Keto Friendly Foods That Can Help Reduce Anxiety
Feeling Nervous? Here Are Some Keto Friendly Foods That Can Help Reduce Anxiety
Don’t fret! Chia seeds, salmon, eggs, and dark chocolate are all keto friendly foods that can help reduce anxiety.
I’ve lived with anxiety for so long that I can identify the feeling in an instant and implement mindfulness techniques with the skill of a zen master. Wah-hoo. That is the most reluctant wah-hoo I can muster because were it not for my anxiety my entire life would be different. But then I wouldn’t be here to imbue you with a list of keto friendly foods that help reduce anxiety! Wah-hoo!
If you’re anything like I used to be, you’ll want all the help dealing with your anxiety that you can get. I used to be nervous I was dieting wrong. When I was cut enough to comfortably shoehorn photos of myself shirtless into articles (I’ll spare you THIS TIME), I was worried I’d gain weight. I’d even worry about the amount I was worrying; and I’d also worry when I wasn’t worried! “I FEEL NEEDLESSLY CONFIDENT AND DISPROPORTIONATELY HAPPY...DO I HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR?!”
I did not have a brain tumor, but I did have so much anxiety that it was disorienting. So, I sought medical help and was prescribed medication that made me feel much better! I also started eating keto friendly foods packed with macronutrients that can help reduce anxiety.
Eggs for breakfast! One less thing to worry about. Phew! Eggs have an amino acid called tryptophan that helps produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a part in mood regulation, sleep, and behavior. Scientists believe that serotonin plays a role in reducing anxiety! Scientists also believe that humanity has until 2030 to reverse climate change, which makes now the perfect time to do keto since you have a limited time to get into shape! And eating eggs can certainly help.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve mental health. Anecdotally, whenever I take omega-3 fatty acids I feel calming effects. Alternatively, it’s only when I’m feeling better that I take omega-3 fatty acids. Which came first: the feeling or the fatty acids? More importantly, does it matter? Yes! Because the pills could be a waste of money! HELP ME, SCIENTISTS! Until I find out, here’s one thing that is a sure thing: salmon for lunch! This fish is loaded with omega-3s, B vitamins, magnesium, and even tryptophan! Best of all, you don’t even have to cook salmon if you buy it in a can or in a pouch. Just make sure if you buy it in a pouch that it doesn’t have a sauce since sauces are one of those sneaky foods that contain added sugar.
Shellfish and turkeys can’t go toe-to-toe in most arenas. Underwater, turkeys will drown; out of water, shellfish will drown. But compare the tryptophan content of both animals and you’ve got a fair competition! Shrimp, meanwhile, are also high in Omega-3s. So, have yourself a seafood feast if you want to eat food that can have positive effects on your anxiety.!
Turkey is so well known for having tryptophan in it that it may be redundant to have it on this list. However, not a lot of people roast a whole turkey at the start of the week and then live off that meat for almost every meal. It’s a good idea, and a great way to earn a reputation as the quirky guy at the office (or the turkey guy!). Wait, is it only me who makes dietary decisions based on how eccentric it makes me?! GOBBLE GOBBLE, PLAYA!
When it comes to curbing your anxiety, chia comes out on top because it's high in tryptophan and magnesium. And, despite being a seed, chia has 0 net carbs! That’s because it’s 10 grams of fiber, six grams of protein, and seven grams of fat. Yeah! What I used to do was mix a serving of chia, two tablespoons, with some water and drink it real fast between meals. It would give me energy because of how nutrient dense it was. The consistency is like Jell-O, which some people don’t care for. But you know what’s worse than that consistency? BEING ANXIOUS (sorry to have yelled; I know that yelling itself can trigger anxiety)!
A diet rich in probiotics is going to make you calm, improve your brain health, boost your immune system, and help you digest food more effectively. Luckily, two keto friendly foods, yogurt and kefir, are both high in probiotics. Obviously, you can’t have yogurt that’s high in sugar, so avoid the flavored variety. But you’ll also want to keep the total vs. net carbs in mind when it comes to dairy like yogurt or kefir since both have lactose, a form of sugar derived from glucose and galactose (both of which sound like Marvel villains). Man, I’ve been yelling so much in this article that I feel compelled to do it now, but yogurt is a pretty chill food, no matter what Go-Gurt may have tried to teach us (Sidebar for readers born after 9/11: Go-Gurt was when they tried to market yogurt toward children by putting it in a tube. Sidebar for readers born in the late 80s: Go-Gurt is now old enough to date!).
I keep telling you that avocado is the best friend of keto. It's also the best friend of nervous people doing keto! That's because it's full of B vitamins, monounsaturated fats, and potassium. Best of all, when it comes to the total vs net carbs breakdown of avocado, you have nothing to worry about! A whole avocado has four net carbs! So, keep adding avo to your eggs, grilled meats, salads, etc and you’ll keep your belly full of foods that help reduce anxiety.
I was concerned about the total vs net carb breakdown of tofu because it’s made out of soybeans and I associate beans with carbs (and farts). Turns out, tofu is low in net carbs (a quarter of a block only has 1.9 net carbs), but it’s high in B1, tryptophan, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Wow, I just noticed that even within this article I worry about net-carbs. Yeash! But that’s more of a concern than a worry. I’m not on orange alert! (Side bar for readers born after 9/11: the George W. Bush Administration used to have a terror alert system, which too often happened to be used when it benefited the Bush Administration. Side bar for readers born in the late 80s: in 2019, 9/11 is going to be old enough to date!)
Lilly's Dark Chocolate is my brand of choice. It's keto friendly, so you can experience the reported stress reducing benefits without being knocked out of ketosis. I rep Lily's so much that they should slide into my DMs with an offer to make it official! Many studies have supported the anti-anxiety properties of dark chocolate. One in particular by the National Institute for Health suggested that because dark chocolate is full of polyphenols (micronutriants we get from plants) particularly flavonoids (plant pigments), that consuming this delicious treat may contribute to reductions in neuroinflammation and cell death. Plus, dark chocolate is high in magnesium and tryptophan! Also, you’re welcome for explaining all those science words!
Spinach is jam packed with macronutrients like magnesium and B vitamins, making it one of the best leafy greens to use as the base of your salad. No wonder Popeye is always eating it! Is that too dated of a reference? Paramount started making Popeye cartoons in 1933 and continued until 1957, so Popeye’s been dated for a while. But he’s Popeye! He’s not as famous as Garfield, but he’s not as forgotten Jabberjaw. This must make readers born in the late 70s feel oldest of all! Well, guess what: agism isn’t cool, AND THAT’S SOMETHING WORTH SHOUTING ABOUT!