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Plant-Based Foods to Beat Anxiety

healthy eating for anxiety

Anxiety is a worldwide problem and manifests in many different shapes and forms. It can range in seriousness from slightly inconvenient to completely debilitating, and relief is sought in many different places.

How Common is Anxiety?

Approximately 40 million adults in the United States currently suffer, have suffered or will suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. This equates to over 18% of the population!

This is clearly a huge number and demonstrates just how many of us are afflicted with this condition.

How to Manage Anxiety?

Many people immediately turn to medication to manage their anxiety but in some cases it can be addressed through diet and exercise, such as yoga!

Medication can cause some unfavourable side effects for some people, so if it’s possible then it is always worth exploring alternative options. Additionally, medication often only masks the root of the anxiety. This means that as soon as treatment stops the problem can resurface.

Finding ways to naturally treat imbalances in the body is the optimum way to move towards better long term mental health.

The Connection Between Food & Anxiety

Let’s take a look at the things you can aim to include in your diet to combat the causes and symptoms of anxiety.

Green Tea

Green tea is low-cost, simple, and delicious. It is generally calming for the mind, and when consumed regularly, green tea can work to decrease anxiety overall.

Some variations of green tea are believed to have a positive effect on cortisol production in terms of balancing levels of this stress hormone in the body.


Turmeric is an amazing spice, both in terms of colour and taste. It’s known to enhance your mood when consumed regularly.

Turmeric contains antioxidants called curcuminoids, which have neuroprotective qualities. Studies into the effectiveness of turmeric to combat depression have yielded encouraging results.


Avocados are an all-round super food and can be useful for tackling anxiety. They contain high levels of potassium which works to control blood pressure, which in turn can help to keep your mood balanced.

Avocados also contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which help to keep your brain functioning as it should!


Finally, asparagus can be eaten regularly in an effort to reduce feelings of anxiety. This is because it contains folic acid, which is connected to the health of your neurological function.

Impaired neurological function can be an underlying cause of anxiety and it’s always worth making sure you get ample amounts of folic acid in your diet. As an added bonus, asparagus contains a small amount of potassium too, which, as mentioned previously, helps with that all important blood pressure!

Plant-Based Foods Are Health Essentials

As we know, there are vast differences between foods made from animal products and plant-based foods. Beyond the obvious difference of where these two food types come from, there are also nutritional differences that it are great to be aware of.

You might not have heard the reasons why it is essential to not neglect plant-based foods. There are certain nutrients that you simply can’t get in adequate amounts from meat products.

Vitamin C

First of all, and perhaps most importantly, vitamin C is not present in beneficial amounts in any cooked animal products.

On the flip side, vitamin C is found in abundance in many vegetables and fruits. This is an essential vitamin that maintains connective tissue, as well as preventing a wide range of health problems that are caused by vitamin C deficiency.

Vitamin C also helps to regulate blood pressure and promotes the optimum function of your blood vessels.


One of the most important groups of antioxidants to consume for good health is flavonoids. They’re present in practically every plant-based food you can get your hands on, making it easy to get an adequate amount with a varied plant-based diet.

Flavonoids have many uses in the body, not least aiding your brain function, protecting the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Flavonoids also help to protect against cancer.


You may not have heard of lignans before, but they have several incredibly important roles to play in the body.

Not only do they help to regulate our hormone levels and support the immune system, but they are also thought to aid in the relief of menopausal symptoms. This is due to the way they interact with estrogen. However, they also interact with testosterone in such a way that they can improve prostate health—so great news for all!

Lignans are phytonutrients that are high in antioxidants, which of course also means they’re perfect for fighting free radicals in the body. The foods which are richest in lignans are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds!

So, as you can see, a varied plant-based diet will allow you to benefit from the fantastic benefit of lignans!

There are of course many more amazing nutritional benefits to be gained from eating a range of plant-based foods every day. Hopefully this advice will motivate you to get started!

Want to learn more about nutrition? Head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. I’ve read turmeric also heals the gut and more studies have been showing a healthy gut balance helps with most mental issues (anxiety, depression, seasonal mood disorders). Tumeric seems to be a super spice in that regards. Bananas also help.

  2. Wow, this is really helpful, thanks 🙂 I’ve been dealing with anxiety in various ways but these seem really easy and effective – and I’ve just started my own blog partially about anxiety too!x

  3. So interesting, thanks! I love these kinds of methods and I’ve actually just started my own blog which is partially about anxiety so really useful post 🙂 x

  4. I have to restrict my caffeine intake… does decaf green tea have same effect on cortisol??? My doc is convinced I have a cortisol problem! I’ll try anything!

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