12 Healthy Foods That Help Reduce Stress

de-stress-with-foodStress and depression have become the normal psychological experience for modern people as societies grow. Unfortunately, this trend seems to be fated and inevitable. So, you are very likely to be one of the victims too since stress is believed to be related to many health problems like thinning hair, hemorrhoids, night sweats, and so on. In this case, stress-busting foods are particularly important since they are the simplest way to get you out of it. Now the question is: what are those foods that fight stress while providing adequate, comprehensive nutrition? Well, here are the top 12 stress-reducing foods for you.

Swiss chard

Cortisol is a hormone primarily responsible for stress response. It warns your body of the outside attacks by rapid release of glucose. Chronic stress consumes magnesium inside the body and low levels of this mineral will in turn make you more sensitive to pressure. This is a vicious cycle. This explains why worry, anxiety, and irritability are believed to be associated with magnesium deficiency. That is where Swiss chard comes in since eating it can increase the intake of magnesium and then help you keep cortisol balance and reduce anxiety.


Banana contains a substance that can help the brain produce serotonin, which is believed to make people feel peaceful, happy, and comfortable. Bananas are rich in potassium too. As you may know, potassium can maintain water electrolyte imbalance and acid-base balance, keep normal neuromuscular excitability, and coordinate systolic and diastolic function to keep normal blood pressure. In addition, the magnesium contained in banana eliminates fatigue and relieves tension too. That’s the reason why eating banana is good to examinees as it eases the tension and stabilizes their psychological state.

Red peppers

Thanks to the high vitamin C content, red peppers promote a healthy immune system and resist stress. What’s more, increasing the intake of vitamin C can help reduce cortisol levels, which is more important for women because women tend to have a higher cortisol levels than men do.

Tomato and citrus

If you are always getting nervous before a test, it will make a difference if you take more foods that are rich in vitamin C. This is because vitamin C is known for its ability of balancing psychological pressure. The main source of vitamin C is fresh vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits and tomatoes.

Millet congee

Millet is rich in amino acids you need, high-quality protein, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, iron), vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin A, niacin, niacin, thiamine, carotene, and so on. Many nutritionists will view B vitamins as decompression agent. That’s to say, it can regulate endocrine, relax the nerve system, and balance emotions.

Black tea

Research found that drinking black tea on daily basis will help soothe nerves. A cup of tea will make you feel refreshed when you feel too much psychological pressure before and in the middle of an interview.

Skim milk

Calcium is considered a natural nervous system stabilizer. So, if you are one of examinees you should eat more calcium-rich foods, including milk, yogurt, shrimp, egg yolk and others since they can improves emotional stability.


Beans are packed with nutrients. In addition to help the body to extract energy from food, vitamin B copes with stress; niacin promotes sleep; pantothenic acid and thiamine adjust the cortisol levels when you are stressed; folic acid is necessary for neuronal regeneration. Beans are rich in not only vitamin B, but also fiber, protein and iron.


Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, are identified as the number one enemy for stress hormones. One study found that levels of cortisol and adrenaline could be controlled by the intake of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. So, you can eat more salmon, sardines, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and the like for stress relief.


Since the sticky, nutritious cereals are rich in fiber, they can slow down the absorption rate of the stomach. If jam and cereals are used together, they can speed up the brain to produce serotonin. So, in those stressful days you’d better choose old-fashioned oatmeal instead of processed foods that are digested faster.


Almonds are rich in vitamin E, one kind of antioxidants that can enhance immunity. They also contain vitamin B. About a quarter cup of almonds a day can help your stress levels. More than that, almonds are also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, protein, dietary fiber, zinc, calcium, magnesium and other trace elements. In other words, they add more nutrition and health to your diet.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains resveratrol, which can stimulate the brain to release serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that makes you feel relax and happy. In addition, nutrients in dark chocolate can promote blood circulation and lower blood pressure. In spite of this, taking too much of it can be harmful to your health. So one ounce a day is enough. By the way, the most recommended stress-relieving dark chocolate is the non-alkaline chocolate that contains more than 70% cocoa.

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