeric, a spice containing the compound curcumin, has been studied for its promising antioxidant properties, and several small studies found that it helped to reduce anxiety in its more bioavailable form nano-curcumin.
In other cases such as dark chocolate and cocoa, the potential effects of flavonols could help to reduce anxiety through boosting brain function, although much greater studies need to be made on this.
As well as the potential neurochemical benefits of these superfoods, a lot of them also taste comforting, and this in itself can have a relaxing effect. Comfort foods are a well-known phenomenon that can help to boost short-term mental health.
Ultimately, in an increasingly anxiety-inducing world, there are potential benefits that need to be explored in certain foods, and how they can help alongside exercise, mindfulness, breathing exercises, yoga and medication as prescribed.