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Caitlin Bailey, M.Ed. LPC 

Do you struggle with elevated levels of stress, anxious thoughts, or generalized anxiety disorder? The easiest and least-invasive way to address anxiety is by being more mindful of what you put into your body. How can we expect our body to be calm and relaxed if we’re filling it with foods that don’t promote these healthy emotions?

Studies show that there are several key micronutrients that help reduce anxiety. By adding foods that have high levels of these vitamins and minerals, we may be able to naturally decrease some of these symptoms.


B-Complex vitamins help decrease anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Vitamins in the B-Complex family include B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenate), B6, B7 (Biotin), B8 (Inositol), B9 (Folic Acid) and B12. B-Vitamins help promote the synthesis of “feel-good” neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin, and dopamine. Without adequate levels of these hormones in our brain, we tend to suffer from elevated levels of anxiety.


For example, Inositol (B8) affects dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain and clinical trials have confirmed it is very effective in reducing panic attacks. Naturally, Inositol can be found in vegetables, fruits, beans, grans and nuts. Fresh vegetables and fruits have higher Inositol levels than frozen or canned products, which is why it’s always important to incorporate fresh produce into your diet. Cantaloupe and citrus fruits (other than lemons) contain the highest concentration of Inositol, so start by incorporating one of these fruits into your diet weekly.


Niacin (B3) helps enhance the calming effects of GABA in the brain and converts tryptophan to serotonin. One of the symptoms of severe B3 deficiency is anxiety. While B3 deficiency could be a cause of your anxiety, it most certainly exacerbates anxious symptoms that are already present. High levels of Niacin can be found naturally in beets, meat, poultry, fish, seeds and nuts. Choosing just one of these foods to add into the diet daily could help increase Niacin levels, thus promoting lower levels of anxiety.


These are just two examples of B-Vitamins that can help reduce anxiety. Increasing foods that are rich in these micronutrients may help relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress naturally. For more information on how to test which micronutrients you are deficient in, or what foods you should be adding into your diet, please call and set up a consultation.


Caitlin Bailey, M.Ed. LPC

Psychotherapist and Certified Health Coach

Tarnow Center for Self-Management

713-621-9515 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.