Please Note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.
Most people don’t understand how much food can change their mood. As much as caffeine improves cognition, some foods can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. This is why consuming enough of these foods is as important to your health as signing up for yoga classes, running or lifting weights.
Asparagus is first on our list of foods scientifically proven to reduce anxiety is asparagus. Asparagus is one of the healthiest plants on earth to manage Rheumatism, urinary tract infections and hormone imbalances in women. It’s also a natural anti-depressant and has many medical forms, including Perment.
In one study; researchers gave rates different doses of Asparagus extracts to test its effectiveness. Later, all rats went through two learned-helplessness tests designed to make them depressed. Rats that received asparagus had mild depressive symptoms compared to the non-receiving group.
2. Food rich in vitamin B-12
Studies show that deficiency in B Vitamins causes depression, cognitive impairment, and dementia.
There is something called the Methylation Cycle in your body. It’s the process where nutrients from food convert into energy. Unfortunately, the absence of B vitamins, especially B-12, inhibits the Methylation Cycle so without them your energy drops, and your mood swings.
Examples of foods rich in vitamin B-12 are eggs, yogurt, fish, shellfish, shrimp, oysters, and fortified cereals.
Spinach is third on the list of foods scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. Spinach is one of the foods to help reduce anxiety. One cup of spinach has 157 mg of Magnesium which makes 40% of your daily need. Magnesium is a mineral responsible for more than 300 biochemical functions in the body including regulating Cortisol and lowering blood pressure. According to studies, a lower Magnesium intake can be associated with depression and mood swings.
Fourth on the list of foods scientifically proven to reduce anxiety is avocado. Potassium is important to limit the side effects of Sodium. When you eat too much salt and foods rich in Sodium, your kidney inhibits the release of body water and your blood pressure rises. Studies also believe low Potassium is the cause of many depressive symptoms and can worsen your mood which is why you must eat Avocado.
The green fruit is rich in both Potassium and Magnesium and will improve your mood. One medium Avocado supplies 15 and 16 percent of your needs from Magnesium and Potassium respectively.
5. Dark Chocolate
Half a bar of dark chocolate each week protects athletes against injury, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. Dark chocolate can also improve your mood.
In one study, researchers measured cognitive performances and mood states of 72 participants who consumed dark chocolate every day for a month. Though it didn’t affect cognition, they found that dark chocolate significantly increased self-rated calmness and contentedness of participants.
6. Low-fat Dairy
Though whole milk is a no-no for dieters, low-fat dairy can help ease depression and reduce anxiety. After studying 1,000 participants, a Japanese team from Tohoku University found that regular consumers of low-fat dairy showed fewer signs of depression and anxiety than their peers.
Skim milk and yogurt are good because they’re high on Vitamin B12 which, if low, can cause depression. One cup of skim milk has 18 percent of your daily needs from Vitamin B12 and it’s also rich in Calcium and antioxidants.
7. Foods that boost BDNF levels
Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a protein that has many benefits to your brain. Recent studies praise BDNF for its anti-depressing effects and its ability to improve cognition and long-term memory.
Activating in the Hippocampus, Cerebral cortex, and basal forebrain, BDNF eases depression and delays Alzheimer by repairing damaged brain cells. Low BDNF is also linked with chronic inflammation which – according to doctors – is the start of all major diseases.
So how can we increase BDNF levels in the brain? The answer is simple: Consume enough Omega-3 Fatty acids by eating Mackerel, Salmon, Oysters, Sardines, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, or Anchovies. They will do the job.
These foods are delicious and will provide your daily needs from Omega-3. When studies recommend a minimum dosage of 250-500 mg per day, one serving of any of Mackerel, Salmon, Oysters, Sardines, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, or Anchovies will supplement your daily needs from Omega-3.
You can also increase BDNF by doing intermittent fasting. According to Dr. Michael VanDerschelden, a leading expert in the science behind fasting, you can increase BDNF by 50 to 400 percent if you fast and limit sugar and processed foods. In one study; rats that ate a high-fat, high-glucose diet experienced cognition and memory problems.