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10 Foods High in GABA That Calm the Brain and Fight off Stress

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a non-protein amino acid that plays an important role in the proper functioning of the brain. When your stress levels increase, it acts as a calming agent. People who are likely to feel irritable and anxious have low levels of GABA. Glutamine supplies the raw material our body needs to incorporate GABA. Though our body produces it naturally, it is still best to eat foods high in GABA so our body could create more of it and avoid deficiency.

1. Almonds

Every 6-8 ounces of almond contains 10.3 grams of glutamate or glutamic acid that is needed for our body to synthesize GABA. Almonds also contain L-carnitine and riboflavin that supports healthy brain function. You can include one ounce or 23 almonds in your everyday diet to get its benefits.

2. Whole Wheat (Whole Grain)

Whole wheat or whole grain has about 8.6 grams of glutamic acid per 6-8 ounce which helps maintain and boost GABA levels in our brain. Aside from fiber, 1 slice of whole grain bread also contains 146 mg of omega-3 and 0.3 mg of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) which are also essential for brain cell formation. A slice of whole wheat bread is recommended 2 to 3 times a day.

3. Halibut

Halibut is one of the GABA producing foods because of its 7.9 grams per 6-8 ounces of glutamate content. It is also rich in omega 3 fats that helps reduce depression and improve moods. For you to see and feel maximum benefits, it is advisable to take halibut at least three times a week.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are the undisputable champion when it comes to nuts that provide brain benefit. Aside from omega-3 fatty acids, you can also get 5.4 grams of GABA boosting glutamine for every 6-8 ounces of walnuts. With the natural solution of adding walnuts to your diet, you will definitely age-proof your mind and improve your memory.

5. Potatoes

A ¾ to 1 cup of diced potatoes has 0.83 grams of glutamate and contains 0.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6, which are both essential in maintaining neurological health. It aids in producing norepinephrine, epinephrine, and GABA which help promote relaxation and combat stress. A diet rich in potato aids in longevity and healthful aging.

6. Broccoli

One way to increase GABA is to include broccoli in your daily diet. One cup of broccoli contains 740 mg of glutamic acid. It also has a huge serving of folic acid that aids in fighting depression. So if you want to be happy at all times, better eat a lot of broccoli.

7. Spinach

By eating spinach that contains 0.68 grams of glutamate per cup, you are increasing the GABA levels in your brain naturally. A diet rich in spinach can also prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Spinach is the food of the brain; one portion of this leafy green is enough to keep your brain healthy.

8. Bananas

The glutamate content of banana is 220 mg per 6-8 ounces. It has high tryptophan level that helps increase serotonin and improve mood disorders. If you are recovering from stress or experiencing GABA deficiency symptoms such as rapid heart rate, backache, restlessness, and insomnia, then banana is the excellent remedy.

10. Oranges

Oranges and other citrus fruits consist of 210 mg of glutamic acid per cup. Its Citamin C content also helps activate GABA receptors on our retinal nerve cells. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice full of folate and folic acid every day is enough to support our brain and cognitive health.

11. Beef Liver

The beef liver doesn’t contain GABA but its 6.5 grams of glutamic acid is enough to produce more GABA in our central nervous system. Aside from keeping our brains healthy, beef liver is also high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Make it a wonderful part of a balanced diet by consuming in moderation.

Additional Information

It is very important to maintain a healthy diet to keep your body and mind strong at all times. Aside from a balanced diet with the foods listed above, a proper exercise 4 times a week can also help restore levels of neurotransmitters and increase the production of GABA in the brain.

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