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What are Some Foods That Reduce Stress?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Stress is sometimes referred to as a silent killer. The reason for this is that prolonged periods of stress can begin to compromise health in a number of ways that may not be apparent until serious issues have developed. Along with attempting to eliminate unnecessary stress from the daily routine, there are also a number of foods that can help provide the body with nutrients that will help to counteract the effects of stress. Here are a few examples of foods that reduce stress and help to minimize long term consequences of modern living.

Vegetables are rich in a number of nutrients that are needed to help to lower stress levels and thus ease the symptoms. Potatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral that is essential to the function of the nervous system. Collards, kale, and turnip greens help provide significant amounts of riboflavin and some of the other B vitamins that are important to maintaining a balanced emotional and mental state. Black eyed peas, pinto beans, and white beans are excellent vegetable sources of thiamin, which is sometimes helpful in overcoming the temporary depression that goes along with high levels of stress. Consuming several servings of these types of vegetables each day will make a big difference in getting back to a low stress state. Since they are delicious as well, it makes consuming foods that reduce stress a relatively easy task.

Fruits are also very helpful when it comes to selecting foods that lower stress. Tomatoes are one of the best examples of foods that reduce stress. All types of tomatoes are loaded with Vitamin A and a number of antioxidants that can help to maintain the body’s immune system. A healthy immune system helps to prevent impaired function to the nerves, something that can occur if the stress is constant and endured for long periods of time. Apples, pomegranates, and pineapple are great sources of histidine, an amino acid that can help minimize stress. Bananas provide potassium, which is shown to have a positive impact on general mood and the ability to cope. Even fruits that provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C, such as oranges, are among the foods that lower stress.

Stress reducing foods are also found in choices of meat, poultry, and seafood. Fish and poultry are good sources of niacinamide or Vitamin B3 and can help to regulate mood. Liver contains Vitamin B6, which is helpful in maintaining emotional balance during difficult situations. Various meats and fish supply Vitamin B12, which provides energy and aids in the maintenance of mental clarity. Including fish and lean cuts of meat and poultry is one of the best ways to utilize foods that reduce stress.

Low stress foods are not just found in the foods themselves. Cayenne pepper is among one of the most effective low stress foods available. The pepper contains capsicum, which helps to maintain a healthy heart and ease the anxiety that is often the result of prolonged stress. Sprinkling a little cayenne pepper in soups, stews and on meats before broiling can be a tasty way to fight the ill effects of stress.

There are many other foods that reduce stress and are easily added into the daily diet. The calcium found in milk can be paired with the magnesium contained in avocados to help fight stress levels. Red and green bell peppers that are sautéed with white or yellow onions provide a great accompaniment to baked or broiled fish and help to boost the Vitamin C content of the meal. Many other stress lowering foods can be worked into the diet and make a huge difference in the presence of stress and the negative effects of being under a great deal of stress.

Foods that lower stress normally also contain several other essential vitamins and minerals that help to maintain a healthy system. This means that while you may be addressing the connection between diet and stress reduction, you will be providing nourishment to every organ in your body. From this perspective stress lowering foods can be seen as one way to improve your overall quality of life, as well as maintain emotional balance when the stress level is high.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By Rundocuri — On Mar 16, 2014

I have found that a glass of orange juice for breakfast helps to boost my mood and energy level. I also like vegetable juice for an afternoon snack. Both have high levels of vitamin C. I think these healthful juices make me feel better, so it makes sense to read in this article that vitamin C is good for stress reduction.

By Talentryto — On Mar 15, 2014

One of my favorite stress-relieving foods is a glass of warm milk in the evening before bedtime. This is a remedy for sleeplessness that has been around for generations that I have found to be true. I always feel more relaxed after I've had a glass.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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