10 Terrific Foods That Help Relieve Stress

Most people have a hard time balancing their basic needs with work commitments. However, it can be nearly impossible for entrepreneurs to maintain a balance. The pressure to get everything done can be overwhelming. And if it’s left unchecked, that stress can lead to other problems, including depression and high blood pressure.

Worst of all, stress prompts people to make poor food choices. When you eat junk food, it increases anxiety and harms your health more. However, some healthy foods can help relieve stress. Incorporating these into your regular diet would make you feel more energetic and productive. You can even lose a few pounds.

Therefore, including a healthy meal preparation habit into your daily or weekly routine can significantly improve your overall diet and ultimately lead to a reduction in stress levels. Eating at home generally increases your chances of eating healthily. One way to make a healthy diet easier is to have fresh, nutritious foods on hand. Many can also be stored frozen or dried, such as fruits, nuts, and high-fiber cereals.

Here are 10 stress-relieving beverages and foods to add to your regular diet.

  1. Matcha Powder

    This vibrant green tea powder is popular with health and fitness enthusiasts because it is rich in L-theanine – a non-protein amino acid with effective stress-reducing properties. Matcha is a good source of amino acid than other green tea types because it is made from green tea leaves grown in the shade. This process increases the levels of certain compounds, including L-theanine. Studies have shown that matcha can reduce stress levels if the L-theanine content is high enough and the caffeine low. 

  2. Organ Meats

    Organ meats, including the kidneys, heart, and liver of animals like poultry and cows, are an excellent vitamin B source, especially B6, B12, riboflavin, and folic acid – essential for managing stress. For example, vitamins B are essential for producing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, helping boost your mood. Taking vitamins B supplements or eating foods such as organ meats can help reduce stress.

  3. Eggs

    Eggs are often referred to as natural multivitamins for their impressive nutritional properties. Whole eggs are full of amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants necessary to control stress. Whole eggs are especially rich in choline, a nutrient found in high amounts in some foods only. Choline has been proved to play a significant role in brain health and could protect against stress. Studies show that choline supplements can help with stress response and improve mood.

  4. Fatty Fish

    Fatty fish like herring, mackerel, sardines, and salmon are incredibly high in vitamin D and omega-3 fats, nutrients that have been shown to help relieve stress and boost mood. Omega-3s are not only important for mood and brain health, but they can also help manage stress. Low omega-3 intake has been associated with increased depression and anxiety in people. Vitamin D also plays a vital role in stress management as well as mental health. Low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

  5. Dark Chocolate

    Regular, healthy indulgence (just one bit) of dark chocolate can help regulate your stress level. Research has noted that it can lower your stress hormones, including cortisol. The antioxidants in cocoa stimulate blood vessel walls to relax, lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Lastly, dark chocolate is packed with unique natural composites that produce a sense of euphoria similar to falling in love. Choose varieties that contain at least 70 percent cocoa.

  6. Parsley

    Parsley is a nutritional herb rich in antioxidants that neutralize volatile molecules called free radicals and protects from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to many illnesses, including mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Studies propose that a diet high in antioxidants can help prevent stress and anxiety. Antioxidants can also lessen inflammation, which is often high in people under chronic stress. Parsley is particularly rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, and volatile oils, all of these have prominent antioxidant properties.

  7. Broccoli

    Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are known for their health benefits. A diet high in cruciferous vegetables can lower the risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, and mental disorders such as depression. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are among the most concentrated food sources of certain nutrients – including folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C that have been shown to combat symptoms of depression. Broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane, a sulfur compound with neuroprotective properties, and sedative or anti-depressant effects.

  8. Chickpeas

    Chickpeas are rich in stress-relieving minerals and vitamins such as potassium, magnesium, vitamins B, zinc, manganese, selenium, and copper. These delightful legumes are also rich in L-tryptophan and slow-burning carbs, and they make a great combination that your body requires to make mood-controlling neurotransmitters. Chickpeas also contain a large amount of folate that helps regulate mood. Research has shown that diets high in plant proteins, such as chickpeas, can promote brain health and improve mental performance.

  9. Sweet Potatoes

    Eating whole, nutrient-rich sources of carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, can help lower the stress hormone cortisol. Though cortisol levels are strongly regulated but chronic stress may lead to cortisol disorders, resulting in pain, inflammation, and other detrimental effects. Sweet potatoes are a whole food that makes a great choice for carbohydrates. They are rich in nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C, which are important for the stress response.

  10. Blueberries

    Blueberries have been linked to several health benefits, including a better mood. These berries are rich in flavonoid antioxidants, which have powerful neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. They can help alleviate stress-induced inflammation and protect from stress-related cell damage. Moreover, studies have also found that consuming foods rich in flavonoids, such as blueberries, can protect against depression and better your mood.

The Takeaway

People can make different lifestyle changes to control their depression and anxiety. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins can be helpful. These foods contain nutrients that can help you relieve stress. Try to incorporate some of these foods and beverages into your regular diet to promote stress relief naturally.

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