Eating Your Feelings: The Anti-Anxiety Grocery List

Natasha Nesic, NASM CPT
5 min readMay 14, 2021
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Picture this: you’re having a panic attack.

It feels like a lot of energy at once. It feels unmanageable. It feels like an electric fire shriveling the wires of your central nervous system.

The question now is: do you want to add fuel to the fire, or put it the heck out?


First and foremost: By “anti-anxiety,” we’re talking about foods that actively work to reduce inflammation in the body, regulate the nervous system, and promote calming hormone release. This ensures that this stuff is constantly circulating in your body during the day for when life hits and you need it, unlike supplements, which can serve as a quick bullet in the moment of. Keep this list bookmarked so that you can whip it out whenever you need to.


Why spices first, and not the nommable stuff? Because with complete scientific legitimacy, they are your immune system’s (and all the other systems’) insurance for those noms. If you’re stuck outside and under stress, then an errant spice shaker or bottle of sauce can save you. That’s what I mean by insurance.

Common spice-cabinet staples:

  • Sweet: Anise; Cardamom; Cinnamon; Clove; Coriander; Fennel (also found fresh in the produce section, looks like an onion that smells like licorice; CAREFUL, estrogenic); Ginger; Licorice;
  • Savory: Cayenne/Chili; Cumin; Garlic; Paprika; Turmeric; Salt***
  • Herbal: Cilantro; Dill; Lavender; Mint; Oregano; Parsley (CAREFUL, estrogenic and historically used to induce menstruation); Rosemary; Sage; Thyme

Less common spices (check your local Asian grocery store or specialty/health/organic market):

  • Galangal; Nigella Seed; Passionflower; Star Anise (CAREFUL, estrogenic)

***Salt has a bad rep, but they’re working on reversing it. Pink Himalayan Salt is the best for making sure that you get a smidgen of extra magnesium (which balances sodium, helps calcium absorption and regulates nervous system). However, it doesn’t contain added iodine, so one of the things I recommend is getting a seaweed salt

Natasha Nesic, NASM CPT

Writing about fitness, fiction, and how to feel better about yourself on the Internet. Subscribe for a daily dose of humor and perspective!