7 Foods That Improve Mental Health And Lower Anxiety

Medication isn’t your only defense against anxiety, as foods naturally rich in magnesium are examples of foods that improve mental health and may help a person feel calmer. Examples include leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard. Other sources include legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks have been linked to lowered anxiety

7 Foods That Improve Mental Health And Lower Anxiety
Foods That Improve Mental Health

Here Are 7 Foods That Improve Mental Health And Lower Anxiety:

1. Fermented foods

Overall, evidence that fermented foods can improve mental health is fairly weak. However, that’s not because studies have failed to find an effect, it’s because scientists haven’t done many studies yet

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and kefir are rich in probiotics.

Commonly-consumed fermented food has been also linked with lowering depressive and anxiety symptoms. As anxiety may deteriorate cognitive function, it is possible that gut microbiota-based strategies may improve cognition by alleviating anxiety symptoms

These beneficial bacteria contribute to lower anxiety levels by:

  •  Supporting gut health
  • Regulating stress response
  •  Balancing the gut-brain axis

2. Avocado

Avocados are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats

Avocado in plate
Cut avocado with seed

Avocados are also rich in stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fat that may help to lessen anxiety. Vitamin E is a nutrient that is important for vision, reproduction, and maintaining healthy skin. It’s also been connected with cognition, helps widen blood vessels, and is needed for the formation of red blood cells

These nutrients help with anxiety by:

  •  Reducing stress
  •  Improving mood
  •  Supporting brain function

3. Legumes

Legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans provide essential nutrients like magnesium, iron, and B vitamins for brain health.

Foods That Improve Mental Health Lower Anxiety

Following a nutritious diet rich in whole grains and legumes can contribute to a healthy and happy brain, alongside regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels, so upping your intake of whole grains and legumes is a no-brainer.

Adding these to your diet can help ease anxiety, as they:

  • Stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Legumes are rich in the amino acid tryptophan and the mineral magnesium, both of which have been linked to improvements in mood and mental well-being.
  • Enhance neurotransmitter production

4. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and L-theanine and catechins which have been shown to exert anti-inflammatory actions and to lower depression.

benefits of green tea

Green Tea is thought to make people feel calmer and improve memory and attention when consumed on its own. l-theanine is found to have a similar effect when consumed in combination with caffeine. Up to 5% of the dry weight of green tea is caffeine, which is known to improve mood, alertness, and cognition.

It has been used for centuries to help lower anxiety levels by:

  • Reducing stress
  •  Enhancing mood
  •  Promoting relaxation

5. Salmon

Salmon contains healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids which make up 60% of our brain matter and by eating salmon and ingesting this literal “brain food”, consumers will see their serotonin levels increase and feel their moods improve

Salmon (and other fatty fish) contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and B vitamins.

This makes these foods great for fighting anxiety by:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Supporting brain function
  • Regulating hormone levels (including cortisol)

6. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 1,769 milligrams of omega-3s. These nutrients play a role in the functioning of serotonin and dopamine, both critical to mood and mental health

Fight Depression by Eating a Teaspoon of Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.

Adding these to your diet will help fight anxiety by:

  • Reducing inflammation
  •  Supporting brain function
  •  Stabilizing blood sugar levels

7. Eggs

  • Eggs are a prominent source of high-quality protein, many vitamins, and bioactive components such as omega-3 fatty acids [6]. Those nutrients have been reported to benefit mood and mental well-being.
  • Animal studies demonstrated that orally administered eggs presented antidepressant-like effects
  • Higher levels of lysine, an amino acid found in eggs, have been found to reduce stress and anxiety, improving mental health overall. Eggs have also been found to contain tryptophan, a vital amino acid that assists in producing serotonin, and choline, a nutrient required to produce acetylcholine.

Eggs are a versatile source of protein, healthy fats, B vitamins, and choline.

These nutrients play a key role in:

  • Supporting brain function
  • Regulating mood and stress response
  •  Enhancing neurotransmitter production and signaling

The gut is often called the “second brain” because of how closely they’re connected.

Add these foods to your diet to improve your mental health and live a happier life!

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