Did you know there’s a way eat your way to a state of zen? These natural stress relief superfoods will help you on your journey to figure out how to relieve stress and anxiety. From berries to chocolate (yes, really!), these are the foods that reduce anxiety and stress.
Related: Brain Foods You Should Eat Every Day to Stay Healthy
As if we needed more reason to snack on these addictive sheets of crunchy nori. Turns out, those dark, leafy greens including Swiss chard, spinach and seaweed are all excellent sources of magnesium and folate, two important ingredients that help produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine — also known as the feel-good chemicals. Try wrapping it up around your favourite sushi, or in this Spam Musubi recipe.
According to one study, eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in people who reported feeling highly stressed. It’s a perfect complement to these Easy No-Bake Granola Bars.
Fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi are full of gut-benefiting bacteria. Studies have shown that a healthy gut can have a direct effect on brain chemistry. We love adding it to these chicken patties for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Avocados are full of health-boosting nutrients like potassium, vitamin E and folate, but it’s the monounsaturated fats in avocados that help reduce blood sugar spikes that can lead to anxiety. Try whipping avocadoes into a hearty hummus!
Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are all a great source of vitamin C, which is a well-known natural stress-buster. They also taste delicious on top of whipped ricotta toast.
These guys get all the glory for being aphrodisiacs, but slurping on oysters will also give you a shot of zinc, which can help calm frazzled nerves.
One more reason mom was right. Drinking a glass of warm milk before you hit the sack isn’t just good for the soul, it’s also high in the protein lactium, which has a built-in calming effect by lowering blood pressure. It’s also delicious stirred into this creamy one-pot mac and cheese.
Stuffing yourself with turkey is the quickest route to sleepy town. Chalk it up to tryptophan, an amino acid that triggers the brain to release serotonin, the chemicals that lead to feelings of sleepiness and calmness. Leftover turkey? Try it as a topping for your next homemade pizza night!
Oily fish like salmon and anchovies are loaded with omega-3 fats and DHA, which play a role in emotional well-being. Looking for new salmon recipes? This Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Salmon is sure to perk you up.
Full of protein and vitamin B2, a handful of these nuts can help keep stress levels in check by stabilizing blood sugar levels so you’re less likely to be vulnerable to mood swings brought on by sudden spikes and dips. Try upping your almond intake with this Middle Eastern bulgur, pomegranate and almond salad.