Most commonly seen at your local sushi restaurant, seaweed is another food that makes you happy. Seaweed serves as a great source for magnesium and tryptophan. Magnesium is a mineral that helps relax your muscles, while tryptophan is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made in your brain that elevates your mood.

Doctors often prescribe SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to increase serotonin levels in anxiety patients. Eating foods that help with serotonin production is a natural alternative to these drugs. You can find seaweed on the shelves as 'spirulina' if you'd rather take it in a supplement form. Three other foods high in tryptophan include:

1. Turkey

2. Crab

3. Watercress

If seaweed is a bit too exotic, then consider packing a turkey sandwich with water cress or other leafy greens.

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Full list of foods to help with anxiety and depression

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Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D.


Date of original publication:

Updated: October 23, 2015