Everybody everyday deals with stress. The stress can be large or small. However, did you know that the things you smell and the food you eat can actually help you in relieving your stress?

The area in the brain that deals with odor likes near the area of the brain that deals with memories and emotions. Therefore, when you sniff something pleasant, you usually breathe deeper, have a lower blood pressure and a slowing of the heart rate. All of these things help the body to relax.  In fact, certain types of foods can help the body to relax as well.

16 Superfoods That Can Soothe Your Body and Relieve Your Stress

1 – Almonds

This type of nut is loaded with magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). It’s these minerals and vitamins that kick-start the serotonin production, which can relieve stress and stabilize your mood. Zinc is also good for fighting the negative effects stress can have on the body. The antioxidant vitamin E can destroy stress and heart disease-related free radicals.

2 – Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in antioxidants. This is crucial for fighting oxidative stress. This spring vegetable also include tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid to produce serotonin. This helps the body sleep and sustain a healthy mood. A deficiency is known to cause panic attacks. A diet rich in serotonin-based foods is certain to help relieve the symptoms of any mild or full-blown panic attack.

3 – Beef

The reason beef can help the body relax is that it’s loaded with zinc, B vitamins and iron.  Yes, beef has unhealthy saturated fat, which boosts your chances of developing heart disease, cardiovascular disease and more. However, a way to avoid these issues is to purchase and consume the leanest meats possible. Go for beef with the names “loin” or “round” in them.

4 – Blueberries

This fruit is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants – powerful busters of stress. Along with that benefit, they don’t have a lot of calories. Blueberries are a wonderful fiber source, which can ease constipation and cramps when you’re stressed out.

5 – Broccoli

Broccoli contains lots of B-vitamins, with an added benefit of folic acid. Folic acid can relieve stress, depression and anxiety.

6 – Cantaloupe

When you’re stressed out for a long period of time, the adrenal glands become depleted of vitamin C.  Therefore, vitamin C is necessary in dealing with stress, and is something cantaloupes contain.

7 – Cauliflower

Eat cauliflower to enjoy a rich intake of fiber. A high fiber diet helps promote healthy digestion, so introduce the superfood to the combat issues related to digestive or constipation problems.

8 – Fish

The majority of fish are loaded B-vitamins, including the extremely important B6 and B12 stress fighters. B12 is an important vitamin that’s involved with the blending of “happy” serotonin. A deficiency in B12 can result in suffering with depression.

9 – Fortified Breakfast Cereal

Many cereals sold on the market are fortified with various important vitamins and minerals, making them the best foods to get your stress-fighters:

  • Fiber
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • B vitamins

10 – Milk

Along with vitamins B12 and B2, milk has antioxidants that can eliminate the stress-related free radicals.

11 – Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are jam-packed with zinc. This mineral is crucial for stress management and immune health, particularly for those enjoying a fast-paced lifestyle. A deficiency in zinc can result in depression, irritability and loss of appetite.

12 – Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals to make a top diet staple. The list of micronutrients includes vitamins A, C & K and folate. Minerals include iron and manganese. Stress can impact the adrenal glands (body’s stress hormones) which is most noticed when depleted of vitamin C.

13 – Sushi

Seaweed has many anxiety-fighting properties such as vitamin B2, pantothenic acid and magnesium. The pantothenic acid is important because it helps in keeping the adrenal glands healthy. The adrenal glands have a big role in stress management. When you’re stressed out, having a deficiency in this acid will cause you to feel anxious and increase the changes for illnesses and infection.

14 – Swiss Chard

This multi-purpose leafy green vegetable is loaded with the anti-stress mineral magnesium. Magnesium is beneficial for relaxing nerves and muscles. A shortage in magnesium can result in headaches, unregulated blood sugar and high blood pressure.

15 – Tuna

Tuna is a perfect source of protein and helpful fats like omega-3 fatty acids. This good fat acts like a natural anti-inflammatory. A chronic episode of stress can result in increased inflammation throughout the body.

16 – Whole Grain Pasta and Rice

Carbohydrates increase the levels of serotonin, which has a soothing effect on the body. Carbs provide you with a kick, but you need to stay with whole-grain breads, pasta and rice. Steer clear of pastries and white bread because all you get a rush of energy that is followed quickly by a crash. On top of that, you’ll gain weight from them.  Whole grains, however, will take longer to digest and keep you fuller for a longer period of time.


Beyond the beneficial stress-fighting foods to introduce to the diet, you may also want to avoid certain substances that can have a negative impact and promote increased anxiety, including:

  1. Tea, coffee and similar caffeinated drinks; change to black tea since this contains approx 1/3 caffeine compared to coffee
  2. Fatty and fried foods
  3. Animal foods; try to limit the intake of these foods since a high intake of protein can result in higher levels of stress causing dopamine


3 Asparagus Recipes (Video)


Further reading:

  1. 11 Foods To Never Ever Eat When You’re Stressed
  2. Ways to Avoid Stress Snacking
  3. 7 Stress-Busting Snacks