39 Foods that Fight off Stress: Eat Your Stress Away

Stress has a way of sneaking unnoticed in our life. Before you know it, stress affects your overall health negatively.

This is where nutritional therapy becomes very helpful. It maximizes our health potential by making nutritional and lifestyle changes based on our individual needs.

For people who struggle with anxiety, incorporating foods that fight off stress can go a long way.

The next time you’re feeling anxious and on edge, calm your nerves by eating foods that have been shown to help melt away tension and anxiety.

Check out this 39 foods that help fight off stress.

  • Kiwi

Too stressed to the point where you have trouble sleeping? You might want to consider adding kiwi to your diet.

According to researchers from Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University, eating kiwi on a daily basis is linked to substantial improvements in both sleep quality and sleep quantity.

Moreover, sleep onset latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep) also decreases by 35.4%.

Overall, total sleep time among volunteers increased by 13.4%. There are a couple of characteristics of the fruit that makes it a strong sleep-promoting food It has high antioxidant levels and has high serotonin levels.

  • Kale

Kale has been thought to be nothing more than decorative. But it has since been tagged as a necessity for ultimate health.

One of its many benefits is that kale reduces stress. Research has suggested that eating green vegetables like kale significantly reduces stress levels.

It contains an abundant amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

  • Black Tea

Drinking old-fashioned black tea fights stress and promotes relaxation. A research involving tea-lovers in London found out that people who drank black tea were able to de-stress more quickly than those who drank fake tea substitute.

Although it does not appear to reduce the actual levels of stress we experience, it does have a greater effect in bringing stress hormones back to normal.

  • Strawberries

Surprisingly, strawberries can be really good for relieving stress and irritability. Stress often leads to other physical and mental health problems including heart disease and depression.

Strawberries contain high amounts of magnesium, which turns out to play quite a role in stress.

Magnesium is released into the bloodstream into your urine exiting your body when you are stressed.

The more stressed you are, the more magnesium you lose. However, you can break this cycle by eating foods with high magnesium such as strawberries.

  • Red Cabbage

Also known as purple cabbage, red cabbage is a nutritious and delicious vegetable that has become popular throughout the world.

  • Tangerines

Tangerines turn out to be natural anti-stress. They are in fact great allies against stress and depression, thanks to its great amount of antioxidants and trace elements.

To reduce stress, it is recommended to drink a daily glass of juice of 3 tangerines and 75 grams of raspberries, for two months.

Moreover, tangerines offer soothing and calming aroma that could definitely put them in the forefront of aromatic anti-stress products.

Drinking a glass of juice of 3 tangerines can help for a moment of relaxation.

  • Cauliflower

There is a good reason why cauliflower is often considered as one of the healthiest foods on Earth. It can be also a good help for people struggling with stress issues.

Cauliflower has been shown to help balance hormones that at times can be the reason for mental and emotional stress.

It can help reduce unhealthy levels of estrogen that can cause unhealthy hormonal imbalances.

  • Cherry

Cherries are like candy from the earth. Only, there is about 81% water per volume so they’ll fill you up with very few calories.

These sweet fruits have also been marked as natural sleep aid thanks to their melatonin content.

  • Turmeric

The curcumin, which is abundant in turmeric, has been found out to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression.

The properties in turmeric seem to enhance neuron health, reduce inflammation and regenerate brain cells.

  • Wild-caught Salmon

Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA play a role in your emotional well-being. These are commonly found in salmon, sardines, and anchovies.

Based on a study,  20% reduction in anxiety is recorded among medical students taking omega-3.

Past research has shown omega-3 fats work just as well as antidepressants in preventing the signs of depression.

  • Dark chocolate

Most people sink their teen into a bar of pure, unadulterated chocolate when they want to improve their mood. There’s a chemical reason behind it.

The neurotransmitter anandamide in chocolate temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. It is actually a derivative of the Sanskrit word for “bliss”.

Dark chocolate has even been referred to as the “new anti-anxiety drug”.

  • Blackberries

The anthocyanins are the pigments in blackberries that give their deep color. These are antioxidants that aid in your brain for the production of dopamine.

Dopamine is the chemical that is critical to coordination, memory function, and mood.

