10 Amazing Foods To Help Reduce Stress

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We are all stressed sometimes. Some moments are much more painful than others and it can often feel difficult to control. Thanks to modern science, we can begin to understand why we are stressed and how we can adapt our diet to help the body and brain function more optimally so that we are less prone to enter states of anxiety.


Also known as our "fight-or-flight" mode, our body goes into a state of action in order to try and escape danger. Back in our hunter-gatherer days, this was useful to help us run away from lions or cross dangerous landscapes. Ultimately, it is the body's response to help you stay alert and stay alive. Nowadays, most of us are pretty comfortable and safe, and so our stress response has changed to react to the dangers of the modern world. The dangers we face are now very personal with people feeling stressed about their own lifestyle, job, and family. Also, with access to so much information, we are now also stressed about global dangers facing people all around the world.   

Ultimately, stress can be a factor towards increasing health risks in people's lives. Not only does it induce bad unhealthy lifestyle habits that could lead to obesity but it has also been linked to diabetes, heart problems, early aging and is the first stepping stone on the way to more mental health issues such as chronic stress and depression.  


Video by  TED-Ed on Youtube



There are many natural ways to relieve minor stress that can offer long-term health and happiness. For example, meditation or spending time in nature have both shown to be extremely successful in helping people manage their stress. Eating healthily can also ensure you are giving your body the right fuel and nutrients to be in an optimum state to deal with stressful moments. If your body is functioning more optimally, you are more likely to feel happier and vibrant and so fewer things will trigger a stress response. Also, certain nutrients can help calm nerves, lower blood pressure, or balance hormones that will physically take your body out of stress mode.

If you want to combat stress with nutrition, it is possible to tailor your diet around making sure you are regularly getting micronutrients that support the body and control the stress response. Increasing the levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber has been shown to drastically help people manage their stress better.

It is also possible to manage your emotions through eating. Doing something as simple as having a cup of herbal tea (this organic green tea and matcha are among our favorite teas) while reading a book, can not only settle stomach pains and calm nerves but also induces an emotional response of feeling comforted. If we let it, food can be a powerful tool for helping us relieve stress and chaos in our lives. 

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash



Unfortunately, the unhealthy foods we often reach for when feeling stressed might calm you momentarily but ultimately will make you more stressed over time. Having high levels of calorie-dense food full of sugars and fats causes your blood sugar levels to spike which can then often lead to you having a sugar high before quickly crashing into feeling not so great. The rollercoaster ride your body goes through every time you eat unhealthy processed food does not put you in a good shape when presented with other stressful moments in your life. Having an unhealthy relationship with food can often be the cause and effect of stress in people's lives. Therefore, one great way to try and combat stress is to try and focus on eating more healthily and incorporating stress-relieving foods into your daily meals.  



Besides trying to eat a more balanced healthy diet, it can be useful to try and incorporate some stress-busting, mood-boosting foods in your daily meals to ensure you are feeling healthy, positive and giving your body what it needs to function optimally. 



Part of the ginger family, turmeric is a common ingredient in many Asian and Middle-Eastern cuisines. The antioxidant in turmeric, curcumin, has been found to be really beneficial for reducing inflammation in the body, as well as supporting brain and hormone health. All great things in helping to alleviate stress. Turmeric has been shown to boost serotonin and dopamine levels in the body, which are the hormones linked to happiness and positive thinking.

Turmeric is often found in curry powders or other spice blends but can also be used to make teas and hot drinks. As a top tip, add a pinch of black pepper to your turmeric dish or drink as the pepper makes the curcumin easier to absorb by the body. 

What To Buy:

Organic Turmeric Powder: Lab Tested for Purity

Though it is possible to buy fresh turmeric root, buying turmeric powder makes it easy to add to any dish or drink. Buying a raw organic turmeric powder like this one means you are likely to get higher levels of curcumin compared to lower quality versions. 

Product Highlights:

  • Certified USDA organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
  • 100% raw turmeric powder imported from India
  • 100% refunded if not satisfied
  • Resealable bag



Leafy greens such as swiss chard, kale, spinach, and collard greens are packed with fiber which helps to balance blood sugar levels. Spiking blood sugar levels is often what is responsible for mood swings, irritability, and fatigue, all of which induce stress. Therefore eating more high-fiber foods such as leafy greens will enable your body to have more balanced sugar levels and less erratic responses to stressful situations.

