Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Relax

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Relax

Eating healthy foods isn’t just beneficial to your physical health but your holistic well-being as well. Here are some stress-relieving foods to add to your weekly menu.


Tea, unlike coffee, has a reputation for inducing sleepiness. While certain types of tea do contain some caffeine, both black and green varieties can help you relax. Green tea contains an amino acid called theanine, which has been linked to reducing anxiety and promoting sleep.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which are known for their relaxing properties. A 2009 study discovered that regular chocolate eaters had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood.

Fatty Fish

Fish like salmon and tuna that are rich in omega 3s have been shown to ease a stressed mind. A team of researchers from Ohio State University studied a small group of medical students and their physical responses to anxiety and stress during the school year. Among those given omega 3 supplements, anxiety dropped by 20 percent, compared to the students given a placebo who remained anxious.


Carbs, while feared by many, can naturally boost your mood by boosting serotonin production in the brain. Grains with more fiber take longer to digest, though, thereby releasing serotonin at a more slow-and-steady pace, Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., co-author of “The Serotonin Power Diet,” told Women’s Health.

Leafy Greens

Magnesium, a mineral crucial to your body running smoothly that is found naturally in green vegetables, helps muscles relax and also calms the nerves. Leafy greens like Swiss chard and spinach are great options.

Citrus Fruits

According to a 2002 German study, a large dose of vitamin C helped people bounce back more easily from a stressful situation. Both blood pressure and cortisol levels decreased faster in people given a vitamin C supplement than participants given a placebo.