Anxiety & Diet: 10 Foods to Reduce the Symptoms of Anxiety

Here is a list of foods you can include in your diet to get rid of anxiety symptoms.

4 min read
Anxiety & Diet: 10 Foods to Reduce the Symptoms of Anxiety
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Approximately, 7.6 million people are affected by anxiety around the globe and anxiety is an umbrella term used for various mental health conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, separation anxiety, etc.

Anxiety of any kind is characterised by worry, nervousness, and tension that is constantly disturbing a person and makes it difficult for him to function for the day as well.

The doctors suggest various strategies like exercise, breathing techniques, mindfulness practices, and medicines in extreme situations to reduce the symptoms but dietary changes can also help improve the brain function and reduce the severity of the problem.

Let's have a look at the list of foods that can help reduce the symptoms or at least the severity of anxiety and are backed up by science and research as well.



Chamomile contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and PubMed Central suggests that it can be used to reduce anxiety-related inflammation as well.

According to PubMed, the chamomile herb is also responsible for regulating the neurotransmitters like serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and dopamine that help improve mood and the body's response to stress.

You can increase the consumption of the herb or its extract. Though chamomile tea is a popular preference, more research is required to study its effects on anxiety.


Salmon is rich in nutrients as well as compounds like DHA, EPA, omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamin D that not only promote brain health but help reduce anxiety (PubMed Central)

Moreover, they increase serotonin and dopamine levels which have a calming effect on the brain. Besides, the DHA and EPA are linked with lower levels of anxiousness that also prevent inflammation and brain cell dysfunction. They can help you manage the stressors and anxiety triggers in a better way as well.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is something you can enjoy because now you know that it can help with your anxiety. According to PubMed, it can help reduce the symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety, and depression.

The antioxidants like epicatechin and catechin which are basically flavanols help improve blood flow, brain health, promote neuroprotective effects, and further improve the cell-signaling pathway.

Make sure to eat dark chocolate in moderation since it is high in calories and not too good for your overall health.



According to the US NIH, the good bacteria or probiotics present in the yogurt can help improve your mental health and also affects the gut-brain axis in a positive way and research has shown that a healthy gut can promote better mental health.

People who eat probiotic yogurt can increase their mood-boosting hormones like serotonin and reduce inflammation as compared to people consuming yogurt without probiotics. So, make sure to include probiotic yogurt in your regular diet.

Pumpkin Seeds

According to the USDA Food Composition Data, pumpkin seeds are a rich source of potassium and this helps the body regulate electrolytes and manage blood pressure.

Zinc is the other mineral found in pumpkin seeds and it has proved to be beneficial for nerve and brain development. The deficiency of zinc hinders the mood of a person, so zinc-rich foods can also improve your mental health.

Green Tea

Green tea has become popular because of its calming effects on the body and brain. The calming effect is due to the presence of an amino acid called thiamine which has anti-anxiety properties and increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine as well.

Green tea can be a good replacement for alcoholic beverages, coffee, and cold drinking due to its calming, relaxing, and stress-reducing effects.



Turmeric is a spice that is being used as a cooking ingredient as well as for medicinal purposes for ages. Turmeric has healing and anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of an active ingredient called curcumin.

Therefore, curcumin in turmeric helps manage anxiety, depression, and mood disorders by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.


Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients. Proteins also contain amino acids that are beneficial for the overall growth and development of the body.

But tryptophan is an amino acid that helps increase the levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin which help regulate sleep, behavior, mood, and anxiety disorders in humans.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium which is known to reduce inflammation that is one of the main cause of mental disorders like anxiety or depression.

Selenium is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage and has anti-carcinogenic properties that prevent cancer. Vitamin E is also found in brazil nuts deficiency which leads to depression in people.

But be careful that you do not eat too many brazil nuts or consume high selenium-containing food supplements because it might be harmful in the long run.


According to Harvard Health, cherries can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety because cherry tart juice helps people ease the symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is one of the underlying cause of anxiety and poor mental health.

Therefore, it is better to have a healthy sleep schedule and eat foods or include practices that help you sleep better.

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