Nutrition & Diet

10 Foods That Helps On Stress Relief

We all have different stress levels, whether it’s a relationship, work, or self-esteem problem. If you don’t seem to be relaxing, your diet might be part of why. When our brain is overwhelmed, it’s tempting to head to high-calorie, processed foods that provide a quick boost before they turn into a tragic crash. Here are our favorite foods that reduce your daily anxiety and increase your energy. Treat your body like a temple when stressed, and your mental health will reap the benefits.

Olive Oil

The daily consumption of olive oil has been shown to boost serotonin. We suggest EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), which contains little processing and many healthy phenols. Step away from the ranch dressing and drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil on your salad. Store your olive oil in a dark and cool place, and always put your lid on it, so the benefits don’t decrease.


Many people make a face with spinach, but we’re not talking about a wilted and limp variety. Add the nuts, goat cheese, and fruit to the raw spinach salad for a refreshing treat. It is high in folic acid, which causes our body to produce serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters will promote relaxation vs. excited adrenaline and increased cortisol. By far, this is the tastiest way to get your folic acid.

Red peppers

Always our favorite sliced and dipped in hummus; red peppers are full of vitamin C, which can ward off these nasty free radicals and stress hormones. If you eat them raw (like our suggested hummus idea), the antioxidants will have much more power to stay. However, if you prefer it in a stir-fry, you can also get your daily dose of Vitamin C.

Black Tea

We suggest switching to black tea if you need a refreshing, caffeine beverage to get you through the morning. Coffee leaves you with anxious jitters all day, but black tea lowers cortisol and stress hormones faster than herbal tea drinkers! Tea contains all kinds of goodies, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. These are all fancy ways to say that black tea will make your neurotransmitters happy.

Pumpkin seeds

Sometimes you have to snack on something when stressed, and raw or roasted pumpkin seeds can hit the spot while you’re shaking munchies. Pumpkin seeds (and nuts like almonds) have high levels of magnesium, which control stress and exhaustion levels. Sprinkle them in a salad or bowl for an addictive crunch.


While at it, why don’t you have some strawberries with your dark chocolate for the ultimate romantic snack that’s good for your body? In many studies, these berries are surprisingly high in fiber. They have a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which generally rise during stressful periods.


Yes, your favorite happy hour indulgence is good for you, too. Not only are they powerful aphrodisiacs, but these small and slimy treats are known for their high zinc content (400 percent higher than the recommended dietary recommendation), which is good news. Zinc is an antioxidant that strengthens our immune system and reduces stress and inflammation.

Steel-cut oats

Oats are generally full of fiber, which is excellent for your health and keeps your intestines regular. However, steel-cut oats contain the most concentrated nutrients and help stabilize your blood sugar. When the blood sugar spikes and crashes (thanks to the refined sugar), we encounter some problems.

Whole wheat pretzels

Looking for a snack, but don’t you want to get a bag of chips? Munch on some pretzels of whole wheat! Miniature or large, this is the ultimate salty snack. They provide a filling combination of carbohydrates and fiber that stimulates our brain to produce more serotonin. Avoid those street cart pretzels or bar options that can be loaded with grease and are not whole wheat.

 Dark chocolate

Chocolate can be a lifesaver when it comes to reducing stress, but if you have to focus on the “bean to bar” ratio, which means more cocoa and pure ingredients than Hershey’s processed goods. If you don’t have extra sugar, dark chocolate can have antioxidant and emotional benefits to help you chill out.