Nutritional Strategies to Ease Anxiety

Dr. Laura Tanzini

Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health conditions that Americans face in today’s day and age. An estimated 18 percent of the population struggles with anxiety, yet only a third of people suffering seek treatment. In addition to finding treatment centers for anxiety disorders, you can make changes to your diet to alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety. Here are a few changes you can make to get started.

Eat a Protein-Rich Breakfast

Start your day off right with breakfast that includes some type of protein. This can make you feel full for longer and help you maintain your blood sugar levels. Because of this, you’ll feel more energized in the morning and ready to take on the day.

Add Complex Carbohydrates to Meals

Research suggests that carbohydrates can boost serotonin in the brain, which will naturally make you feel calmer. Some foods that contain complex carbs include whole grain cereals, quinoa, whole grain bread, and oatmeal. Stay away from sugary foods and drinks that are full of simple carbohydrates.

Include These Anxiety-Reducing Nutrients in Your Diet

Some specific foods and nutrients may be better at relieving anxiety than others. 


When a test was conducted on mice, those with lower levels of magnesium showed a significantly higher level of anxiety. 

Thankfully, it’s easy to add magnesium-rich foods to our diet. Like the sound of dark chocolate as a healthy snack? That’s right! Dark chocolate is packed with magnesium. Dark chocolate also contains copper, iron, and prebiotic fibers that provide the right bacteria for your gut. 

Magnesium can also be found in nuts, green vegetables, avocados, and whole grains.


Foods like yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, and tempeh have all been shown to lower anxiety. When we have a happy gut, we have a better chance at a happy mind. The right probiotics can help us to feel better at our root core, leading to feeling less anxious. Probiotics are specifically connected to easing social anxiety.


Research is also showing signs of zinc lowering anxiety. Zinc deficiencies have been connected to higher levels of depression and anxiety. If you happen to be a fan of oysters, then this is a perfect option for you. Oysters, more than almost any other food, contains massive amounts of zinc. You can also find zinc in beans, cashews, chickpeas, and crab.

Vitamin B

Many doctors and anxiety disorder treatment centers will recommend Vitamin B5 for the adrenal glands, which will help lower anxiety levels. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to fight off depression. A lot of Vitamin B can come in supplement form and found at your local pharmacy, but you can also find Vitamin B in great foods. Salmon and leafy greens contain all of the Vitamin B that you need.


Antioxidants can help to treat many symptoms of anxiety, such as fatigue and inflammation. Antioxidant-rich foods are highly recommended by nutritional experts to fight off everything from cancer to chronic anxiety. Foods like blueberries, kale, apples, and walnuts are all well-known antioxidants that also taste great

Don’t Forget Beverages

The beverages you drink can also play a part in your anxiety treatment. Be sure to drink plenty of water every day. Limit your caffeine intake. They can make you feel more nervous and may interrupt your natural sleep patterns. You should also limit or avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol can also interfere with your sleep and make you feel edgy as it’s processed by the body.

For more information about anxiety treatment, reach out to us at Kinder in the Keys today.


Author Bio

Dr. Laura Tanzini, DrPh, MA, MFT

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a highly educated and accomplished professional with a background in biology and psychology. She received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside, an MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a Board Certified Professional Counselor, Integrative Medicine Clinician, and PTSD Clinician. She has worked in multiple medical hospitals, mental health institutions, and inpatient eating disorder clinics. Also, Dr. Tanzini has written scholarly papers and spoken on various topics related to nutrition, stress, menopause, obesity, depression, anxiety, and human development.