How to Modify Your Diet to Relieve Anxiety and Promote Productivity

By | May 11, 2020


In this post-COVID world, there are two problems that are running rampant. And, if we’re being quite frank, most of us are suffering from both of them.

Anxiety and procrastination are major issues in our socially distanced society. And the two are closely related.

During these times, we’re anxious about health, the economy, and life in general. And since no one really has the answers, anxiety worsens.

So we sit home and worry about all the things. And how can we do menial work like vacuuming when there are so many bigger issues?

Anxiety leads to procrastination, and procrastination leads to more anxiety.

But this isn’t the no-win situation that it seems to be. There are ways to turn things around and improve symptoms of anxiety. You can even bust your procrastination problems while you’re at it. How you ask? With relatively simple yet consistent dietary adjustments.

If you aren’t eating your fruit and veg already, now is the ideal time to start. And you can start with these 7 anxiety-busting foods. As a bonus, many of them also help promote productivity.

1. Asparagus

A large percentage of people who suffer from anxiety also have a folate deficiency, according to many studies. Eating vegetables, in general, will help you get more folate, so don’t worry too much if you can’t stand asparagus. But asparagus is particularly high in this mood-elevating nutrient. Just one cup of asparagus provides two-thirds of your recommended value of folate.

2. Avocado

In case you needed a reason to add more guac to your life, avocadoes are at the top of the list of anxiety-reducing foods. The included vitamin B6 helps the body make various neurotransmitters like serotonin.

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Avocadoes are also rich in vitamin E, which is important for vision, healthy skin, and reproductive health. And for a bonus productivity boost, the healthy fat in avocados help enhance blood flow through the heart and brain.

3. Blueberries

With the Coronavirus on everyone’s minds, there’s a lot of talk about vitamin C. But vitamin C can do more than just keep colds away. It protects and repairs cells — and blueberries are an amazing source of vitamin C.

Not only are they great sources of vitamin C, blueberries are also extremely rich in antioxidants that have been shown to provide anxiety relief, increase memory and prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in the future. As a general rule, the darker the berry, the higher the antioxidant content.

4. Almonds

Magnesium is well-known in the scientific community for its mood-enhancing effects, so much so that it’s often called a “chill pill.” And if you’re suffering from anxiety, there’s even a chance you have a magnesium deficiency.

Either way, adding more almonds to your diet can help calm your anxiety symptoms. Just an ounce of almonds contains 75mg of magnesium, which equates to about 19 percent of your daily recommended value.

5. Kale

We all know that leafy greens are good for us, but kale is especially good for anxiety because it contains high amounts of beta-carotene and vitamin C, which are powerful antioxidants to promote optimal brain functioning, which can improve symptoms of anxiety and help you become more productive.

6. Yogurt

You might be surprised to see dairy on this list, but remember that it’s a fermented food. And fermented foods are great for helping balance the gut microbiome and help your outlook. Since there’s a strong link between gut health and mood, yogurt is a great addition to help quell anxiety. Just be sure to look for brands that contain “live active cultures” and avoid yogurts with high sugar content.

7. Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids are great for reducing anxiety symptoms because they support a healthy brain-gut microbiome and help fuel the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids can also improve memory and mental performance and reduce symptoms of depression.

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Bad Habits to Break

If you want to change your diet to improve anxiety, you may have to do more than add some healthy foods. If you have bad habits, now is the time to break them.

Drinking alcohol is one bad habit that many are struggling with during this pandemic. And not only can it cause anxiety in the short term, but it can lead to alcohol addiction. If possible, cut down or quit alcohol to help reduce your symptoms of anxiety. If you’re having trouble adjusting your alcohol intake, you may want to talk to an alcohol counselor.

Stress eating is another bad habit that’s plaguing the masses right now. While we’re all isolating with full fridges and pantries, overeating is almost inevitable. But it’s not going to help your anxiety. If you can’t seem to stop stress eating, at least make sure you’re eating more of the right things. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, maybe make some kale chips. And instead of reaching for fatty comfort food, consider noshing on an avocado.

We will get through this time, and we can all do our part to make it easier on ourselves while we’re in the thick of it.

Author’s Bio
Trevor McDonald is a freelance content writer who has a passion for writing. He’s written a variety of education, travel, health, and lifestyle articles for many different companies. In his free time, you can find him running with his dog, playing his guitar or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.

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