If you need me, I'll be beer bonging these anxiety-relieving foods

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Stressed-out young woman sits at desk
Quick, get this individual some turmeric!
Image: Carol Yepes (Getty Images)

I felt moderately okay on Election Day. That is, until about 9 p.m., when I found myself lying face-down in front of a fan waffling between total numbness and crippling anxiety. I then downed a Manhattan and four servings of gummy bears, neither of which made me feel much better. According to plant-based lifestyle resource The Beet, I would’ve been better off nibbling on dark chocolate or kimchi. The Beet chatted with Harvard Nutritional Psychiatrist Dr. Uma Naidoo to round up a list of foods with proven anxiety-relief properties. Good news is, they’re all pretty tasty.

Fermented foods

The Beet referenced a 2015 study that tracked fermented food consumption in patients with anxiety. Turns out, regularly consuming fermented food frequently correlates with reduced anxiety symptoms. Excuse me as I quickly concoct a kimchi-kombucha slurry.


Dark chocolate

According to Naidoo, dark chocolate’s cacao flavonoids are packed with brain-boosting, inflammation-reducing antioxidants. For best results, we recommend opting for a minimally processed cacao product.



Curcumin is the handy little active ingredient in turmeric, and it’s believed to reduce anxiety via the ol’ hippocampus. Try throwing a teaspoon into a soup, stew, or smoothie.


Vitamin D-rich foods

My doctor prescribed Vitamin D supplements last year to get me through an especially cloudy Chicago winter. Since then, I’ve been popping them like candy, and for good reason: Studies show that low Vitamin D levels often correlate with increased depression and anxiety symptoms. Naidoo says you can get your Vitamin D fix via soy milk, nut milks, and even mushrooms.


Fiber-rich foods

You probably already know that fiber helps regulate your guts, but researchers also found that high-fiber diets may reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and stress. To boost your fiber intake, opt for snacks like apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, almonds, and walnuts. If that doesn’t work, there’s always a Manhattan.