Seven Anxiety-Fighting Foods

Step aside, Prozac and Valium, and make way for some natural alternatives that, while they might not do as dramatic a job at relieving anxiety, certainly have the anxiety-relieving benefit that they have no nasty side effects whatever. Berries. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries - any berries at all are loaded with vitamin C and other beneficial plant chemicals that counteract the human stress hormone cortisol. And the carbohydrates they contain are the good, complex kind. The body breaks them down into sugar slowly, so you don't experience a blood-sugar crash.

Guacamole. When we're under the gun in some way, we often crave something creamy. Nice, smooth guacamole is great under these circumstances because its load of B vitamins, which aid our brain cells and nerves, replaces that which the body loses through stress. It's also high in healthy fat.

Mixed nuts. Nuts are great for your health because they're high in fiber and healthy fat. But they're also full of vitamins and minerals that are drained from the body by stress and anxiety. Walnuts have a lot of B vitamins, Brazil nuts deliver a load of zinc, and almonds give you vitamin E.

Oranges. Citrus fruit of all kinds, including oranges, provide the body with lots of vitamin C. It's been shown that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C before delivering a speech lowers cortisol levels and blood pressure in a person compared with someone who doesn't. Asparagus. This wonderful vegetable is a good source of folic acid, which has been shown to be a natural mood-lifter.

Chai tea. A warm cup of tea, especially one without caffeine, can be a wonderfully soothing experience. Dark chocolate. Partaking of chocolate that's at least 70 percent cocoa means you're getting a strong dose of antioxidant flavonoids, which help to prevent heart disease and cancer. And, with their free-radical-fighting power, those same plant chemicals help the body deal with the destructive effects of anxiety.


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