A-Z of fit foods

A/

Asparagus is approved in parts of Asia as a functional food with anti-anxiety properties.
Avocado is great comfort food rich in vitamin B.

B/

Blueberries are powerful antioxidants. Adding them to your diet may help you delay mental decline.

Bananas are high in tryptophan, a type of protein that helps the body generate serotonin. They are also rich in folate and B vitamins.

 

C/
Cashews contain lots of magnesium and are considered to be a natural antidepressant. 

Cherries and other bold coloured berries are loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants.

D/

D is the sunshine vitamin. We get it from exposure to the sunlight. It helps boost our immune system and fight off stress.

E/

Eggs are the ultimate comfort food. They're loaded with amino acids like choline and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a great source of vitamin B-12 and protein.

F/
Fruit is full of fibre, vitamins and nutrients. Citrus fruit is packed with vitamin C.

G/

Ginger and Ginseng are used in Chinese medicine to improve mood and strengthen the immune system.

Green Tea has been used for centuries in Chinese and Japanese cultures to promote relaxation. It contains thianine, an amino acid that calms the nervous system.

H/
Herbal teas like Chamomile and Lavender are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. They have a calming effect.

Honey has been a feature of our diet for 1000s of years. It's associated with lower inflammation.

I/

Iron levels can decrease if you suffer from stress as your body struggles to metabolise
vitamins. Try iron-rich foods like beans and dark green vegetables.

J/

Jackfruit is an exotic fruit that you can buy in tins and use as a meat substitute. High in protein and packed with nutrients it can help promote better blood sugar control.

K/
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink containing antioxidants and probiotics good for gut and brain health.

Kava root grown in the Pacific contains various active compounds that are said to help with anxiety.

L/
Legumes like lentils, beans and chickpeas provide antioxidants, magnesium and B6. They're a great substitute for meat.

M/
Magnesium rich foods keep you calmer. Try chard, leafy greens, spinach, as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

 

N/

Nuts are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats as well as vitamins and minerals including selenium, magnesium and fibre.

O/

Oats are a complex carb high in tryptophan that can provide a calming affect on your mood.

Omega 3 found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel can help anxiety and depression. Other top sources include chia seeds and flaxseeds.

P/

Probiotics encourage healthy bacteria in your stomach which help produce neuroactive substances like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid. These help to reduce anxiety and depression.

Pumpkin Seeds provide magnesium and potassium and are great sprinkled on salads and snacks.

Q/

Quercetin is a flavanol found in dark coloured plants and fruit. It helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that is linked to neurodegenerative disease.

R/

Resveratrol is found in grapes, red wine and cocoa and is said to display anti-stress effects by regulating the enzyme PDE4 in the brain. It also helps increase blood flow to the brain.

S/
Sauerkraut and kimchi are fermented foods rich in probiotics. They are great at stimulating gut health.

Selenium works with vitamin E to reduce stress and maintain a healthy heart. Brazil nuts are a great source.

T/
Turmeric contains the active ingredient and anti-inflammatory agent curcumin. It's said to boost brain function.

U/

Ube is a purple potato and like its cousin the sweet potato is a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Packed with purple anthocyanins, it helps fight inflammation.


V/

Valerian is a herb that is commonly used for sleep disorders. It's also been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and excitability.

W/
Water is essential for life. Chug it down regularly as it's critical for mood regulation and good brain function.

X/

Xocalati is the Spanish word for chocolate (a stretch I know). Dark chocolate has been shown to have an impact on mood. It's a rich source of polyphenols, flavonoids and tryptophan which are beneficial to your neurotransmitters.  

Y/
Yoghurt is packed with healthy bacteria and is a great mood stabiliser. Stick to the plain unsweetened kind.

Z/

Zinc rich foods like oysters, cashews, egg yolks, beans and peas are linked to lower anxiety.

Note:  What matters most is eating a well-balanced diet comprising a variety of healthy and fresh ingredients. No supplement can banish your anxiety on its own. Not all herbs and dietary supplements are safe and adequately researched. If you are not sure talk to your dietician or nutritionist

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