Have you heard the saying, “You are what you eat”? Research shows that this saying is true, for both the body and the mind. Believe it or not, the food you eat can actually make a real difference when it comes to your physical and mental health, including anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses.


How can food help with your anxiety? It starts with our neurotransmitters. These little chemical messengers play a big role in mood regulation, and anxiety is caused by an imbalance in neurotransmitters. A diet that is full of nutrients from whole foods can actually create a better neurotransmitter balance and improve gut microbiome. By eating fewer carbohydrates and gut-irritant-type foods, you can promote healthy gut bacteria production.


When it comes to food intake, what you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat. If you eat food that are processed, high in sugar, fried, or have a lot of additives, you can increase your anxiety levels. These types of foods cause inflammation in your system, which affects your brain.


Eating lean poultry, leafy greens, oranges, and avocados can help lower the severity of your anxiety symptoms.


Here are some additional foods that you can help reduce anxiety symptoms:



Salmon has omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy brain and nervous system. You can actually increase your mood and lower your risk for depression by adding inflammatory fats into your diet.


Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is known to have more healthy antioxidants than any other chocolate. These antioxidants tell the blood vessel walls to relax. When the walls relax, blood circulation boosts, resulting in lower blood pressure. Research shows that people who eat 1.5 ounces of that amazing chocolate actually reduce their stress hormones. However, you need to make sure that the dark chocolate you are eating is 70% or higher. Plus, if you need a little energy at 3 p.m., a little dark chocolate is a big but healthy help.



Asparagus is called a superfood. It’s been known to reduce stress and aid relaxation because of its high levels of B vitamin folate. Low levels of this vitamin have been linked to depression. By eating one cup of this superfood, you can get 70% of your daily intake of folate. Asparagus is also known for being a probiotic, which has mood-lifting effects.


So, the next time you find yourself struggling with depression, anxiety, or simple mood swings, think about the foods you’ve been eating (or not eating) and try adjusting your diet.