Natural Anxiety Remedies: 6 Supplements for Anxiety that Work

We all suffer from anxiety from time to time. Our jobs, home life and even love life create moments when our palms start to sweat and our hearts begin to race. But for some of us, anxiety runs much deeper and negatively impacts our lives and inter-personal relationships.

Sure, there are dozens of dozens of prescription medications available that can help fight the side effects of anxiety, even going so far as to make your life seemingly anxiety free. But many of these drugs are addictive and most come with a slew of side effects that can make an anxiety attack feel like a picnic on the beach.

Instead of relying on your doctor or shrink the next time your boss assigns you a big project, why not try adding these natural anxiety supplements to your diet?

Instead of side effects, Mother's Nature's best anti-anxiety supplements come with a range of additional health benefits!

6 best Supplements for Anxiety (plus foods that help with anxiety)

1. KAVA for anxiety: one of the best anti anxiety herbs you'll sip on

Herbal remedies for anxiety work. In the western Pacific, Kava has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments, particularly anxiety and insomnia. The roots of this tall shrub contain a large number of compounds known as kavalactones, which raise the levels of chemicals that are able to carry messages from the nerve cells to other cells.

Studies have shown that this increase in activity in the central nervous system will have a dramatic positive effect on your mental capabilities. Kava also has slightly sedative, calming qualities which, combined with its ability to increase neurotransmitter function, makes it one of the best herbs for anxiety relief. 

How to take kava? Pour a generous tablespoon of kava powder into a piece of cheesecloth and tie it off, then add to a cup of warm - not hot - water and gently squeeze and knead the cheesecloth bag for around 5 to 10 minutes. Slowly drink it down.

2. Cacao as a delicious, natural anti anxiety supplement

Chocolate for natural anti anxiety relief? Sounds too good to be true, but raw cacao is one of the richest sources of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps enhance your mood, aid relaxation, promote better sleep and even boost your confidence.

But that’s just the tip of this mood-boosting iceberg – cacao is also bursting with phenethylamine (PEA) – a neurotransmitter produced when we fall in love. PEA stimulates the body’s production and release of the happy hormone, serotonin, which is a natural stress reliever and antidote for anxiety.

It comes with another perk, too – cacao’s the only known plant that contains anandamide, an endorphin naturally produced by humans after exercise and known as the “bliss molecule.” The best part? Cacao also contains enzyme inhibitors that prevent the break-down of anandamide, helping the bliss last longer.

Note: If you’re looking for other sources of tryptophan – seeds are great. Just 100 grams of sesame seeds = 1,000 micrograms of tryptophan and the same amount of chia seeds = 700mg. Chia seeds are also rich in magnesium and B vitamins – both critical to lowering stress.

How to take cacao? Go for raw cacao nibs to snack on or raw cacao powder to blend into delicious mood-boosting smoothies. It’s important it always be RAW as PEA is heat-sensitive and only present in unroasted, uncooked, raw cacao.

3. Camu Camu for a whopping load of anti anxiety vitamins

These Amazonian berries are best known for having the highest Vitamin C levels found in nature, but they're also packing a full profile of vital amino acids, including valine. Valine is one of nine essential amino acids our bodies need in order to survive, yet is not produced within our cells.​

And it's important we get enough of it since valine is a true brain food - it stimulates the central nervous system, supports mental function and is especially beneficial for improving insomnia and nervousness.

This is is good news since a good night's rest best paves the way for calm efficiency throughout the day and clear mental function is key to handling potential issues before they turn into full-blown problems.

As for that whopping load of Vitamin C found in camu camu? These are one of the best vitamins for anxiety - Vitamin C is crucial for maintaining healthy brain chemistry as well as the proper functioning of your adrenal glands. Large doses of Vitamin C have also been shown to have a direct effect on anxiety, producing a tranquilizing effect which decreases anxiety. 

How to take camu camu? Stir in a daily teaspoon into your water, juice, or smoothies. Our favorite is Navitas Natural's organic, raw camu camu powder.

4. Passionflower is an effective herbal remedy for anxiety

Believed to be first discovered by the Native Americans, the glorious white flowers (and leaves) of the passionflower remain a popular, all-natural herbal medicine for anxiety thanks to the fact that it's chock full of flavonoids, particularly chrysin and benzoflavone.

​Similar to the way almonds work (see #6 below), these elements increase an essential acid in the brain (GABA) that is able to control how excited the neurons get under certain situations.

This allows you to remain calm, even under the most stressful situations. You will find that many popular anti-anxiety medications work in the same way, only with a number of nasty side effects that you don’t experience with this herbal anti anxiety supplement.

