13 foods that help reduce stress and anxiety

March 2019/ Psych ZenHealth

Eat your way out of stress with these ten healthy stress-busting foods.


1. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts contain selenium, which may help to improve mood. Brazil nuts and other nuts are a rich source of the serotonin-booster tryptophan and packed with B vitamins, magnesium and zinc. It is a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can be beneficial for treating anxiety and stress.

2. Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring, are high in omega-3. Omega-3 can reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow, both of which are compromised with chronic stress.

3. Spinach 

This leafy vegetable is great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps promote a sense of calm.


4. Pumpkin seeds and Bananas

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of potassium. Eating potassium-rich foods such, as pumpkin seeds or bananas, may help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.


5. Dark chocolate

Eating dark chocolate has shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which may help reduce the stress that leads to anxiety and may improve mood. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium, that helps relax muscles, and may reduce symptoms of depression.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin. Curcumin may help lower anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that often increase in people experiencing mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.


7. Chamomile

Chamomile tea is an herbal remedy that is useful in managing anxiety because of its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and relaxant properties.

8. Yogurt

Yogurt contains healthful bacteria, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Adding yogurt and other fermented food in the diet can benefit the natural gut bacteria and may reduce anxiety and stress. Fermented foods include cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented soy products.

9. Oatmeal

The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal help to boost serotonin production. Oats also have a lot of calming magnesium as well as potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.

10. Green tea

Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine. Theanine has anti-anxiety and calming effects and may increase the production of serotonin and dopamine.

11. Whole grains

Whole grains are a great source of the vitamin B-complex, minerals and fiber. Whole grains also supply serotonin-producing carbohydrates that have a calming, soothing effect. People who ate whole grain cereals every day had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that rises with stress.

A study contacted in Wales showed that eating breakfast cereals regularly was associated with reduced stress and improved physical and mental health.


12. Turkey and chicken

Turkey and chicken are great sources of the amino acid tryptophan which helps to calm and improve your mind that is why people often feel relaxed, and even sleepy, after a chicken or turkey meal.


13. Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, especially vitamin C which has been shown to give the body added reserves to help it cope with high levels of stress. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage your cells and help to repair and protect your body from the effects of stress.




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