43 Foods That Reduce Stress

  • Catfish

    Add some catfish to your menu and watch your stress melt away. Catfish is an excellent source of omega-3s, which research researchers at Hospital Fernand Widal in Paris have found effective at lowering overall stress and reducing the production of belly-fat-triggering cortisol.

  • Salmon

    A filet of salmon at dinner could be the key to a stress-free day. In addition to its omega-3 content, salmon is a great way to add tryptophan, a mood-boosting amino acid, to your diet. And for more reasons to add fish to your diet, discover these 40 Ways Omega-3s Fight Fat!

  • Carrots

    Carrots get a bad rap among many low-carb devotees because of their high sugar content, but don’t let that keep them off your menu. Carrots are a great way to pack your diet with folic acid, which researchers at the Federal University of Santa Catarina have discovered to have a protective effect against stress and depressive disorders. 

  • Shrimp

    Ramp up your protein intake, lose weight, and get healthier all at once by making shrimp a regular part of your diet. Shrimp are a low-calorie protein source that can help fight hunger-related stress, as well as being an easy way to load your diet with stress-fighting omega-3s.

  • Walnuts

    Crack open some walnuts and unlock the secret to lower stress levels. A 3.5 ounce portion of walnuts packs 318 milligrams of tryptophan, more than you’d get in the same amount of turkey, a food notorious for its tryptophan content. And for more reasons to add walnuts to your menu, discover these 40 Ways Nuts Fight Fat!

  • Pork

    Grilling up some pork chops could be the answer to your stress issues. Pork packs both tryptophan and vitamin B6, the latter of which Australian researchers and researchers at Wales' Swansea University have discovered to have a positive impact on occupational stress levels. 

  • Grapefruit

    Making grapefruit a regular part of your meal plan is the first step toward lower stress. Grapefruit is loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C, which research published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences reveals to be effective against anxiety and stress. 

  • Lima Beans

    Fight hunger, lose weight, and de-stress in the process by adding some magnesium-rich lima beans to your menu. Researchers at the University of Innsbruck have discovered that magnesium deficiencies contribute to depression and anxiety in mice, but supplementation with this essential mineral can help reverse the trend. 

  • Kiwi

    Whether you eat it with the skin off or on, dig in with a spoon or bite it like an apple, kiwi is a great way to lower your stress levels in no time. Kiwi is a great source of stress-lowering compounds like serotonin-boosting tryptophan, vitamin C, and magnesium, as well as being a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth. In fact, researchers at Taipei Medical University have recommended kiwi as a means of getting better sleep, thanks to its stress-relieving properties. And for more reasons to up your vitamin C intake, discover these 20 Ways Citrus Makes You Healthier!

  • Pecans

    Add some pecans to your favorite salad and enjoy lower stress in no time. Pecans are a natural source of serotonin, which increases feelings of well-being while diminishing stress and cortisol levels.

  • Crab

    Fend off hunger pangs and boost your mood by making crab part of your diet today. Not only is eating crab an easy way to add stress-fighting omega-3s to your diet, its protein content may help you manage those overwhelming feelings. Research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism reveals that eating a diet high in protein reduced both stress and fatigue among male athletes.

  • Kidney Beans

    You don’t have to eat meat to get plenty of mood-boosting protein—just add some kidney beans to your diet. Kidney beans are an easy way to increase your B vitamin intake, as well as upping your tryptophan levels, thus lowering your stress level in the process. And find out why to make kidney beans a staple in your diet with these 40 Reasons to Eat More Beans!

  • Black Beans

    Instead of adding more meat and cheese to that burrito, try subbing in some black beans. In addition to packing plenty of potassium, magnesium, protein, and fiber, black beans are an easy way to increase your iron intake. This is particularly important for anyone who suffers from high stress levels, as researchers at Atako Hospital in Japan have discovered that individuals with low iron levels are at an especially high risk for panic attacks. 

  • Dark Chocolate

    If digging into some chocolate makes you feel more relaxed, you’re not alone. The magnesium, resveratrol, and cocoa flavanols found in dark chocolate are all great at reducing your overall stress level, and research at the University of Dammam suggests that chocolate can help lower perceived stress among individuals self-reporting, as well. And if you're eager to enjoy more healthy sweet treats, discover these 42 Delicious Reasons to Enjoy Dark Chocolate!


