Foods like blueberries and salmon are filled with nutrients that can help reduce anxiety and depression.
Including these foods in your diet naturally can potentially help with anxiety symptoms and improve mental health. Keep in mind that while these foods can assist with anxiety and depression symptoms, they can’t cure mental health issues.
Here are five foods that can help with anxiety and depression:
- Chamomile can ease anxiety
Chamomile is a plant that can calm anxiety because it has substances that reduce inflammation linked to anxiety. Chamomile may also help regulate mood-related chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. A study in 2017 followed 179 adults with generalized anxiety disorder. Those who took 1,500 milligrams of chamomile extract daily for five years saw reduced anxiety symptoms. Another study in 2012 showed that chamomile extract reduced anxiety and depression symptoms when taken for two months.
- Salmon may lower anxiety
Salmon is rich in nutrients like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA, which influence mood and ease anxiety. Men who ate Atlantic salmon three times a week for nearly six months reported improved mental health and reduced anxiety symptoms. Those who didn’t eat salmon regularly didn’t see these benefits. Researchers believe this is because salmon has high levels of vitamin D, DHA, and EPA.
- Dark chocolate can prevent depression
Dark chocolate isn’t just a treat; it’s a superfood with fiber, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants. It also has positive effects on mood and mental health. A 2019 study from University College London found that people who ate dark chocolate had a lower chance of reporting depressive symptoms compared to those who ate no chocolate. Milk chocolate didn’t have the same effect.
- Blueberries can relieve anxiety and depression
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which help reduce anxiety and depression. A 2020 study found that adolescents who took wild blueberry supplements for a month reported lower depression symptoms. Multiple studies, including ones in 2020 and 2021, have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, can improve mental well-being. Blueberries are superfoods filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and various health benefits.
- Nuts can reduce depression risk
Nuts are another superfood with mental health benefits. Eating a handful of nuts daily is linked to a lower risk of depression, as per a recent study published in Clinical Nutrition. Middle-aged and older adults who consumed 30 grams of nuts (like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, or Brazil nuts) were less likely to need antidepressants or develop depression.
Incorporating these foods into your diet can be a natural way to support your mental well-being.