Brian "B-Rob" Robinson
Foods that Fight Series!- Anxiety
Welcome to the Foods that Fight Series!
Today we will be looking at Anxiety and the foods that may or could possibly help relieve Anxiety. First, let’s look at what exactly defines Anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
I really didn’t understand what the big deal was surrounding Anxiety until I experienced it for myself.
Anxiety is the feeling of intense, excessive, and persistent worry, fear, or nervousness which goes hand in hand with the perception that there is danger nearby.
Most of the time, the perception of danger is not in line with reality, but anxiety is hard for a person to control. When anxiety peaks, a person usually has panic attacks. Anxiety and panic attacks can interfere with a person’s daily activities. People usually avoid people, places, and situations due to anxiety. Sometimes it may feel as if there is no way to get over, around, or pass anxiety. Research suggests that there may be some natural foods that can help reduce or eliminate anxiety. I have chosen three foods that research shows have can have a positive affect on combating your Anxiety.
Asparagus is rich in folate (Vitamin B9 aka folic acid when in supplement form) which is important for healthy cell growth and function and for red blood cell formation. Many sources claim that the Chinese government has approved asparagus extract as a natural functional food because of its anxiety reducing properties. This may be true since Asparagus is also rich in vitamin A (minimize anxiety feelings), vitamin C (antioxidant), vitamin E (fights cognitive impairment), vitamin K (normalizes blood glucose), fiber (gut health), and potassium (lower blood pressure).
Most people give bananas all the credit for potassium, but half of an avocado has more potassium than a whole banana. This is good because potassium is said to help lower blood pressure and reduce stress due to its role of regulating serotonin. Avocados are also rich in omega –3 fats which, according to Harvard Health, have a number of positive biological effects in the body. Also, there are numerous studies suggesting the lack of omega-3 fats in the brain may induce various psychological and behavioral disorders.
Similar to its Anxiety fighting counterparts above, walnuts contain potential neuroprotective compounds like vitamin E (fights cognitive impairment) and folate (healthy cell growth) while also packing omega –3 fats (brain function) and melatonin (regulates circadian rhythm). Several sources suggest that walnuts offer a greater antioxidant capacity than its nutty brothers.
What can you do with this great information I just gave you? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Provided you don’t have any allergies or health related issues with the three foods mentioned here and your doctor is okay with you eating these, your mission is to find exciting and healthy ways to eat these foods. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Avocado: I like my avocado in the form of spicy guacamole eaten with eggs and toast for breakfast. Here is a good article for other ways to eat avocado: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/23-ways-to-eat-avocados
Walnuts: Instead of chips, grab some walnuts. I like to keep a bag of walnuts around for snacking throughout the day. I also like cooked oatmeal topped with chopped walnuts.
Asparagus: Instead of fries, try a side of asparagus. Roasted Parmesan Asparagus is one of my favorites.
Brian "B-Rob" Robinson is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, blogger, and YouTuber! His YouTube channel is called thisisb-rob.
Pribis P. (2016). Effects of Walnut Consumption on Mood in Young Adults-A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 8(11), 668. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8110668