How to take passionflower? Take 1 passionflower capsule twice a day. If you don't like to take pills, go for a passionflower tincture - you can add around 15 to 30 drops of it to your morning tea or water and another 15 to 40 drops of it around bedtime.​

5. MACA for anxiety and depression

Maca's a super root that hails from the Andes of Peru and it's a confirmed mood elevator, especially if the cause of your mood swings and anxiety are hormone-based. Maca works as an adaptogen, adapting to each body's unique needs and balancing the body's hormones to boost energy, mood and libido.

It's also got an abundant range of B vitamins (wondering if b vitamins for anxiety works?), like B1 and B2, which foster calmness and it's rich in phytonutrients like iron and magnesium, which have been directly linked to controlling anxiety. A depletion of either of these minerals in your body will lead to depressive symptoms making you more susceptible to anxiety attacks.

How to take maca? Maca can come on a bit strong, so think of the first month as the adaptation period and start slow – around a teaspoon a day. We recommend opting for gelatinized maca, which is basically maca with the starch removed, making it easier to digest and more cost-effective since it’s more concentrated.

6. Matcha for natural anti anxiety relief 

You've probably already tried matcha, whether you know it or not. It's a Japanese full-leaf green tea powder that contains the highest levels of L-Theanine of all the green teas, making it a surprisingly effective natural anti anxiety tea that's delicious to boot. It's not a tranquilizing sort of anxiety supplement, either - it promotes a calm energy, a focused relaxation - the sort of mood that long-time meditators seek.

L-Theanine is an amino acid that has been proven to change brain waves into a more relaxed state, promoting anxiety control without making you sleepy. It even inhibits your body's blood pressure from rising when under duress. Think of it as the "grace under fire" compound - it's perfect for controlling anxiety without making you sedate or sleepy.

How to take matcha? Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of matcha powder with a cup of hot milk or water and whisk 'til you get a nice, foamy froth. Our favorite for matcha lattes is Organic Matcha.​

7. Nuts are among the best Foods that help with anxiety

We all know nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and that these healthy fats are awesome for heart health, clear and supple skin, and weight loss. But what's not so well known is that these beneficial fats also play a huge role in elevating mood levels. Several studies have confirmed the link between low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a negative outlook on life.

People who don't have enough omega-3s in their system are more likely to be fighting symptoms of depression. And it's been suggested that omega-3 fatty acids can help smooth out mood swings and even bipolar disorder.

The role that omega-3s play in mood elevation has to do with the fact that omega-3s affect our cell membranes and the way they function, making it easier for serotonin (the happy hormone!) to move from one brain cell to another. Result? A direct effect on serotonin levels.

But it's not just their omega-3 content that make certain nuts such effective anxiety-busters. The best anxiety-fighting nuts contain other special compounds that increase their ability to boost your mood and reduce anxiety:

1. BRAZIL NUTS

one of the best foods that help with anxiety

These tasty nuts boast the highest amount of selenium found in nature, a detoxifying mineral that's been confirmed to have a direct effect on mood.

That's 'cause complexes of selenium, known as selenoproteins, are crucial for proper brain function and low levels of these important brain proteins are responsible for high levels of anxiety. Selenium also plays a key role in the production, activation, and workings of thyroid hormones - by controlling these hormones, selenium is able to boost mood and keep anxiety at bay.

2. ALMONDS

almonds are one of the best foods for anxiety

Adding toasted almonds to your diet gives you a healthy dose of GABA, an amino acid that works at keeping the brain calm.

It accomplishes this by keeping the firing of neurons stable, allowing your thoughts to remain focused, even when faced with anxiety producing situations.

3. WALNUTS

walnuts are great foods for anxiety

Not getting enough sleep leaves you vulnerable to bursts of anxiety the next day. Luckily walnuts, another vitamin-enriched superfood, contains substantial amounts of tryptophan and melatonin.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is needed to produce serotonin, the happy hormone, and melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep cycles, allowing you to get a good nights rest.

How to take nuts? Nuts are one of the easiest superfoods to incorporate into your diet. Snack on them by the handful or use them to garnish your favorite meal. They're an easy, healthy way to arm your body with powerful resources to ward off anxiety.


There is no doubt that the foods we eat have a direct impact on us physically and mentally. Avoid unwanted side effects from chemically produced medication and instead add the above anti anxiety herbs and anxiety supplements to your diet.

Not only do they act as natural anti anxiety busters, they also come with a range of additional health perks that'll benefit your whole body as well as your mood.

Additional Notes on Natural Anxiety Remedies

  • Other great sources for selenium are Brewer's Yeast and Wheatgerm
  • For a sweetener, use blackstrap molasses instead of sugar - it boast a super rich mineral content and is great source of selenium
  • As for foods, anything with magnesium, vitamin B12 (and other B vitamins), zinc, and antioxidants can be beneficial in helping reduce anxiety, ward off depression, and promote happier moods

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food - and her waistline shortly afterward. When she's not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn't suck.

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