  • Yogurt

The bacteria in the gut might be contributing to stress. Research has shown that the brain signals the gut, which is why stress can

  • Asparagus

Studies show that a lack of folate and B-vitamins can increase your risk of depression and anxiety. Just one cup of asparagus contains two-thirds of the daily folic acid intake that doctors recommend.

  • Avocados

Avocados can provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients. According to a research in Nutrition Journal, eating just one-half of a fresh avocado lunch may satiate you.

This can be helpful for regulating blood sugar levels.

This combination of satiety and blood sugar regulation can help keep your mood steady, even in times of stress.

  • Oatmeal

Studies show that a diet rich in whole grains can lower your risk of depression and anxiety. By replacing processed carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates, you can better balance your blood sugar, stay fuller, longer.

It also floods your body with B-vitamins, folate, and magnesium which are essential in enhancing your mood.

  • Green Tea

If you have an ultimately stressful day, gulping off a good cup of green tea can actually help to ease away feelings of tension and helps yourself distress.

Scientific studies reveal that a cup of green tea simply lowers down levels of anxiety through a very significant amino acid called L-theanine.

According to the US National Library of Medicine – National Institution of Health, a study showed that L-theanine demonstrated an effect that relaxes the mind for distressing purposes without causing drowsiness.

  • Oysters

Aside from the aphrodisiac powers of oysters, it has other helpful benefits. Oysters have a high level of zinc – a mineral that helps decrease the secretion of cortisol in the body. A single oyster contains nearly 11 mg of zinc.

  • Walnuts

We cannot always avoid stressors in our daily life. This is the reason why dietary change could really help our body respond to stress.

Researchers found out that walnuts and walnut oil help to reduce blood pressure levels in times of stress.

  • Sweet Potatoes

Keeping blood sugar levels balanced is important in stress, good thing sweet potatoes are high in potassium which helps to lower blood pressure.

The high amount of potassium in sweet potatoes help reduce excess sodium in the body. This can eventually help relax the muscles, calm the nerves and balance your cognitive function.

Also, when we are stressed our digestion can be weaker. Sweet potatoes are easy to digest and known to be good for inflamed colons, digestive disorders and constipation – all which can be related to being stressed out.

  • Mango

Mangoes are one of the best fruits that can help you control your stress levels. It has an abundant Vitamin B-complex, folic acid, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and potassium that are proven stress killers.

Aside from that, it also has a special polyphenol known as mangiferin. This compound accounts for mangoes’ potent antioxidant capacity.

Other than that, it can also prevent obesity and lower blood glucose levels.

  • Turnips

Turnips are a great superfood. They have a crisp white inner flesh and a zesty, peppery flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked.

About 100 grams of turnips contains 28 calories and is an amazing source of fiber. Turnips are a natural source of antioxidants and vitamin C and E, and beta-carotene.

Loads of antioxidants in turnips are attributed to the presence of phenolic compounds that scavenge free radicals in the body and prevent diseases.

  • Green Peas

A cup of green peas contains eight times the protein of a cup of spinach. Aside from that, peas contain a drastic amount of folate that has an immense effect on one’s mental health.

Doctors usually advice depressed people to take food high in antioxidants and other mood-enhancing vitamins.

  • Pineapple

Pineapple is very known for its weight-loss advantages. But, you should also know that this fruit can also be quite helpful when it comes to enhancing your mood.

The compound called bromelain that is abundant in pineapple helps the body to calm down and reduce stress levels.

In addition to that, bromelain lowers inflammation and soothes feelings of indigestion.

  • White Tea

Drinking white tea is ideal if you are aiming to cook down at the end of a very stressful day.

White tea has lower caffeine concentration compared to green tea or black tea.

Thus, its calming effects are very effective. It stimulates the brain and makes you more organize and calmer.

Also, there is a less chance of late night jitters compared to carbonated drinks because of low caffeine content.

  • Olive oil

According to a study from the University of Navarra in Spain, a diet rich in olive oil helps protect against mental illness including depression.

Also, the polyphenol in olive oil called oleocanthal has a potential to reduce cognitive decline that comes with aging. It can even help fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is one of the best herbal tea that aids in relaxation. It is known to help fight off anxiety, depression, and most of all, insomnia.

Scientists believe that the long-term consumption of chamomile tea significantly reduces moderate to severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

  • Garlic

Turns out garlic isn’t only a big help in the kitchen. Garlic has actually a major role in our body’s stress management.