A lot of these greens also contain high levels of magnesium which is known to help reduce fatigue and improve deep sleep. Having a good night's sleep is often the key to managing daily stresses. It has also been shown that low levels of magnesium in the body can induce panic attacks and anxiety. Therefore, having a regular supply of magnesium within your daily diet will ensure you maintain healthy levels.

To get more greens into your diet, try having spinach or kale in salads rather than lettuce. Also, try adding collard greens or swiss chard to stir-fries or vegetable traybakes. If you are serious about getting more greens into your diet you can always have a green kale shake for breakfast. 



As well as being full of antioxidants, which we know are super helpful for combating stress, beets are also great at cleansing the liver. Having an unhealthy liver has been associated with increased anger and feelings of stress so reducing an intake of alcohol and replacing it with beet juice could be the first step to feeling calmer.

Beets are also an alkaline food which means they can balance out any acidity in the body. Processed meat, sugar, soft drinks, even certain grains, and dairy products are considered acidic foods and have been linked to unbalance and stress in the body when eaten in large quantities. Having more alkaline foods like beets helps bring the body back to a more natural level of acidity and reduces any stress emotions that may come from eating acidic foods. 

What To Buy:

Organic Beet Root Powder

Beets can often be a messy business and though they can be great for salads and dinners. Having a beet powder means you can add the goodness of beets to smoothies or even healthy baked goods. 

Product Highlights:

  • High in anti-oxidants
  • Certified organic
  • Oxygen boost
  • Mixes well in liquids even without a blender
  • Can help lower blood pressure



Some research has shown that feelings of anxiety correlate with vitamin B deficiencies in the body. Therefore eating foods that are packed with a variety of B vitamins could boost your brain health as well as making you less prone to anxiety.

Lucky for us, avocados are packed with vitamin Bs as well as those essential omega-3 fatty acids meaning they are the ultimate food for ensuring your brain is getting the fuel it needs to stay healthy. Keeping your brain fuelled is a great way to ensure you don't get lethargic throughout the day which can often be the first stepping stone into feeling stressed or anxious. 

Avocados are delicious just by themselves with a little salt and lemon. However, they can also taste great with other stress-busting foods. Try topping your breakfast avocado toast with crunchy seeds, sauerkraut, or even smoked salmon.

Check out our delicious Gourmet Avocado Toast and Easy Avocado Toast recipes.



Seaweed is one of the few plant sources of iodine which is a vital nutrient for the body's thyroid. Having a healthy thyroid means that the body can produce the correct level of hormones for the body to function optimally. With iodine deficiency being associated with hormone health, it is understandable why it is also linked to stress and anxiety. Incorporating more seaweed in your diet will not only ensure you keep your levels of iodine topped up but also provides a great source of antioxidants, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Sushi is always a delicious way to eat seaweed. Having avocado and salmon maki for lunch would be such a great brain-boosting stress-relieving way to start your afternoon! For those colder days, add seaweed to a miso soup to sip on instead of a cup of coffee or tea. 

What To Buy:

Organic Roasted Seaweed Sheets

These convenient packs of crispy seaweed sheets come in a variety of flavors and are a great way to get your intake of iodine and omega-3s. They are also the perfect stress-busting substitute for potato chips.

Product Highlights:

  • Keto, Paleo, Vegan, & Gluten Free
  • Great source of iodine & Omega 3s
  • 7 different flavors available
  • USDA Organic & Non-GMO verified



Just the act of having a warm bowl of oatmeal can calm your nerves and give you the feeling of being hugged from the inside. As a bonus, oatmeal is a super healthy way to eat carbohydrates. Because it is a more complex carb, it doesn't spike your blood sugar levels.

Oatmeal also is another great fuel source for your brain and actually helps the brain produce serotonin which is the brain's naturally mood-boosting, happiness hormone. Making sure your brain and body are sufficiently supplied with serotonin also helps you to sleep better as well as digest your food more easily. When your body is functioning well you may be less likely to feel overrun and be prone to feeling stressed or anxious.

You may find swapping your regular cereal choice with a bowl of warm oatmeal will keep you level-headed and fuller for longer, so you don't find yourself snacking before lunch. Also, try making your own healthy granola bars for an afternoon boost of energy.

What To Buy:

Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

Are you tired of starting your day off with a sugary cereal that leaves you feeling hungry soon after? It's time to switch to oats, the classic breakfast choice that will keep you feeling full and energized all morning long. Oats are a great source of fiber and protein, and can be customized with your favorite toppings for a delicious and nutritious breakfast. 

