Stress Less: The Best Superfoods To Help Reduce Anxiety

Food is one of the best natural medicines we have at our disposal. We all know that eating well keeps us feeling well, but did you know that you can eat specific foods to help tackle specific ailments? It’s true. A diet rich in certain foods can help you conquer all kinds of health issues—and today we’re eating to beat stress.

A lot of folks use food to help numb their stress (ever downed a pint of ice cream after a hard day at work?) but we’re not talking that kind of eating for stress. We’re talking about foods that will help you fight stress by boosting your body’s nutritional and chemical balance.

So, next time you’re feeling stressed, avoid the junk food and try these anxiety-reducing superfoods!


These pointy little green spears are super high in folate. Why is folate important? Well, low levels of folate in the body have been shown to be a contributing factor to both depression and anxiety disorders.

Citrus Fruit

The effects of stress on our bodies are still being researched, but one thing we do know, is that high levels of stress negatively affect our bodies on a cellular level. Foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, helps protect and repair that damage done to our cells. Bonus: the vitamin C in citrus fruits also has been known to lower blood pressure and help reduce the presence of stress hormones in our bodies.


Ever wondered why a glass of milk (warm or not) before bed helps bring on the sleepies? Well, it’s more than just an old wives’ tale—it’s a chemical reaction! Milk is packed with the protein lactium, which helps lower our blood pressure, making us feel more calm and relaxed. It also has a decent serving of potassium, which helps our muscles relax.

Fatty Fish (like Salmon)

Here’s yet another reason why you should be eating a diet rich in fatty fish like salmon—the omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon help prevent the cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones) from spiking in our bodies during stressful periods. In fact, a recent study showed that those people who had a diet rich in omega-3s actually had a 20% reduction in anxiety during a stressful event compared to those who didn’t get their fill of omega-3s.

Whole Grains (like Oatmeal)

A happy tummy makes for a happy person, and whole grains like oatmeal help keep your tummy happy for longer. By taking longer to digest, your stomach stays fuller for longer and your body produces more serotonin, a “feel good” hormone that makes you feel content (and helps fight against stress and anxiety).


It’s no secret that chamomile tea is a good idea to help you get ready for “sleepytime”, but did you know that chamomile tea is a great option for whenever you’re feeling stressed? Not only does the ritual of making and sipping tea help you calm and center yourself during a stressful time period, but studies have shown the chamomile actually chemically helps calm anxiety. In fact, a recent study tested chamomile supplements on a group of participants with anxiety-disorders, and the vast majority of them reported a significant drop in anxiety symptoms.

What’s your favorite coping mechanism for when you feel stressed?

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!