Once upon a time there was something unusual about those who suffered from anxiety, however today it is so common you could be mistaken for it being considered ‘the norm’.
According to beyondblue, around 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime and more than 2 million Australian adults are grappling with anxiety.
Of course medication is just one means of treating the condition. Yet, if popping pills isn’t really your thing or you want a more natural approach, it could be as simple as a trip to your kitchen.
Who can remember a calming tea prepared by their mother, or a cup of warm milk with honey? These are just some of the remedies to treat your anxiety. Perhaps what you have trouble remembering is the different types of foods that also calmed your anxiety (and the few that did nothing but make it worse).
Depression and anxiety have been linked to deficiencies in your folic acid levels, and rich in folate, an important B vitamin, asparagus is one of the top food sources for calming anxiety.
The other good news about asparagus is that it is rich in vitamin C and fibre. The vitamin C reduces blood pressure and heart disease, and the fibre will help slow down blood sugar in the body, which promotes your sense of fullness.
Unless there’s a reason you don’t do dairy there are numerous benefits to indulging in a bit of plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt. It is fat free and contains about 22g of protein per 170g serve. It reduces your anxiety by lowering your blood pressure and it boosts your levels of vitamins B6 and B12.
Greek yoghurt has a lot of things going for it — it’s full of magnesium, calcium, potassium and protein and all of these things can put a stop to your anxiety quickly.
Spinach is a bit of a star food for its ability to curb anxiety because it is packed with magnesium. Magnesium contributes to the regulation of your cortisol levels and this promotes your feelings of wellbeing.
In addition to magnesium, spinach has strong levels of folate, and just like asparagus that B vitamin is important to warding off anxiety.
You know that sleepy feeling you get after eating your Christmas lunch? That’s associated with tryptophan and turkey is an awesome source of tryptophan. Turkey has this magical power of sending a wave of calmness through your body because of the levels of tryptophan it contains.
Because it’s a lean protein, turkey is good for your hormones and your metabolism. You’ll want to avoid the processed stuff though as it contains a high level of sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure and that can induce anxiety.
You can also find a good dose of tryptophan in oats and sesame seeds.
Now you know about the foods that can aid your anxiety, what about those foods that have the opposite effect? There are some foods you should look to avoid if you want to keep your anxiety under control.
You might think sitting down after a hard day with a glass of wine or a gin and tonic, but if you struggle with anxiety you might want to think twice. Alcohol is a depressant and can interfere with the production of serotonin, the thing that helps regulate your mood. Not only that but it can have a negative impact on your metabolism and lead to a restless night’s sleep.
Read more: Alternative natural anxiety remedies
Who doesn’t love their morning coffee. In fact some of you probably wouldn’t survive without it. Yet this probably isn’t good for your kidneys. Caffeine is a diuretic and if you’re just a little bit dehydrated than you can be left feeling low.
You might like the occasional piece of chocolate however, what you don’t want is the up and down spike that comes as the sugar increases your insulin level. It can leave you feeling tired and low. What that means is that the roller coaster sugar ride you are on can accentuate the symptoms of a mood disorder and escalate your anxiety levels.