the seven foods that can help (and why) – WWN

the seven foods that can help (and why) – WWN

Of Anna Fregonara

The positive effects of a diet that includes tea, dark chocolate, dried fruit, leafy vegetables, legumes, avocado, cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli)

One of the many ways we can help calm the mind choose the right foods. To declare it to the Washington Post was Uma Naidoo, nutritional psychiatrist, director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, author of the new book Calm Your Mind with Food: A Revolutionary Guide to Controlling Your Anxiety and among the pioneers of nutritional psychiatry, that area of ​​research that suggests how what we eat can also influence our mind.
Here you are seven foods which according to Naidoo can help, integrating with any therapies prescribed by the doctor.

Extra dark chocolate with at least 75% cocoa

Compared to the milk version, the dark chocolate minimally sweetened has a higher concentration of cocoa which contains a large amount of polyphenols That can improve theanxiety
particularly the short-term one (studies were too few to draw conclusions about long-term effects, Naidoo writes).
Comments Valentina Rossi, nutritional biologist, doctor in environmental toxicology, professor of oncology nutrition at the Milan Bicocca University: Cocoa not only exerts a beneficial action due to its high antioxidant content but induces positive effects on mood in the short term also thanks to rI leave endorphins
The feel-good hormones.

Leafy vegetables

Spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, just to name a few, are important for their micronutrient and fiber content and I’m excellent source of polyphenols such as lutein, an antioxidant which, Naidoo specifies, referring to a study, appears to be able to reduce the symptoms of depression in mice. It is thought that theanxiety is correlated with a reduced overall antioxidant status so including vegetables that are rich in them in your diet can alleviate the symptoms – specifies Rossi –. preferable to consume them raw in salad or just pan-friedbecause cooking can eliminate precious nutrients and choose those with darker green colors.


As Naidoo explains, the cruciferous such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage constitute a fundamental part of an anti-anxiety diet thanks to them high levels of micronutrients and phytochemicals useful. Furthermore, they are rich in sulforaphane which also seems to help balance hormones, improve immunity, reverse insulin resistance. Let the chopped broccoli rest for 30-60 minutes a trick for keep sulforaphane levels high. Cruciferous vegetables – says Rossi – should be consumed regularly with the foresight to adopt a quick cooking and good chewing to make the most of their antioxidant potential.


rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber and magnesium. A low intake of the latter mineral it seems to be connected to depression and anxiety, reports Naidoo. It is high in good fats which have been shown to decrease oxidation and reduce metabolic risk factors when consumed regularly. The vitamines of group B, magnesium and monounsaturated fatty acids they have in general positive effects on the nervous system – adds the nutritional biologist –. In fact, some people with anxiety symptoms have been found to be deficient in B vitamins and magnesium.

Unsweetened tea

As Naidoo suggests, i black tea polyphenols it’s theaflavins which they have proven to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Yes, seeing that alleviate anxiety symptoms in animal studies, probably by stimulating the release of dopamine. The green tea increasingly widespread due to its positive effects on health, including the increase inhumor. Its most important bioactive is theaninean amino acid that has been shown to reduce the sensation of stress and anxiety. Rossi explains: Green tea above all contains large quantities of theanine (provided that the infusion of the leaves is prolonged for 8-10 minutes), a molecule that has attracted attention for its calming effects and for the production of serotonin and dopamine .

Seeds and dried fruit

There’s no shortage of them in your Naidoo shopping cart walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds, good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews and Brazil nuts contain a large amount of nutrients such as Vitamin EThe magnesiumThe manganese and it zinc. Oil seeds and dried fruits are recommended in the serving 30 grams per day, better if eaten plain, therefore neither salted nor toasted, recommends the nutritionist biologist.


Naidoo recommends f
gioli, lentils, chickpeas because I’m aexcellent source of fibre, important for intestinal health and, as emerges from scientific literature, correlated with lower levels of anxiety. The fibers I am fundamental for our microbiota and considering that a large percentage of the receptors of serotonin are present at the intestinal level, research is examining the role of fiber-rich foods in supporting the treatment of anxiety and depression, underlines Rossi.

In your everyday diet

In general, the foods described are rich in antioxidants and fiber, the main ally of our intestine, but also of our emotions given that recent research suggests that the intestinal microbiota affects our emotional state – concludes the nutritional biologist –. Besides, that’s everyone plant foods, simple and unprocessed, easily available at a low cost. The advice is to always make them present in our daily diet, because it is not enough to eat the vegetable decoration of a restaurant dish and New Year’s lentils.

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February 11, 2024 (modified February 11, 2024 | 07:53)

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