  • Tomatoes

    You might already be adding a natural source of serotonin to your foods and not even know it. Tomatoes are among the fruits highest in natural serotonin, so if you’re feeling stressed, make sure to add some to your menu. 

  • Pumpkin Seeds

    Trading in those high-fat snacks for some roasted pumpkin seeds can help slim you down and de-stress you in no time. Pumpkin seeds are natural sources of both magnesium and serotonin, making it easy to say so long to your high stress levels. 


  • Avocado

    Guacamole might just be the answer to more problems than, “What do you want on that burrito?” Avocados pack plenty of tryptophan, magnesium, and B vitamins, making them an excellent addition to any de-stressing plan. And for more ways to incorporate avocado into your meal plan, discover these 40 Delicious Ways to Eat More Avocado!

  • Banana

    Add a little banana to that smoothie and a enjoy whole lot less stress all day. Bananas pack plenty of tryptophan, as well as a healthy dose of potassium, which can stave off stress, according to research conducted at the Coronary Care Unit at Madrid’s La Paz Hospital.

  • Veal

    Making veal your meat of choice could be your stress solution. A 200-calorie serving of veal provides more than 400 milligrams of tryptophan, as well as plenty B6, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

  • Eggs

    Start your morning with eggs and enjoy a slimmer, stress-free you in no time. Not only can eating eggs for breakfast help you lose more weight than a carb-rich meal, the potassium, magnesium, iron, and B6 you’ll get when you dig into these protein powerhouses may have an even more impressive effect on your stress levels. 

  • Peanut Buttter

    Don’t let the sugar content in many commercial peanut butter brands put you off of this otherwise healthy snack. Peanuts are a great vegetarian protein source that just so happens to pack tons of B6, magnesium, iron, and potassium, lowering your stress levels with every bite. 

  • Turkey

    You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy the stress-fighting benefits of turkey. While turkey is known for its tryptophan levels, its magnesium and potassium contents may be even more effective at fighting stress. 

  • Apricots

    Whether dried or fresh, making apricots part of your meal plan is the first step toward a stress-free future. Apricots are not only a great way to sweeten your diet without adding refined sugar, they’re also loaded with vitamins C and B6, as well as stress-fighting potassium and magnesium. And for more fruits that will make you healthier while slimming you down, enjoy these 25 Best Fruits For a Flatter Belly!

  • Brazil Nuts

    They may be hard to crack, but Brazil nuts are well worth it, particularly for those suffering from high stress. One cup of Brazil nuts packs 125 percent of your daily magnesium, as well as 25 percent of your potassium RDA, making them the perfect solution for hunger and stress.

  • Oranges

    The art of peeling an orange is a strangely meditative act in and of itself, but what’s inside is even better. These sweet fruits are great sources of stress-relieving vitamin C, as well as adding plenty of magnesium and potassium to your diet. 

  • Mussels

    Fight hunger and stress at the same time by adding some mussels to your meal plan. These tasty mollusks are an easy way to increase your omega-3 intake, as well as loading your diet with stress-fighting magnesium and potassium. And for more ways to increase your omega-3 intake, turn to these 45 Delicious Sources of Omega-3s!

  • Peaches

    Add some peaches to your favorite smoothie and show stress the door. Not only are peaches good sources of magnesium and potassium, a single peach packs nearly 20 percent of your daily dose of stress-erasing vitamin C. 

  • Chickpeas

    Enjoy a little hummus here, a few chickpeas on a salad there, and a whole lot less stress in your life. Chickpeas are a great way to fend off hunger, thanks to their high protein and fiber content, as well as being a good source of stress-fighting potassium. And for more vegetarian ways to up your protein intake, discover these 45 Protein Sources You Should Be Eating — But Aren't!

  • Prunes

    Many of us are familiar with the digestion-boosting effects of prunes, but did you know that they can help reduce your stress levels as well? Thanks to their B6, magnesium, potassium, and resveratrol content, prunes might just be the prescription for a more chill you.