It serves as a tonic that works to reduce fatigue and other symptoms in the body.

According to a Japanese study, almost half of around one thousand patients with fatigue, depression, and anxiety reported relief after consistently taking garlic extract.

  • Ginseng

Ginseng effectively maintains our body’s homeostasis. It regulates the immune response and horizon changes due to extreme stress.

Due to this, it suppresses the occurrence of psychological diseases such as anxiety and depression. Additionally, ginseng prevents other stress-associated physiological diseases.

  • Guava

Guava is one of the most vitamin C-packed foods in the world. The sweet fruit packs nearly a week’s worth of vitamin C into a mere one-cup serving.

It also has a higher concentration of lycopene (a cancer-fighting antioxidant) than any other fruit or vegetable.

Never eaten one before? You might be surprised to find the fruit overflowing with seeds. Don’t bother trying to eat around them—they’re edible, so just dig in!

  • Broccoli

Broccoli has an impressive Vitamin C content. It also has a powerful cancer-killing agent called sulforaphane.

This compound helps increase testosterone and balance other body hormones in times of stress. Filling up your diet with this superfood can surely keep stress at bay.

  • Holy Basil

Numerous research found out that holy basil is such a powerful herb against anxiety and depression.

It has abilities to reduce stress both physical and emotional. Holy basil decreases the amount of cortisol released during stress without the adverse side-effects of prescription medication.

Traditionally, holy basil is used to support people in times of stress.

It actually works as an adaptogen (balances and protects the body against physiological stress) and anxiolytic (decreases anxiety).

  • Brussels sprouts

You definitely want to add brussels sprouts to your diet especially if you are often stress. It has additional power to uplift your mood and give you good nutritional value.

The carbohydrates in brussels sprouts incite better mood and reduce the incidences of mood swings.

Aside from that, it contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that synthesizes various neurotransmitters related to mood.

Brussels sprouts are considered good to those who are undergoing treatment of conditions like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other similar conditions.

  • Cantaloupe

For killing stress, cantaloupe is one of the best food to consider. It contains a lot of Vitamin C which often drops down when a person feels stressed out.

Eating cantaloupe is a good replenishment for lost vitamins during your stress moments.

  • Black Currants

Typically used in jams or juices, black currants are tart little berries that aren’t very popular in the U.S. but do offer an exciting array of nutrition.

Not only are they rich in vitamin C, experts reportedly say black currants have up to twice as many antioxidants as blueberries.

  • Cashews

Cashews are rich in magnesium which is critical to a healthy mood and nervous system. It also helps treat anxiety and depression. Aside from that, it has loads of Vitamin B6 that helps with the uptake of serotonin in the body.

Both Vitamin B6 and tryptophan works to create a relaxed state that helps fight anxiety. Vitamin B6 is also important as it improves overall brain health by helping magnesium reach cells more effectively.

  • Pomegranates

Pomegranates give our body a great shot of energy. Pomegranate is a hyperactive fruit that keeps your heart in tip-top shape, too.

It is rich in antioxidants which help keep bad cholesterol from oxidizing. And whenever it does, it has done its job of preventing the artery from hardening.

  • Pistachios

According to a Penn State study, pistachios can reduce vascular stress. Pistachios have a high healthy fat content, lots of fiber and plenty of antioxidants to keep blood vessels open and relaxed during stressful moments.

Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat, and highest fiber nuts. They are also full of nutrients that can help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol, and help stop cell damage.

  • Black Tea

Just like any other teas, black tea is also a good stress reliever. While coffee is known for getting some people a little too energetic, tea is popular for being more of a balanced caffeine source and even a relaxation beverage that can work as a stress reliever.

There are many more other benefits we can get from drinking or consuming black tea. Yet, we can only accumulate these benefits of black tea when we use moderately.



It’s important to be aware of when stress is starting to weigh you down. Start by looking out for signs of chronic stress, including difficulty sleeping, increased intake of alcohol or other substances, feeling depressed, having low-energy, and being easily angered.

By then, you can start to identify the causes and try to enhance or revamp your schedule and diet. Exploring relaxation techniques can also help like yoga, exercise, or getting in touch with nature.

Above all, try to incorporate the foods that fight off stress mentioned above. This can help you reduce stress levels and help you live a healthier life.

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