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Health Team

Food can help provoke and improve anxiety, stress levels

Posted July 18

— Sometimes people eat when they aren't necessarily hungry. Many turn to food to calm the worries and stresses of everyday life.

But often people pick up the wrong foods to treat anxiety.

Antioxidants are a great weapon to beat stress and anxiety. Physicians recommend digging into berries, nuts, beans or green vegetables.

The key calming ingredient magnesium is present in spinach or leafy greens like kale, collards or Swiss chard.

Oatmeal is a good complex carb, which gets into your system and gives you a steady flow of energy to keep your mood even. It also boosts serotonin, a brain chemical, that can lift your mood.

For something sweet - try dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa. A type of antioxidant called flavonoids help protect cells, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the brain and heart and reduce anxiety.

Zinc is also known to be a mood booster. It can be found in cashews, liver, beef or eggs.

Citrus fruits like oranges help with relaxation.

Find foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like sardines, salmon or albacore tuna, which ease inflammation and help with depression and anxiety.

Coffee can be a blessing or a curse - because of the caffeine. A couple of cups of black coffee can boost mood and energy, but more than four cups could make you feel jittery and anxious.

A great alternative is tea. It contains antioxidants, which have a calming effect, especially with certain herbs like lavender and chamomile. But be wary of too much caffeine and sugar.

The most important thing to remember is that everything should be eaten in moderation, and physical activity or exercise is a great medicine for lifting mood and easing anxiety.

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