  • Apples

    Satiate those sweet cravings and take control of your stress by eating an apple every day. Not only have multiple studies shown that apples are an effective means of decreasing hunger and spurring weight loss, they also boast impressive B6, magnesium, and potassium counts.

  • Steak

    Whoever said you can’t buy happiness has obviously never shelled out some cash for a perfectly-marbled steak. High-protein foods, like steak, not only solve your hunger issues, their tryptophan-potassium-B6 trifecta make them a great way to get your stress under control, as well. Eager to enjoy a better burger or steak? Discover these 25 Ways to Pick the Healthiest Meat!

  • Sesame Seeds

    A sprinkle of sesame seeds here, a drizzle of tahini there, and you’re well on your way to a more relaxed self. Sesame seeds are loaded with tryptophan, packing nearly 40 percent of your RDA per ounce. 

  • Almonds

    That handful of almonds you grab as a snack could do more for your stress levels than the cocktail you’re eager to end the day with. Almonds are loaded with magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan, as well as packing five percent of your RDA of B6 per cup, making them an easy way to lower your stress level naturally. 

  • Green Beans

    Add some green beans to your regular rotation and watch your stress melt away. Green beans are a great source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and B6, all of which can reduce your stress level naturally.

  • Buckwheat

    Looking to break out of your meal rut? Add some buckwheat to your menu in place of rice or pasta—you’ll fill up and reduce your stress all at once, thanks to this healthy grain’s ample servings of magnesium, potassium, and B6. And for more carbs you can enjoy without widening your waistline, turn to the 15 Best Grains For Weight Loss!

  • Brown Rice

    Don’t fear carbs! The right ones could actually help you reach your weight loss goals. Not only is brown rice a good source of healthy fiber and protein, the magnesium, potassium, and B6 it packs can help you reduce your stress in no time. 

  • Grapes

    If you’re eager to get your stress under control once and for all, try trading in your sugar-packed dessert for some grapes instead. In addition to their vitamin C and magnesium content, red grapes are an easy way to add resveratrol, a stress-fighting compound, to your diet. In fact, research conducted at Anhui Medical University in China reveals that supplementation with resveratrol reduced anxiety and depression in rats. And for more reasons to add grapes to your meal plan, discover these 40 Ways Red Fruit Burns Fat

  • Cashews

    Cashews are an easy way to add healthy fat, protein, and fiber to your diet when you’re in a hurry, and they’re also a pretty terrific way to de-stress, as well. Cashews may be high in calories, but their high B6, magnesium, and potassium levels make them more than worth it for the weight-conscious.

  • Plantains

    A little “me time” and some plantains on the menu may be all it takes to get your stress levels under control. Plantains are an easy way to add stress-fighters like tryptophan, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and B6 to your diet. 

  • Pinto Beans

    Fill up on protein, increase your fiber intake, and make your stress a thing of the past by making pinto beans a regular part of your diet. Pinto beans pack vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium, making them a powerhouse food for anyone struggling with high stress levels. And discover why you should add more vegetarian proteins to your diet with these 41 Reasons to Make Plant-Based Protein a Diet Staple!

  • Pine Nuts

    Making your stress disappear could be as simple as adding one ingredient to your diet: the pine nut. While high in calories, pine nuts are a great source of protein, anti-inflammatory, stress-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, and pack tons of magnesium and potassium, too. If you’re unsure of how to incorporate them into your cooking, sprinkle some on your Brussels sprouts before roasting them or blend some into a homemade pesto.

  • Quinoa

    A protein-packed grain that reduces stress? Where do we sign up? Quinoa’s high tryptophan, magnesium, potassium, and B6 content make it a great way to indulge those carb cravings while leaving your stress behind.

  • Pineapple

    Reduce hunger, fill up, and fight stress by adding some pineapple to your plate. Pineapple is not only loaded with mood-boosting vitamin C and tryptophan, it’s also an excellent source of bromelain, which research conducted by the Natural Health Research Institute has found to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression in individuals given it as a supplement to their regular diet. And find out why pineapple should be a staple in your meal plan by discovering these 40 Reasons to Add Tropical Fruit to Your Diet!