Surprising Ways Food Can Relieve Your Stress

Surprising Ways Food Can Relieve Your Stress

First and foremost, the kinds of foods you may think of when under stress are the sugary, fatty kinds that increase fat and weight. However, if you can control yourself and stay away from the fatty sugary foods, the healthier foods, described below, can help relieve your stress. On the other hand, circumstances of your stress may keep you away from these foods. In which case, getting a workout might be an option. But, if you can, use the foods below to relieve your stress.

Whole Grains

First and foremost, complex carbs like whole-grain breads, pastas, oatmeal, and cereals cause the brain to produce more serotonin. Now, serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer that helps regulate anxiety, helps falling asleep, as well as having other positive effects on the body.

In addition, complex carbs contain vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Consequently, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, they take longer time to digest. As a result, complex carbs have less of an immediate impact on your blood sugar.

Simple Carbs

On the other hand, simple carbs like sweets are digested quickly and cause a spike in serotonin levels. But the effects don’t last long. However, because simple carbs have a lot of sugar, take them sparingly. Instead, choose other healthier options to relieve stress.

Dark Chocolate

Next, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which helps reduce stress by lowering levels of the stress hormones. Most of all, dark chocolate helps relieve stress at the molecular level. Furthermore, the cocoa can help improve cognitive function and mood. By the way, researchers have found that dark chocolate is also beneficial for those suffering from high anxiety levels.

However, it’s important to eat only high-quality dark chocolate. So, eat dark chocolate containing only cacao beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter.


Next, oranges and other citrus fruits, have an abundance of vitamin C. Meanwhile, studies show that when eaten before a stressful task, these fruits help lower levels of stress hormone cortisol and blood pressure. In addition, these fruits boost your immune system.


By the way, the effects of stress are amplified when levels of magnesium in your body get too low. As a result, stress causes you to get a headache and/or become fatigued. However, eating spinach increases the amount of magnesium in your body. Which, in turn, helps prevent headache and tiredness. In addition, other leafy vegetables, cooked soybeans, and salmon, are all high in magnesium. Consequently, they are also good substitutes for spinach.

Fatty Fish

Next, natural fatty fish like salmon and tuna, with their high omega-3 fatty acids, prevent surges in stress hormones. Therefore, to keep the omega-3 levels high, try to eat three ounces of fatty fish at least twice a week.

Now, fatty fish are a great option because they’re heart healthy. Also, according to the Harvard Health Blog, their omega-3s may help ease depression because the nutrients easily interact with mood-related brain molecules.

In the meantime, according to the American Heart Association, fatty fish include tuna, halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and lake trout.

Black Tea

Next, drinking black tea helps you recover from stress more quickly. In fact, those who drink black tea regularly have lower levels of stress hormones cortisol after stressful events.


Also, mint can be used to relieve stress and calm you down.

Barley Tea

In addition, barley tea has been proven to be effective in relaxing the body. Indeed, the tea helps relieve stress because of its tryptophan. By the way, tryptophan is an amino acid necessary for sleep and for synthesizing serotonin.


A recent study found that passionflower is effective for treating those with anxiety disorders. Therefore, Passionflower is used to treat nervous tension and anxiety.

Pistachios, Walnuts, and Almonds

Next, pistachios, flaxseeds, walnuts, and almonds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce surges of stress hormones like cortisol. In addition, almonds have vitamin E to bolster the immune system. While, vitamin B may make you more resilient when you are stressed. So, to get these benefits, eat about a quarter cup of pistachios, walnuts, or almonds every day.


Now, when stress causes you to want to eat something fatty, eat avocados. In fact, avocados, with their high potassium content helps reduce high blood pressure. Also, avocados have high omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, these healthy essential acids are known to reduce stress, anxiety, boost concentration, and improve mood.


Meanwhile, eating raw carrots or celery sticks helps release a clenched jaw to ease tension.


Next, drinking a glass of warm skim or low-fat calcium rich milk at bedtime eases anxiety. Also, milk is an excellent source of vitamin D. By the way, vitamin D can boost happiness. In fact, a study found an association between reduced levels of vitamin D and increased risk of panic attacks.

Also, milk and other dairy foods with calcium and added vitamin D can help muscles relax and stabilize mood. In the meantime, other dairy sources, like yogurt and cheese, are also excellent sources of calcium.


Lastly, the best way to support healthy gut hormones is with good-for-you bacteria called probiotics. Furthermore, according to Harvard Health, probiotics can help boost the immune system, protect against harmful bacteria, and improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.

In fact, a University Health News article published in December 2018 cited several studies that found gut health has a direct correlation to improving anxiety, depression, and mood. By the way, one way that gut bacteria helps is by producing molecules with neuroactive functions, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which positively influence mood.


If these foods are not an option and an outdoor or a gym workout is not possible, having desk pedals nearby will help you get exercise while you are at work or at home watching TV, reading a book, or working. And the more stressed you are, the faster you pedal to get rid of stress. So, if you are frequently under stress, it is reasonable to have one conveniently nearby.

John Ewers