Product Highlights:

  • Organic
  • Good source of fiber & iron
  • No sugar added
  • Whole foods 365 Everyday Value product



It's hard to believe that so many kinds of seeds are good for you, but it's true. Flax seeds and chia seeds are packed with brain-boosting omega-3s. Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E which can act as a mood-boosting antioxidant. Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of magnesium which can alleviate fatigue as well as soothe PMS symptoms. While sesame seeds contain the amino acid L-tryptophan which has been shown to directly affect the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. It is safe to say you can't go wrong by introducing seeds into your diet to help with stress relief.

What is also great is that seeds are so versatile! They can be a crunchy topping to salads, soups, oatmeal, and yogurts or even be baked into healthy granola or snack bars.

What To Buy:

Super 7-Seed Raw Mix

Instead of trying to decide which super seed to eat, why not have them all in this handy seed mix? This mix makes it even easier to add seeds to any meal and can be a healthy snack option to have at hand if you are feeling tempted to eat foods that won't help your stress levels. 

Product Highlights:

  • Vegan, keto, & paleo friendly
  • Non GMO, No trans-fats, No added chemicals & preservatives
  • High in fiber, antioxidants, omega fats, & loaded with protein
  • Low carbs



Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are considered "oily" or "fatty" fish as they are breeds of fish that store oil and fat in their tissues. This means that when we eat them we are also eating this stored fat. Though it may initially seem unhealthy, this lean fat actually contains omega-3 fatty acids which, as we have discovered, are essential for optimum brain health and subsequently help to lower the levels of stress hormones in the body.

These types of fish also tend to contain high levels of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb other essential minerals, as well as support a healthy immune system. Our primary source of vitamin D is through exposure to the sun, but with many of us being deficient in this essential vitamin, absorbing it through food is also advised.

For optimum levels of brain-boosting omega-3s, try to replace a few of your regular red meat or poultry dinners with oily fish instead. Many of these fish taste great in salads or sandwiches, so they can also be a good healthy option for lunch.



Though it may seem too good to be true, chocolate can be a great aid for relieving stress. A few squares of rich dark chocolate can give you an antioxidant boost, which can help lower blood pressure and improve overall circulation.

Raw cacao also contains high levels of magnesium, which has been shown to aid in deep sleep as well as help reduce inflammation and even migraines. Reducing fatigue and bodily pain can often be a solution to reducing stressful triggers in your day-to-day life.

Before you grab your favorite bar of chocolate, do note that these stress-relieving effects have only been shown to be effective in dark chocolate or raw cacao. Avoid any chocolate containing sugar. Try to get the really dark stuff, at least 70%. 

What To Buy:

Organic Cacao Powder 

Cacao Powder can be made into indulgent hot chocolate or used as a healthy alternative to sugary cocoa powder in homemade snacks. However, be mindful that natural raw cacao does contain low levels of caffeine. It could be a great mood-boosting alternative to your morning coffee, but if you are sensitive to caffeine, then avoid having it too late at night.

Product Highlights:

  • Rich, bold chocolate taste with no added sugar
  • Provides 25% DV magnesium, 10% DV iron, 19% DV fiber, and 195mg antioxidants (flavanols) per serving
  • Made from a single origin
  • USDA organic, fairtrade, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, gluten-free



Oranges are synonymous with vitamin C and studies have shown that this vitamin is also great for alleviating mood and reducing stress hormones. For example, vitamin C has been shown to help stabilize high levels of cortisol in the body, helping to reduce stress symptoms such as fatigue, lack of focus, and even weight gain.

Try to eat fresh oranges rather than orange juice as the whole fruit will also contain stress-busting fiber. If oranges aren't for you, strawberries, broccoli, and other citrus fruits are also great sources of vitamin C

What To Buy:

Navel Oranges

Navel oranges are a juicy and sweet variety of orange with a distinct navel-shaped mark on one end. They are perfect for snacking, juicing, or adding to salads and desserts.

Product Highlights:

  • Sweet and juicy variety of orange
  • Perfect for snacking, juicing, or adding to salads and desserts
  • Rich in vitamin C and other nutrients
  • Packed with natural flavor and freshness



Even if it just acts as a placebo, your diet can really affect your mood, symptoms, and relationship you have with stress. Finding healthy eating habits, like including a few of these foods in your daily meals, could be the first step to relieving unwanted stress in your life.


The information provided in this article is not nutritional or medical advice. Please read our disclaimer.

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