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Two Breakfast Swaps to Beat Anxiety

Here are two breakfast swaps that you can make today in order to better help with anxiety.

The first one is probably no surprise; coffee. Coffee has been shown to create feelings of anxiety and restlessness (1, 2). Instead an easy replacement is having a a cup of green tea. Tea is high in anti oxidants and flavonoids which help the body fight off disease such as cancer (3,4). There is some caffeine in green tea, however it is far less than in coffee (5). Green tea also naturally contains L-Theanine which can actually lower rates of anxiety and create a feeling of an alert calm (6). If you are wanting to get your own tea the brands I use for loose leaf is here and the tea bags I use for on the go are here.

The next swap is taking out that preservative and sugar filled pastry or snack and finding something more beneficial. The main issues in these types of food that may cause mental health issues is the fact that most contain gluten, preservatives, and sugar; all of which are linked to depression (7,8,9). Instead eating oats which are high in fiber can be beneficial for your mental health (10) it can also lower blood pressure (11,12) and there have been links between anxiety and high blood pressure (13). Oats can be made into a simple bowl of oatmeal, homemade granola bars, or overnight oats. They are delicious, healthy, and a great way to start your day! Pick up my favorite brand here. Try making these swaps to your day and see if you notice any differences in how you feel!


  1. Lara DR. Caffeine, mental health, and psychiatric disorders. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S239-48. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-1378. PMID: 20164571.

2. Bruce M, Scott N, Shine P, Lader M. Anxiogenic effects of caffeine in patients with anxiety disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992 Nov;49(11):867-9. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1992.01820110031004. PMID: 1444724.

3. Gao M, Ma W, Chen XB, Chang ZW, Zhang XD, Zhang MZ. Meta-analysis of green tea drinking and the prevalence of gynecological tumors in women. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2013 Jul;25(4 Suppl):43S-8S. doi: 10.1177/1010539513493313.

4. Shrubsole MJ, Lu W, Chen Z, Shu XO, Zheng Y, Dai Q, Cai Q, Gu K, Ruan ZX, Gao YT, Zheng W. Drinking green tea modestly reduces breast cancer risk. J Nutr. 2009 Feb;139(2):310-6. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.098699. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

5. How much caffeine is in your cup? (2020, February 29). Retrieved April 18, 2021, from

6. White, D. J., de Klerk, S., Woods, W., Gondalia, S., Noonan, C., & Scholey, A. B. (2016). Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an L-Theanine-Based Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients, 8(1), 53.

7. Busby, E., Bold, J., Fellows, L., & Rostami, K. (2018). Mood Disorders and Gluten: It's Not All in Your Mind! A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 10(11), 1708.

8. Knüppel, A., Shipley, M. J., Llewellyn, C. H., & Brunner, E. J. (2017). Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study. Scientific reports, 7(1), 6287.

9. Nicholas L. Kerswell & Esben Strodl (2015) Emotion and its regulation predicts gluten-free diet adherence in adults with coeliac disease, Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 3:1, 52-68, DOI: 10.1080/21642850.2015.1010534

10. Ramin S, Mysz MA, Meyer K, Capistrant B, Lazovich D, Prizment A. A prospective analysis of dietary fiber intake and mental health quality of life in the Iowa Women's Health Study. Maturitas. 2020 Jan;131:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2019.10.007. Epub 2019 Oct 13.

11. Hou, Q., Li, Y., Li, L., Cheng, G., Sun, X., Li, S., & Tian, H. (2015). The Metabolic Effects of Oats Intake in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 7(12), 10369-10387.

12. Hou Q, Li Y, Li L, Cheng G, Sun X, Li S, Tian H. The Metabolic Effects of Oats Intake in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2015 Dec 10

13. Pan, Y., Cai, W., Cheng, Q., Dong, W., An, T., & Yan, J. (2015). Association between anxiety and hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 11, 1121-1130.

Disclaimer: I only recommend products I would use myself. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

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